The Groundsman’s Shed

In the Crowd: My first USL match by groundsman
May 2, 2008, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Atlanta Silverbacks, football, Seattle Sounders, USL

(Atlanta 0, Seattle 2)

I just got back from  the Atlanta Silverbacks v. Seattle Sounders match here in Atlanta- and I have to say I have never attended a quieter sporting event in my life.  The crowd seemed hesistant to be demonstrative in any way, and more specifically, the people around me weren’t entirely sure who was the home team.

That said, I still bought a replica shirt and plan to attend more USL matches.  It’s going to take time to build atmosphere- especially in a town where there are 3 top level, traditional sporting teams (The Braves, The Falcons, and The Hawks) and lower level soccer has to compete with those events for patrons.  I think there’s enthusiasm and knowledge to be had in the crowd, it’s just a matter of drawing it out, and not letting soccer become “the s-word”. 

College Guy Sitting on My Row: “I have no idea why this is the most popular sport around the world.  I really, really don’t.”

With more crowd involvement, I think he’ll understand why soccer is a beautiful thing.

It’s just going to take a bit more time.



1 Comment so far
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You said it all when you cited the Braves, the Falcons and the Hawks. Soccer will not jockey for popularity in the South, at least for a few years. Furthermore, I don’t know much about Atlanta, but it looks to me to have very few ethnic groups. I live in Montreal, where all the attention is drawn towards hockey -even in the summer-. But since soccer overtook hockey as the #1 sport played by kids in Quebec, the Impact, led by visionary food-mufti Joey Saputo, has enjoyed not only media visibility, but also a nice turnout at the wickets (around 15 000 per game). The biggest test will be on Feb. 25, as the Impact will play a game in Olympic Stadium in the CONCACAF Champions League. If we get 40 000 people, I will be able to say that soccer will no longer be an ethnic groups’ business.

Comment by Michael

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