The MLS single-game attendance record belongs to a first-year expansion club.
Atlanta United’s crowd of 70,425 Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium had everyone buzzing about the new game in town.
“It’s incredible,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “I think it says that there are really no limits. We never really expected this to happen.”
Breaking the MLS mark of 69,225 set at the Rose Bowl by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1996, Atlanta hosted the most attended U.S. soccer game since the New York Cosmos sold over 77,000 tickets for a North American Soccer League playoff game at Giants Stadium in 1977.
United drew over 150,000 fans to its first three games this week at the new $1.5 million stadium, which will host another sellout Sunday night when the Atlanta Falcons play the Green Bay Packers.
Falcons and United owner Arthur Blank told Garber that soccer would be a big draw in Atlanta, a city known mostly for its affinity for college football, the Falcons and Braves. Garber took a wait-and-see approach, but he started being convinced when United played before sellout crowds earlier this year at Georgia Tech while Mercedes-Benz had construction delays.
“We’ve been in the soccer business for a long time and we’re continuing to have experiences like this that are defying everyone’s expectations and my expectations,” Garber said. “When I look at all this, I want to remind myself to suck it in, take a deep breath and remember that this…