A Sports Lover’s Guide to Atlanta

Sports fans can hail the arrival of autumn in Atlanta with the convergence of football, baseball, basketball and soccer in one city.
 

Illustration by Muti.

The Majors

The Score

Known as “Hollywood of the South,” Atlanta hosted the Oscars of sports events last February, Super Bowl LIII, so if there was any doubt before that it’s an A-list sports city, there isn’t now. The biggest bonus for visiting sports fans is the close proximity of all its teams; the Falcons and United FC share Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a few blocks away is State Farm Arena where the Hawks shoot hoops, and, about 20 km further in Cumberland, is the Braves’ ballpark, SunTrust Park.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, photograph by Marilyn Nieves/iStock.

On any given weekend you’ll encounter Falcons and Hawks fans about to take flight, or, as United FC is the current MLS Cup champions, you’ll see soccer converts in the team’s black, gold and “Victory” red kit. Since the team launched two seasons ago, United FC has transformed Atlanta into a soccer town, boasting some of the league’s most passionate fans. Members of the diehard Terminus Legion supporters’ group take over home games, as its capo plays a trombone, hypes up the 71,000-strong crowd and co-ordinates carefully choreographed displays in the stands, called tifos. A sea of flags, scarves and streamers fills the stadium, and, if you close your eyes, it’s easy to believe you’re at a Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC.


Where Fans Gather

Illustration by Muti.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

As part of its fan pledge, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a low-tier pricing system with US$2 hot dogs, US$3 pizza slices and US$5 beers.

Park Bar

Park Bar is a popular pre- and post-game spot close to both Mercedes-Benz and State Farm Arena. Build your own burger or sample the bourbons on offer.

College Football Hall of Fame

For fans of collegiate sports and athletes, the College Football Hall of Fame downtown features exhibits, interactive displays and a 45-yard indoor field.

The Battery Atlanta

The Battery Atlanta entertainment complex offers a range of dining options near SunTrust Park. Head to Sports & Social for bar fare or go upscale with steak at C. Ellet’s.

[This story appears in the September 2019 edition of WestJet Magazine.]

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