Committed to bringing the best possible soccer experience to the Mohawk Valley this winter, members of Utica City FC’s staff headed to Atlanta, Georgia, for the MLS All-Star Game this week.

Over 72,000 fans filled the stands at the brand-new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, watching as the MLS All-Stars squared off against the seven-time-defending Serie A (Italy) champions, Juventus. The game was a dazzling display of talent and excitement, providing endless entertainment at a world-class venue.

Though the game had fans on the edges of their seats, the Utica City FC staff used the opportunity to understand the ins and outs of fan engagement and experiences at the top-level of professional soccer in the United States. The goal of the trip was to bring some of these best practices home to Utica in order to create a fan-first atmosphere, provide must-have merchandise, and entertain fans at an unmatched level.

“To be able to experience the environment that the MLS All-Star game and the city of Atlanta created for the fans was terrific,” Utica City FC general manager Tommy Tanner said. “Utica City FC will look to bring many of those ideas to our games and create a fan experience that appeals to all types of soccer fans.”

The MLS All-Stars fell in penalty kicks to the Italian champions, but it was clear that everyone in attendance wouldn’t soon forget the moments that had been created.

“That’s the beauty of our game,” Tanner said. “Fans of all ages and backgrounds can understand the universal language of soccer, and that’s what we saw in Atlanta. We’re confident that will be the case in Utica as well.”

“The venue went above and beyond to make this a truly unforgettable outing,” Utica City FC broadcaster Richard Shaw said. “What we will be able to offer our fans in our facility will be nothing short of spectacular.”