Atlanta United, the city’s MLS soccer team, is having its debut game against the New York Red Bulls on March 5 at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd stadium, and fans have been waiting for this day for three years.
A sellout crowd of 51,000 is expected.
Kevin Kinley, one of the founders of The Faction – one of four supporter groups for the new soccer team – said his group is holding a tailgate behind The Varsity from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be pork tacos and Mexican street corn, beer from Red Hare Brewing, and games for the kids. The entry fee is $15 for Faction members and $20 for non-members.
The group’s founders live in Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood, Kinley said. Faction has about 300 members, he said.
He said the tailgate is an attempt to make the event “more college footballish.”
Kinley said the atmosphere for soccer is different than what Southerners would see at an American Football game.
“With soccer, they have these fan groups normally they sit in the supporter group sections, which is typically behind one of the goals,” he said. “A capo – the captain – they are on a bandstand and they’ve got a megaphone and get the crowd going. It creates an atmosphere for the stadium. It was taken from the Europeans and South Americans. It’s how they get their fans going.”
Kinley said Faction also has a philanthropy arm which supports the Fugees Family, a soccer academy focused on helping refugees.
“We’re just super stoked,” Kinley said. “We’ve got the chill bumps. We’ve been wanting an MLS team for years.”
For more information about the event, click here.
Atlanta United is also teaming up with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition for the first eight games of the season. ABC will be offering a free bike valet to all fans.
“ABC will utilize a digital check-in service, built by Two Wheel Valet, for cyclists to quickly and efficiently check in their bikes that will include a claim ID and valet close time,” a press release says. “All cyclists have to do is show up with their bikes and provide a phone number when they drop it off. Atlanta United joins several other teams and stadiums that offer bike valet services, making attending and parking easier and more affordable than ever.”