On a brisk and clear Sunday evening in midtown Atlanta, thousands of fans gathered outside Bobby Dodd Stadium decked in maroon and black, tailgating, cheering and singing before the inaugural MLS game of Atlanta United FC. Soccer may be new in Georgia, but the fans have taken to it quickly – the opening game against New York Red Bulls sold out 55,000 tickets, with many fans still waiting outside in long lines 20 minutes before kickoff.
Bobby Dodd Stadium normally serves as the home to the Georgia Tech football team, but milling outside the stadium on Sunday, one would imagine they’d stumbled into a ground that had housed soccer for years. Fans in scarves and fresh jerseys juggled soccer balls, banged drums and tried out chants for the home side. Blocks away at The Varsity, the iconic drive-in spot, hundreds of fans chugged cheap beer and danced to Future songs in the parking lot.
It was a scene. Here are 9 photos of Atlanta United’s opening game.