he Atlanta United Football Club is already breaking Major League Soccer records.
More than 26,000 fans paid deposits to secure season tickets. And it’s for a team that doesn’t start playing until March 2017.
Sean Dennison, senior director for corporate communications with Major League Soccer, said the team with the second-highest season ticket deposits was the Seattle Sounders FC with about 15,000 deposits in 2009.
“They’ve gone on to lead the league in attendance with huge crowds every year,” Dennison said.
The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the Atlanta Falcons will play, can hold more than 70,000 fans.
Atlanta United will also play there. So it plans to install mechanical drapes on the top half of the stadium. This way, the capacity for soccer games will be about 30,000 to make it a more intimate experience.
And with two years to go, it’s already filled up most of the seats accounted for.
Ann Rodriguez, vice president of business operations of Atlanta United, said she appreciates how supportive Atlanta-area fans are.
“We’re very excited with the way the community has embraced us, and we’re really looking forward to 2017,” Rodriguez said. “It can’t get here fast enough to be honest.”
Atlanta United recently announced it’s opening an elite youth academy in the summer of 2016 to develop aspiring soccer players and act as a feeder program for the team.
Andrew Wagner lives in the Atlanta area and blogs for Dirty South Soccer.
“There’s definitely excitement in the market for soccer here in Atlanta,” Wagner said. “They’ve made some great hires, and they’re not sitting on their laurels. They’re not waiting until 2017 comes, they’re being extremely proactive.”