No one can deny the first home match in Atlanta United history was, in a word, magical. The excitement lingered throughout the entire night and the spectators could hardly contain their jubilation. Well, unless you were one of the many fans stuck in long lines just to find your seat or grab a beer before the match. Reports of wait times close to 30 minutes to enter the supporter’s section and almost double that to purchase concessions dampened the mood to say the least.
As one of the many fans who was forced to wait for the crowd to disperse, I could hear chants of “they’re engineers, but don’t know how to pour beer” break out near the concession stands. It’s important to remember this was the stadium staff’s first match as well. There were bound to be issues.
Never fear though, because according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Doug Roberson, the club and Georgia Tech will implement several logistical changes to improve fan experience starting this Saturday.
Atlanta United officials said they will double the amount of hawkers in the stands to keep people in their seats during matches and avoid congestion at concession stands. Meanwhile, food choices outside the stadium will now include Sonny’s, Twisted Taco, Smash Burger and Chick-fil-A.
One change that will bring tears of joy to all is the cutoff of alcohol sales being moved from the 65th minute of the match to the 75th in an attempt to decrease wait times. This includes an increase in the amount of servers by 50 percent.
Club and stadium officials are also making strides to quickly file people into Bobby Dodd. More staff members will man the gates and more signs will be available to tell fans where to go.
As for the lines themselves, supporters can do their part to help by preparing their tickets ahead of time as they approach the entrances. Also, everyone should keep in mind there is a clear bag policy. Here’s a handy graphic that tells you what is acceptable(and unacceptable) to bring into the stadium.
I think we can expect a much smoother process this time around. Now let’s focus on the match itself.
For a full step-by-step guide, please refer to the official site’s guide here.