ATLANTA – In recognition of Atlanta United’s success during its inaugural season and its fans support of the expansion club, Major League Soccer Monday announced that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the site of the 2018 MLS All-Star Game.
The annual game will feature the best in MLS hosting one of the top clubs in the world, broadcast live on ESPN and UniMás in the United States, TSN and TVA Sports in Canada and in more than 170 countries across the globe.
“We’re proud to bring our 2018 All-Star Game to Atlanta, a city and club that have taken Major League Soccer by storm,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Atlanta United’s success is one of the most compelling and impressive expansion team launches in the history of pro sports, and a testament to [owner] Arthur Blank’s vision and leadership, and the tremendous team that he has built both on and off the field. Atlanta and its supporters have earned the opportunity to host MLS All-Star week and showcase their passion for the beautiful game.”
With more than 36,000 season tickets sold in their inaugural season, Atlanta United has already broken MLS attendance records, averaging an unprecedented 48,200 fans during the regular season, as well as setting a league game attendance record of 71,874 against Toronto FC Sunday.
“We are honored to host the 2018 MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” Blank said in a press release. “Along with events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoff National Championship and NCAA Final Four, being selected to host the MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta again delivers on our promise to bring the biggest events in sports to Atlanta. The Atlanta United supporters and fans of the game from across Atlanta are incredibly dynamic and passionate; they will certainly play a huge role in making this a memorable MLS All-Star Game for the league and a special showcase for our great city and stadium.”
The MLS all-star team will be directed by Atlanta United head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino. As a former manager of FC Barcelona and the Argentinean National Team, Martino is no stranger to managing and facing world-class talent.
HISTORY OF MLS ALL-STAR GAMES
1996: East 3, West 2 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1997: East 5, West 4 (E. Rutherford, N.J.)
1998: MLS USA 6, MLS World 1 (Orlando, Fla.)
1999: West 6, East 4 (San Diego, Calif.)
2000: East 9, West 4 (Columbus, Ohio)
2001: East 6, West 6 (San Jose, Calif.)
2002: MLS 3, U.S. National Team 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2003: MLS 3, CD Guadalajara 1 (Carson, Calif.)
2004: East 3, West 2 (Washington, D.C.)
2005: MLS 4, Fulham FC 1 (Columbus, Ohio)
2006: MLS 1, Chelsea FC 0 (Bridgeview, Ill.)
2007: MLS 2, Celtic FC 0 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2008: MLS 3, West Ham United FC 2 (Toronto, Ont., Canada)
2009: MLS 1, Everton FC 1 (Everton 4-3 pen) (Sandy, Utah)
2010: Manchester United FC 5, MLS 2 (Houston, Texas)
2011: Manchester United FC 4, MLS 0 (Harrison, N.J.)
2012: MLS 3, Chelsea FC 2 (Chester, Pa.)
2013: AS Roma 3, MLS 1 (Kansas City, Kan.)
2014: MLS 2, Bayern Munich 1 (Portland, Ore.)
2015: MLS 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Commerce City, Colo.)
2016: Arsenal 2, MLS 1 (San Jose, Calif.)
2017: MLS 1, Real Madrid 1 (Real Madrid 2-4 pen) (Chicago, Ill.)