Atlanta will have their first championship parade in more than 20 years. Atlanta United will celebrate their MLS Cup win on Monday, December 10 at 10 a.m. in downtown Atlanta.
“I was texting the mayor [Keisha Lance Bottoms] the other evening, Thursday night, and she already planned on a parade,” Blank told MLSSoccer.com. “So she’s ahead of me. We haven’t had a parade in Atlanta since 1995 – a sports-related parade – since 1995. So God willing, and play willing, we’ll be in a position to be able to do that again next week.”
Blank also owns the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and narrowly missed out on a parade in 2017 after the Patriots mounted a second-half Super Bowl comeback. There is speculation on Reddit that there would be a parade on Monday, December 8 if Atlanta United won, but the city has not announced any official plans.
“I’m as excited about this as I was the Super Bowl,” Blank explained to MLSSoccer.com. “I don’t want to end up with the same feeling that we had [with the Falcons] in ‘16. But we’re excited to be here in every way we can be. The city’s excited – you just have to come to the stadium to see and feel that. What I say is not unimportant, but what the fans say is most important, and the fans could not be more excited … We have an opportunity to show the very best of soccer in North America.”
Portland Wants to Ruin Atlanta’s Parade Hopes
Some Timbers players are using the early parade talks as motivation.
“I didn’t know they were planning a parade,” Portland left back Jorge Villafana explained to MLSSoccer.com. “I hope they don’t do it and I don’t know what they are going to do with all the people standing on the streets.”
It would be a remarkable feat for Atlanta to win a title in just their second year in the MLS. Portland is trying to make sure that does not happen.
“We didn’t see [the quote],” Timbers Jeremy Ebobisse explained to MLSSoccer.com. “To be fair, each round of the playoffs we’ve been the underdog. People have been writing us off. [Saturday] is no different. Obviously they are at home, they’re favored to win but we relish that. We’ve shown that we can do it before and there’s no reason why [Saturday] can’t be different.”
Atlanta missed out on winning the Supporters’ Shield at the end of the regular season, but got their revenge by knocking the New York Red Bulls out of the playoffs to advance to the MLS Cup. There was some skepticism the MLS would succeed in Atlanta, but it has quickly become one of the best atmospheres in the MLS.
Atlanta United supporter Brandon Schecter spoke with the Atlanta Journal-Consitution on why the team has gained such popularity.
“Suddenly this team gave everyone an opportunity to come together – from transplants to immigrants, to life-long Atlanta residents, suddenly we have this team for everyone,” Schecter explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.