Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United and Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium, its temporary home ground, are set to make several changes following complaints from fans after the club’s first 2017 home game.
Many supporters reported lines longer than 30 minutes to get into the stadium, with wait times of up to an hour to purchase food and drink during the game against New York Red Bulls on March 5, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reports.
United said that it plans to more than double the number of vendors inside the stadium, with almost 10 more portable food and beverage locations throughout.
In an attempt to decrease the wait times for alcoholic beverages, the cut-off time for sale will be moved from the 65-minute mark in the game, to the 75-minute mark. A number of additional locations will be added to alleviate long delays. Also, the number of staff pourers will increase by 50 per cent.
In the contract between United and the Georgia Tech Athletic Association it dictates that Tech decides staffing for security, vendors, and other services, although it has directed all questions to United.
The number of staff at gates will increase in an effort to improve the speed at which people can get into the stadium. The club and the stadium will also add more signs at Gates 7, 8 and 9, which is where the majority of the congestion was at the inaugural home game, according to the the club.
The overall capacity of the stadium is being reduced from 55,000 to 45,000 due to construction on the northern end of the stadium. With 10,000 fewer bodies to attend to, traffic will already be greatly reduced.
Additionally, United reminded those attending to have their tickets ready to show the ushers on their phones as they near the gates.
The team has seven more games at Bobby Dodd Stadium before it moves into Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which it will open against Orlando City on July 30. United will share the stadium with NFL American football franchise the Atlanta Falcons.