MLS Shows Southern Hospitality with All-Access Experience : Atlanta United #MLS Tuesday 12 July, 2022

This post is all sponsored by MLS/Major League Soccer All-Access Experience Weekend. All opinions are my own.

I got the experience of a lifetime in my own city recently by attending my first professional soccer game with Atlanta United. You all know I am a local to the city, but I actually got an all-access media experience to celebrate with Major League Soccer & Atlanta United.

On behalf of Major League Soccer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, the official hotel of the League, adidas, Atlanta United, Austin FC and Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a weekend full of soccer celebrations, festivities, and true hospitality that I am thrilled to share with you all.

Atlanta United won the World Cup series in 2016, so this is a winning team and I got a up close and personal feel of the spirit of a soccer fan. I will be honest, prior to this experience I have only seen a soccer game only a handful of times, but this is what made this weekend spectacular. I got beyond a Game Day experience, I got hospitality & memories to match. Check out the MLS hosted weekend experience below!

KIMPTON SYLVAN HOTEL STAY

Ranked as one of the top 10 best hotels in Atlanta by The Atlantan, the property is an oasis tucked away in Atlanta’s Buckhead area. From playful and sophisticated design to award-winning restaurants and bars, Kimpton is known for creating immersive guest experiences that foster genuine human connections.

This was a two day experience in the city to get ready for the game. Although I am a local, I got to stay at this amazing boutique hotel to get myself comfortable for my first Game Day & behind the scenes of Mercedes-Benz stadium.

I love Kimpton hotels as I have stayed in Miami & Pittsburg ones in the past and adore them. They always go all out with the modern and contemporary decor. Rooms are always spacious and the hospitality is top notch. What is special about this hotel it’s goes beyond rooms! My bed and room was super comfy but the restaurant, bar and rooftop were impressive as well. So people can experience this hotel without having to stay here, I’m coming back for the other amenities too!

The Betty (Restaurant)


IHG One Rewards Diamond Elite
status with free breakfast benefit

The Willow (Outside Bar)

St.Julep (Rooftop Bar)

St. Julep is an elevated take on nightlife and an amazing rooftop experience in Buckhead.  Immediately you get a stunning panoramic Atlanta city views with both indoor/outdoor.

A beautiful crafted mezcal cocktail called the “Foreva Eva” in honor of the original Atliens “Outkast”.

I got to experience beautiful craft cocktails with some named in honor of the Atlanta City culture. On Fridays & Saturdays, they kick-off the weekend with a vibe & DJ set. I will be back soon I love a great rooftop (remember I am Rooftop Barbie).

Kimpton Sylvan Hotelpart of IHG Hotels & Resorts Luxury & Lifestyle collection

374 East Paces Ferry Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta


I want you all to take a great look at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium here in Atlanta. What if I told you all that I took a tour here that took me over the top…literally? We will get into that later…

We entered the stadium and was greeted by Atlanta United President Darren Eales.

According to Wikipedia, Darren Eales named the president of the new Atlanta MLS expansion club Atlanta United FC on September 10, 2014.

Darren is very down to Earth and was a great tour guide for us. He even ran down some facts about the stadium and Atlanta United accolades.

Fun ATL United & Stadium Facts:

• The club won its first MLS Cup in 2018 in front of a record crowd of 73,019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

• The club surpassed the one million mark for fans attending home matches in 2018, while also setting the record for a U.S. Open Cup match with 41,012 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

• Atlanta United and Eales were recognized with multiple awards in 2019. The club was named Sports Team of the Year at the Sports Business Awards, while Mercedes-Benz Stadium was named Best Facility.

• At the World Football Summit, Eales was named Executive of the Year and Mercedes-Benz Stadium won Best Venue. It was the first time a club had won multiple categories and the first time an MLS team had been recognized at the ceremony. 

• In MLS play, Atlanta owns each of the Top 12 most attended matches in league history, including each of the Top 10 for regular season matches. Today’s average attendance at the stadium, including playoff matches is over 55,000k fans per game! 

Locker Room & Surprises

So Darren Eales had to do the honors of giving us a tour of the official locker rooms to the Atlanta United athletes. This was a first for me, I have never been in a professional sports locker room before. There was a major surprise as we all were in awe of all of the jersey hung up. We all assumed these were all of the current players actual jerseys, but in reality…

MLS surprised all of us journalist with our own customized Atlanta United fan jerseys! I was in awe!

Initially, I saw “Kiwi” labeled on the jersey and exclaimed, “Is there a player who is Australian or has a nickname of Kiwi like me”? They quickly informed myself and the rest of the media outlets these were ours to keep! We were all excited with joy in that room! That’s not all, immediately after we really took it to the top – literally!

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Roof Views


Remember I shared earlier we were going to be over the top with Mercedes-Benz Stadium along this tour. That was truly literally stated as another one of our surprises were, we were going to actually go to the top of the stadium. Here was the catch – NO ELEVATORS, WE HAD TO CLIMB TO THE TOP!

That is right, all of us signed up to take a true journey to the top of this stadium. Another shocking moment, but most of us all agreed to trek up seventeen (17) high flights of stairs to stand on the top of Atlanta’s sports landmark.

A photo of myself halfway up. There was more to climb to get to the very top of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

I am from Stone Mountain, GA where the landmark is Stone Mountain and people climb that daily. I had no clue I was going to climb up to the top of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this day. This is not your average tour. We are amongst the few people who got this opportunity to climb up here. We signed a waiver form and everything, and it kind of gave us our own athletic agility testing to do this. I am going to be completely honest and say this climb is definitely NOT for everyone. If you are afraid of heights or have any health issues with your limbs, this would not be the experience for you.

Guess who made it to the top! What a journey to the top and I can say that with confidence! I am literally standing on top of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. How amazing is that?

This is a partial view of the city of downtown Atlanta from the top of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Myself and other journalist were greeted with champagne to cheers to our hard work to the top. I felt like this climb can be a metaphor to our lives. “If you can make it to the top of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, you can make it anywhere”. Ok Machu Pechu

Welcome Cocktail Reception & Dinner at The Willow

Special Guest: Darren Eales, President of Atlanta United

Pretty cocktail “Bed Full of Roses”

The cocktail hour before dinner was swanky. My kind of vibe as the Willow has an outside atmosphere that gives a little boho with city. We freshened up after our journey to the top of Mercedes-Benz to mix and mingle with each other and even chat it up again with Darren Eales. This man is so personable, he could try to run for Mayor of Atlanta next go round at this rate!

The Willow also has private indoor space for events where we were greeted for our official dinner hosted by MLS. Beautiful decor to help us celebrate our Game Day festivities the following day. A wonderful first day with Major League Soccer and experiencing Atlanta in a new way!

Pre-tailgate Lunch at The Betty

Special Guest: Atlanta Native/rapper/Atlanta United Fan B.O.B

This day was Game Day for Atlanta United vs Austin FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We had a lunch buffet catered inside of The Betty as we awaited our special guest which was B.O.B.

B.o.B is a well known Atlanta rapper and also a huge Atlanta United fan! We all know B.o.B from his smash hits “Nothin’ on You” (feat. Bruno Mars), “Airplanes” (feat. Hayley Williams of Paramore), “HeadBand” (feat. 2 Chainz), “Magic” (feat. Rivers Cuomo), “Strange Clouds” (feat. Lil Wayne), “We Still in this B****” (feat. T.I. and Juicy J) and plenty more!


B.o.B had a round table discussion with all of the outlets broken up into group and chatted with us about anything we asked him.

What is B.o.B Up To?

• He would of joined us for tailgating but he is currently getting his miles to join a Biker Club.

• Current Single is Out “Scenic Route” on all streaming platforms and video on YouTube here.
* He shared this video was filmed in Moreland Ave. in Atlanta to give the vibes he was in front of an actual Asian temple.

Better Than Drugs Tour begins in August to kick off and align with his upcoming album of the same name. Follow the tour here for tickets and dates.

• Curates a YouTube Vlog with #BOBTV in which you can subscribe to his channel here for more personal content.

Follow B.o.B on Instagram @bobatl

Tailgate / Pre-game Festivities

From the top of the Stadium to the ground for Game Day with MLS & Atlanta United!

It was time to put on our custom fan Atlanta United Jerseys and head back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for tailgating and the Game! The day before we were just standing at the top of this stadium so now I full took in what I did. Wow I can’t believe I was just up there, and at that moment getting ready pre-game and enter that stadium with over 50k+ fans! But first, tailgating!

Tailgate Time

Tailgating with Darren Eales (President of Atlanta United)

Once again we are hanging out with Darren Eales, this time in his Tailgating attire. We went from business to play in one day with him! The suit and tie was off and jerseys were on as Darren lead us journalist to various tailgating tents to have a few beers and spirits to liven our spirits before the official game started.

Listen, Darren knows how to have a good time because he ordered us a round of shots to toast to Atlanta United potential win for the night. Tailgating was great for us to all bond and get excited before we headed inside the stadium.

Game Time: Atlanta United vs Austin FC

The stadium before it was redesigned for Game Day. The night prior was a celebrity benefit concert, so they had 24 hours to turn it into a soccer field.

The final results from the 24 hour redesigning of the stadium to create the soccer field.

I wanted to show you the contrast between my tour the day before and Game Day soccer field layout, What a drastic difference, as two nights before the game there was a celebrity benefit concert! Mercedes -Benz stadium also host concerts and other large events outside of sport Games. It’s amazing to see how they can transform the stadium that quickly!

Walking on the Mercedes-Benz soccer field! My first time ever walking on any professional sports field!

The journalist & media for MLS All-Access Experience Weekend on the soccer field inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for ATL vs ATX Game.

MLS was full of surprises. We were able to walk into the stadium and go straight to the playing field! The members of the media were able to be the first inside the stadium before all of the fans and even got a glimpse of the Atlanta United athletes arrival onto the field! We were definitely all amplified up for this moment.

VIP Suite


After the walk on the soccer field, it was time to watch the game in VIP. MLS treated us to a beautiful luxury suite with catered all-inclusive food and beverages to enjoy the game in extreme comfort.

MLS had one last surprise for us during halftime, which was having Jermaine Durpri as a special guest to visit us in our suite for a moment.

the match against Austin FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday July 9, 2022. (Photo by Karl L. Moore/Atlanta United)

You cannot come to Atlanta officially until you hear his song “Welcome to Atlanta” play as it is our unofficial official Atlanta city anthem. Jermaine Dupri aka JD is an Atlanta native, who helped shaped the culture of Atlanta musically for three decades. Without JD influences, Atlanta wouldn’t be the culture powerhouse it is today as he produced songs and artist such as Mariah Carey, Kris Kross, Jagged Edge, Da Brat, Xscape, Bow Wow and more.

JD was also the ATL United special guest to do the honors of the Golden Spike hammering as a pre-game ritual for the team.

My first MLS/Atlanta United Game was one for the books.

It was Match Day and it was exciting to watch ATL vs ATX in person. I will be honest once more and confess I didn’t follow soccer as much prior to this weekend. Soccer is the universal Sport, but I always felt like America was behind on hyping it up. I didn’t think I could follow it like how I have been following basketball & football. Watching them play in person at the stadium changed my mind!

Atlanta United did loose this game 0-3, so I am sad to inform I didn’t attend a winning home game this night. I am local so hopefully eventually I will return with a different outcome. I was just grateful to be there and have this special game day experience in a way many didn’t get a chance to yet.

This weekend taught me MLS isn’t just a sport, it’s an experience!

I want to thank these corporations & brands for the sponsored weekend of events and accommodations!
Major League Soccer @MLS #MLS

Atlanta United @ATLUTD

IHG @ihghotels @ihgonerewards

Kimpton Sylvan @thesylvanhotel / The Betty @thebettyrestaurant

Mercedes-Benz Stadium @Mercedesbenzstadium

An experience of a lifetime with MLS/Atlanta United

What do you think about MLS All-Access Experience Weekend in Atlanta?

 

About the Blogger - Kiwi the Beauty


Kiwi is the free spirited blogger and content creator of KiwiTheBeauty.com. As a digital influencer, she produces creative inspiration around beauty, lifestyle, media and travel leisure. Her life mantra is to make manifesting fun! When she’s not blogging, she is eating trendy hipster food, carrying crystals, making it rain at her local farmer's market and binge brunching. Follow her on her blog and social media at kiwithebeauty.com + @kiwithebeauty


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