This week's blog brings a new segment of team sports travel as I have been assigned to be in Atlanta for the weekend and transport Atlanta's first professional soccer team , the Atlanta United Football Club . Being it's a first for me I had no idea what to expect in this movement nor the size of the crowds that would be at Georgia Tech Football Stadium on Sunday but that soon would come into sharp focus! Upon arriving for pickup I noticed the players are from all over the world . Having been to Argentina a few times and knowing their official drink is called Matte , seeing one of the playing drinking this as he got on the bus I knew he was from Argentina. The team arranged a police escort from the pickup location in the northern suburbs in order for use to wind our way thru the maze of Atlanta traffic going to the game and just normal everyday Atlanta traffic and boy the police escort really does help out because no telling how long it would take for us to navigate to the game on our own. All NFL football and most college football teams provide a escort for us thankfully from the airport to team hotel on game day and return to the airport for departure.
As we arrived at Bobby Dodd Stadium I immediately saw a huge crowd of fans waiting to greet their new soccer team and the police escort and security formed a wedge of opening so I could get to the drop off point. The fans were definitely excited and pumped for the pre game activities. For baseball football and basketball you never see this kind of crowd size to greet a team. I did learn at the game attendance was listed at exceeding 55,000 fans. We as drivers usually have passes or are allowed into the games we drive to and being an Atlanta first I definitely wanted to see this inaugural game. Quickly I realized how in Europe crowds can get out of control because these fans were not your American football or baseball fans , they were fans within an edge and I'm sure the alcohol helps that. I did get to see the first goal in the history of the Atlanta United but it wasn't enough as they fell to defeat to the New York Inferno 2-1. A quite ride back to their hotel late Sunday and before I begin the 2 1/2 hour ride back home I took a quick ride by to see the new Atlanta Braves new stadium that is set to open in a month in North Atlanta . We do a lot of work with the Braves as well as many other Major League teams across the country.
It's a short layover after getting home at 4:00 am. Tuesday it's back to Raleigh to begin a week's worth of traveling with NC State baseball to Wilmington vs Wake Forest University to open up the 2017 ACC Conference schedule. A unique thing that stood out was going to Athens Georgia for an airport transfer of the school's Equestrian team. I was given a tour of their barns and facility and learned some new things about a this collegiate sport. Something you may not know is that the SEC Conference has 4 Equestrian teams that compete- University of Georgia , University of South Carolina , Texas A&M, and Auburn .
Our next blog will begin with a segment on the various off field sports personnel and their roles in helping to put the student athletes onto the athletic field. Until then Troopbus be rolling down the highway!
#atlantaunited #troopbus #Pack9 #NCStateBaseball #whatsnewatblue
My name is Steve Sulligan, I started my law enforcement career in 1979 retiring in