The Braves and Falcons couldn’t be on more different paths. Atlanta’s baseball club is coming off a World Series and has the best young core in the MLB locked up for most of the next decade. The Battery and Truist Park are consistently packed, even on weekdays. And it couldn’t be further from where the Falcons stand.
The city’s football team has been a laughing stock of the NFL since joining in 1965 and especially since their collapse in Super Bowl LI. Furthermore, Mercedes Benz Stadium is consistently filled with as many fans representing the opposing team as the hometown Falcons, and now, they’re catching strays from Alex Anthopoulos.
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on consistent winning:
"I remember seeing Mercedes Benz half empty midway through a season and Atlanta Falcons were playing in the Super Bowl two years earlier… it was eye opening to me" pic.twitter.com/Bdib3hufd8
— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) August 17, 2022
Much like the Braves did when Alex Anthopoulos was hired, the Falcons are rebuilding in hopes Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot are the right men for the job. Winning is a cure-all. AA is correct in his assessment of the average Atlanta sports fan.
They generally (not all) aren’t diehard, not fully supporting their favorite team during the dark times but come around when they’re good. Right now, we’re in the good ole days for the Braves. Even if they don’t win a championship this season, they’ll be competing for the rest of the decade. And Braves Country is making all of these lucrative contracts possible with their financial support — ticket, merchandise sales, etc. — as Liberty Media essentially prints money.
For the Falcons, they must be hemorrhaging money. The handful of games I’ve been to the past few years have been an excellent experience. Mercedes Benz Stadium and the Home Depot lot are awesome places to tailgate and watch a football game, but the stadium is consistently half-filled, sometimes with Falcons fans outnumbered by opposing fans. Arthur Blank insists on the outrageously expensive PSL tickets, but that’s only part of the problem. If the Falcons were winning, that stadium would be filled.
Alex Anthopoulos is exactly right about this sports town. The fans are absolutely incredible when there’s a consistent winning product; if not, it can be the opposite. The Falcons are currently going through dark times, and they probably aren’t going to end anytime soon. Hopefully, Blank got the most recent leadership hires correct, and they guide Atlanta’s football club back to relevancy.
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire