Atlanta United sells out of 2021 MLS season tickets

Atlanta United fans cheer for the team during the second half in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, October 24, 2020. D.C. United won 2-1 over the Atlanta United. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

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Atlanta United fans cheer for the team during the second half in a MLS soccer match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday, October 24, 2020. D.C. United won 2-1 over the Atlanta United. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Team has guidelines for those who do and don’t want to attend limited-capacity games

Atlanta United has sold out of season tickets for the 2021 MLS season, a team official said Thursday.

Sales are between 34,000-35,000, which is the same as past seasons. The total is the approximate capacity of the lower bowl of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Vice President Catie Griggs said she remains awed by the fervor of the team’s supporters, even when it’s not known if the stadium will open past limited capacity this season.

“I’m always surprised by our fans and to the extent to that we have created something that fans, old and new, have gotten excited about and gotten behind,” she said.

Those who wanted to purchase season tickets will be put on a wait list of several thousand people, according to Griggs. The team is reaching out to those people who weren’t able to buy for this season starting Thursday afternoon.

The team has announced only one home league game -- against Chicago at 8 p.m. April 24 -- because most of the remainder of the 34-game schedule has yet to be released by the league. That is expected next week.

To try to maintain the health and safety of supporters, players and others during the COVID-19 pandemic, seating for at least the first league games will be at limited capacity, similar to that of home games at the end of the 2021 season. The total number of spectators for the limited-capacity games has not been established. The team is working with local, state and league authorities to set that total.

Once the schedule is released and safety guidelines are approved, to maintain social distancing during the limited capacity games, the team will be reaching out to season-ticket holders to learn how many plan to attend. If demand is short of or meets supply, seating will be assigned as close to possible to the purchaser’s original price. If demand exceeds supply, there will be two paths for purchasers: choose seats at a lower price and receive a credit for the difference in cost. For example, if you purchased a ticket for $30 but want to move to an area where the price is $20, you will receive a $10 credit. The second option is the team will randomly select purchasers and reassign them to new seats within their price point.

A purchaser who opts in for limited capacity is doing so for all games that are limited capacity. Purchasers are allowed to sell their tickets, but most do so in a pod for that specific game, which means they can’t be broken up.

“We want to be open, honest and transparent with our supporters,” Griggs said. “Random is the most equitable way to do it.”

Those not interested in coming back during limited capacity will receive a full-value credit for games either later this season, potential playoff matches this season or for games next season.

For those who do plan to attend games during limited capacity, the team will not require proof of vaccination, but will require masks for persons 2 years and older.

Neither employees working during the games nor vendors will be required to be vaccinated. Those who work in close contact with players, technical staff or around people who aren’t wearing masks will be required to complete the COVID testing regimen established last season. Others who aren’t working in close contact will be required to maintain social distance, wear masks, wash hands and follow the guidelines established last season when the stadium was re-opened.

Atlanta United players have not been vaccinated by the team.

As for the team’s Champions League against Alajuelense at Kennesaw State on April 13, Griggs said the team is working with state and local authorities on whether supporters will be allowed into the stadium. She said they are close to a resolution and hope to make an announcement within the next two weeks.