Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground Insider: The Show Pitch
Thursday, October 12th, 2017
As part of our Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground Insider series, we’re taking a look behind the scenes at the place that keeps our teams ready for matchday. This week’s focus is on the Show Pitch, the perfect platform to put the future – and present – of our club on display.
The Show Pitch is designed to capture the entirety of a professional matchday experience, down to the smallest detail. The field is a FIFA regulation-sized, 115 feet by 75 feet, made with FieldTurf, the exact same turf used at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That surface makes it ideal for the first team as they fine-tune their final preparations for the upcoming match.
That stadium feel makes it suitable not just for the Atlanta United first team, but plenty more. Visiting teams are able to hold practice sessions at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground, and the University of South Florida men’s soccer team used it as a temporary training home for a few days during the hurricane that hit Florida earlier this summer.
It’s also a valuable training base for international teams, with the U.S. U-17 squad recently holding a training camp in Marietta as they prepared for their FIFA U-17 World Cup, and the senior Panamanian National Team also held training camps here during the Gold Cup this Summer. The access to world-class training facilities is a key requirement for World Cup host countries, and Atlanta United’s top notch resources will be a huge asset to the 2026 United Bid for the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The stadium feel extends to the stands, with a Five-Stripe themed seating area that can fit 2,500 fans – 500 in each stripe. Atlanta United fans filled those up earlier this summer when the U-16 Academy team hosted the USSDA quarterfinal match there on their road to a national championship – the first trophy in club history – earlier this summer. The field also includes a 300-square foot video scoreboard to complete the stadium atmosphere.
Finally, there’s the Show Pitch pavilion overlooking the field, a multi-use space with a patio view right behind the goal. This is where family and friends of the team can sit and watch training, or VIP’s, like when Darren Eales, Carlos Bocanegra and Tata Martino had a front row seat to spectate the academy teams during their USSDA match. This space is also used for corporate and community events, like the official launch of the club’s Special Olympics Unified team earlier this year.
Every piece of the $60 million training ground facility has been carefully planned to put every team through the club – from the U-12’s to the senior team – in the best position to succeed. The Show Pitch is an important piece to keep the players performing at their highest level and to put that performance on display.