It may have been a heartbreaking loss for Atlanta United on Thursday’s night playoff game, losing in a penalty-kick shootout against Columbus.
But the season was a blockbuster for the expansion team, which turned out record-breaking crowds.
The team in red, black and gold stripes secured 15 wins over the course of regular season games, with top scorer Josef Martinez pulling 19 goals.
According to Atlanta United spokesperson Justin Veldhuis, 35,000 season tickets were sold for the inaugural year. Attendance averaging more than 48,200 fans at games over the course of regular season. “That broke every single attendance record, MLS or NASL, in this country’s history in this sport,” Veldhuis said.
In fact, the team set the Major League Soccer’s single-game attendance record twice, most recently with 71,874 fans against Toronto FC.
The momentum continued post-season, with the team becoming the fourth MLS expansion soccer team in league history to qualify for the playoffs in its inaugural year.
Atlanta United also broke the MLS playoff record for attendance with a crowd of more than 67,221 fans packed into Mercedes-Benz Stadium. According to MLS statistics, the record previously set at Gillette Stadium was 61,316.