More than six months before the side takes to the pitch for the first time, Atlanta United FC has already broken a Major League Soccer record.
Team president Darren Eales disclosed to MLSSoccer.com that the franchise has already sold more than 22,000 season tickets for the inaugural 2017 season, which is the most for any expansion franchise in the league’s history. With 31,000 paid season ticket deposits, there’s good reason to believe that number will grow even higher before Atlanta United FC plays its first game next year.
“We’re all just really excited and thrilled to have gotten to that number so early on,” Eales told MLSSoccer.com. “We still have over six months to go [until kickoff] and all those traditional things like a head coach announcement, jersey announcement, schedule coming out, the college draft, the expansion draft, all those and building the roster out as we’ve only got seven players at the moment. So to be there this early, it’s just uncharted territory for a Major League [Soccer] expansion team, so we’re just really excited to have reached that milestone.”
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The 22,000 season tickets sold puts them behind only the Seattle Sounders in terms of season tickets sold in MLS this year, the report added. This is huge news for a franchise that has put a lot of time and energy into making sure the city knows there will be more than one professional team playing at Mercedes-Benz Stadium starting in 2017.
A few other details have been released about the team, in addition to the number of tickets sold. AJC.com reported Atlanta United FC will play in the league’s Eastern Conference, joining the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC. At first glance, there’s a good opportunity for a rivalry to develop between the teams from Atlanta and Orlando, based on proximity.
Eales also told MLSSoccer.com that the supporters’ section, in which 3,000 season tickets have already been sold, will be located on the north end of the stadium, right beneath a large window that’ll provide a stunning view of the Atlanta skyline. The supporters’ section will be general admission, and that’s sure to be the most raucous bunch at every game.
And because the original plan was to sell tickets for 29,000 seats and cover the rest of the stadium with curtains, Eales also said there’s a chance they’ll open up some of those seating areas for the bigger games, if the crowds are so big that it’s required.
That might be a logistical issue for which they hadn’t planned, but you have to figure they’ll be more than happy to find a solution if 30,000 or more fans come calling for the biggest matches.Follow @Sean_Breslin