It seems like every so often, Atlanta United supporters are given an opportunity to showcase just how committed they are to this club. Well, last night at the Five Stripes’ training complex was no exception. As fans lined up in single file almost an hour before a row of shuttles was scheduled to begin transporting 2,000+ fans to the event, one couldn’t help but take a step back and process what exactly was happening.
This was all for a training. People went out of their way to leave work early and clear a weeknight schedule just to watch a team go through preseason preparations. That’s commitment.
What’s almost as impressive is how welcoming the club was to this idea. Before supporters made their way to the stands, the aroma of food trucks and the sound of upbeat music set the mood for a festive, celebratory night. Atlanta decided to go out of their way in making the training special by including owner Arthur Blank in the festivities, announcing the return of Kevin Egan to the Fox Sports South commentary team, and unveiling the 2018 alternate kits.
Last night was never really about an open training. Yes, seeing Tata Martino work his magic with players we came to idolize last season in a setting unfamiliar to almost everyone in attendance was always going to be a treat, but it was ultimately an opportunity for the club to reward their supporters once again and further build on an already existing hype train of excitement for 2018.
Every Atlanta United fan should be grateful to be apart of a club like this, because the club is certainly grateful for their supporters. There’s no better example of that working relationship than last night.