For an Atlanta United fan, there’s nothing better than watching a thrilling win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, like those in attendance were witness to a couple of weeks ago in the 2023 season debut against San Jose.
But if anything is close, it’s the sweet, sweet schadenfreude of seeing Atlanta United win in enemy territory, and thats what around 1,000 season ticket holders will be hoping for this weekend when the team travels to the Queen City to play Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium. And the reason the number is so impressive is thanks to a brand new perk this year for season ticket holders — a ticketing program that allows fans to access free tickets for road games. Season ticket holders who have opted into the program simply notifies the club that they wish to go, and the club procures the ticket for them free of charge to the fan.
It’s a program that makes so much sense these days — especially in Atlanta with MLS expanding it’s footprint in the southeast, adding to a growing landscape of games and cities to visit. When Atlanta United first entered MLS, the only reasonable drivable road game would’ve been down to Orlando (and let’s be honest, even that is a haul). But now with Charlotte and Nashville SC joining the fray, road games just got a lot more fun. And boy, are Atlanta United fans taking advantage.
Atlanta United Vice President of Business Operations Georgia O’Donoghue said that in addition to the 1,000 season ticket members expected to turn up at Bank of America Stadium this weekend, there are already around 1,300 (and counting) registered for the game in Nashville on April 29.
O’Donoghue said it’s a program unique to Atlanta United in terms of it’s scope among the season ticket holder base.
“As far as we know it’s just us,” O’Donoghue said when she spoke with Dirty South Soccer. “There are a couple others who do something similar. For ours, it’s widespread. Any season ticket member, no matter where you sit, has this perk.”
Those season ticket members must have opted into the program prior to the start of the season, and those who are eligible must confirm their intent to attend a road match 30 days prior to the game in question. So, while it can no longer be used for the Charlotte game later this week, fans who are opted into the program have until around the end of the month to get tickets for Nashville. Of course, fans could use the program for any road game in any city, but so far these two swamp the others in interest for obvious reasons.
“It’s just a shame this Saturday is a noon kickoff in a cool city like Charlotte. Would prefer to have a longer day to enjoy the surroundings and hang out at one of the local breweries,” said Joshua Jones, an ATLUTD Founding Member. “I was at the Charlotte match last year and was surprised at some of the animosity by Charlotte supporters. They are much closer to Orlando fans than Nashville is. So that adds some excitement outside of the match. In terms of on the field, I am very excited to see how the group performs away for the first time.”
Jones received his ticket on Monday, and everyone who exchanged tickets for this Saturday’s match should receive them by the end of the day Tuesday, according to a club spokesperson.
“I’m impressed with the away match program,” said Jones. “It’s very simple. Around 30 days before the specific match, the ATLUTD email account sends me an email confirming my selection. So I got my Charlotte confirmation email on February 13th. I claimed tickets for other away games this year and the important thing to remember is that I have to cancel outside of that 30 day window or I am on the hook for the tickets.
“I don’t think there are any perks that would really impact my decision to renew season tickets overall, but I definitely view it as a nice benefit. I have certainly paid over $100 for individual away tickets in the past, so removing that costs from an away trip budget is really nice.”
There’s a ton more information regarding specifics of the program that can be found here on the club’s website. For now though, we’re just happy there’s been such a strong interest, and those of us watching from home will be looking for a strong performance both on the field and in the terraces.