Atlanta United has done just about everything right in its first season in MLS, and the club is already being rewarded.
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On Monday, Major League Soccer announced that Atlanta will host the 2018 MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The new venue has already been a part of MLS history when Atlanta hosted over 71,000 supporters on Sunday in the club’s regular season finale against Toronto FC.
“We’re proud to bring our 2018 All-Star Game to Atlanta, a city and Club that have taken Major League Soccer by storm,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. “Atlanta United’s success is one of the most compelling and impressive expansion team launches in the history of pro sports, and a testament to Arthur Blank’s vision and leadership, and the tremendous team that he has built both on and off the field.
“Atlanta and its supporters have earned the opportunity to host MLS All-Star week and showcase their passion for the beautiful game.”
The expansion side has taken MLS by storm in its first season in the league, with its supporters purchasing more than 36,000 season tickets and the club averaging roughly 48,200 fans per home match.
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To this point, the date and opponent for next year’s All-Star Game are yet to be determined.
Atlanta United is currently in the midst of a three-match road trip in MLS play, but that didn’t stop the club from unveiling its new home venue to a massive crowd of supporters on Saturday.
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Over 20,000 fans of the Eastern Conference expansion side filed into Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch Gerardo Martino’s side train on Saturday as Atlanta prepares to finish out its road trip against D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union.
Atlanta will open up home play at their new stadium on September 10 when they host FC Dallas. The club will have the benefit of playing eight of its final 10 regular season matches in front of its Georgia fan base.
The first-year MLS side will share the stadium with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL.
Here are some sights from the training session
Atlanta United has taken MLS by storm with its brilliant to start 2017, but the club and its supporters will have to wait a bit longer to open their new stadium.
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The club announced on Tuesday that three matches in Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be rescheduled of revised after unforeseen construction issues have delayed the installation of its retractable roof.
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The new venue was originally scheduled to open in late July, however, with this setback it is now more likely that it will be unveiled at the end of August. The Eastern Conference side has already confirmed that its July 30th home match against Orlando City will be moved up one day and will instead be played at the club’s current Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Additionally, the team’s two following home matches against Minnesota United and LA Galaxy on August 13 and 19, respectively, will be rescheduled for a later date when Mercedes-Benz Stadium can house the fixtures.
“This is a very normal procedure for Major League Soccer where they’ve had to flex schedules based on incoming teams and stadiums that don’t always stand up at exactly the date you want them to stand up,” Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Group, LLC said in a conference call with media. “They’ve been an incredible, flexible and helpful partner.”
“We can’t wait to throw open our doors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” Cannon said. “We are striving for the best fan experience in the world. Our team is gonna be ready, they’re gonna be trained. And we hope to just electrify Mercedes-Benz Stadium with that. We’ve done everything in our power to advance this project as fast as we can. It’s a complex construction project. It’s one of the largest construction projects in all of the United States of America.”
Atlanta will share its new stadium with NFL team Atlanta Falcons, with the latter expected to open the venue on August 26th when the Falcons host a preseason game against