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Soccer comes to ATL: Atlanta United’s first match

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Atlanta United fans filled the streets of Midtown and downtown as the team debuted at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium

Atlanta United’s inaugural match begins at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium isn’t a place where red and black-clad fans are very welcome.

But last night, in front of a sold-out crowd of 55,000 people, Atlanta United broke the norms (and a few hearts).

Fans came out in force for the inaugural game of Major League Soccer in Atlanta.

And while the team’s real home field—Mercedes-Benz Stadium—wasn’t ready for their debut, the fan base sure was.

The streets surrounding Georgia Tech were packed for hours before the game. As Atlanta United supporters flooded the neighborhood, we wandered around to take in all the excitement.

The enthusiasm carried into the stadium after the game began: 25 minutes in, when Atlanta scored the first goal of the game, the roar of the crowd could be heard across the southern reaches of Midtown and into downtown.

Of course, the match's outcome wasn’t exactly what Atlanta fans had hoped for, but the event marked an exciting start to a new era in Atlanta sports.

Atlanta United returns to North Avenue the afternoon of March 18 to face Chicago. Plans are for the team to play through the end of July at Georgia Tech before moving to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If it’s complete.