Sports

Atlanta United Will Play Second Home Game Of Season Saturday

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez is shown battling for the ball at the team’s season opener March 11 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Atlanta United broke Major League Soccer's single-game attendance record at the game.
Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez is shown battling for the ball at the team’s season opener March 11 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Atlanta United broke Major League Soccer's single-game attendance record at the game.
Credit Todd Kirkland / Associated Press
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Atlanta United broke Major League Soccer’s single-game attendance record at its home opener last weekend. That’s when more than 70,000 fans showed up at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

And last season, Atlanta United had the highest attendance average of all U.S. MLS teams.

“I do think Atlanta United has been able to tap into that sense of pride of the city,” said Darren Eales, the team’s president. “You might be from Green Bay, and you’ll always be a Packers fan and have your cheese head that you put on when they play. But Atlanta United is your team, and you can be proud of it.”

Eales isn’t sure what the ceiling is for attendance. But he said the goal is to sell out the stadium every game.

“We’re not going to get there straight away, but we’re hoping to continue the growth, continue the excitement, and one day that may become a reality,” he said.

Atlanta United plays the Vancouver Whitecaps at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Officials said they expect more than 42,000 in attendance, which is still high for an MLS team.