While Atlanta United have endured a rollercoaster 2021 season on the field, in the stands they're again the best in Major League Soccer and among the best in the world.
Atlanta lead MLS with an average attendance of 43,964 fans for a 17-game total of 747,386 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as originally reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Seattle Sounders are second in MLS with an average announced attendance of 24,646, the AJC's Doug Roberson noted.
According to transfermarkt data, Atlanta United are ninth in the world in average attendance. Manchester United tops that chart with an average of 72,920 packing Old Trafford, with fellow Premier League sides Arsenal (59,524) and Tottenham Hotspur (57,885) rounding out the top three.
Manchester City (52,427), Newcastle United (49,904) and West Ham from the Premier League are also on the list that includes Ligue 1 squads Marseille (55,283) and Paris Saint-Germain (47,472).
Atlanta are just above La Liga giant Atletico Madrid (43,005) and behind West Ham (45,867).
During the 2021 season, MLS teams slowly brought fans back to stadiums as COVID-19 vaccinations became more widely available.
“If you think back to where we were in January (with COVID) and you just said to me we were going to get three-quarters of a million in attendance during the season before the playoffs, I’d have been pretty happy,” ATLUTD president Darren Eales said Monday.
The Five Stripes first joined MLS in 2017 and won MLS Cup the next year, a rapid rise that expansion teams seldom experience.