Charlotte FC kicked off its inaugural Major League Soccer season in style, setting a league record for attendance in their home opener. The team, which is owned by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and plays its home matches at Bank of America Stadium, had 74,479 as its official attendance against the L.A. Galaxy over the weekend, which bested the regular season attendance record by nearly 2,000 and the all-time record by more than 1,000 fans.

“This was the best game I’ve been a part of my entire life,” says Charlotte FC defender and city native Jaylin Lindsay. “Before walking off the pitch I sat right in the middle of the pitch just trying to soak it all in… I’m so proud of myself and the team and how we played.”

Previously, the all-time league record for attendance was 73,019, set in Atlanta when Portland visited for an MLS Cup match in 2018. The regular season record was also set in Atlanta, where 72,548 turned up for an August 2019 contest against the LA Galaxy. In fact, each of the Top 5 highest attendance games in league history besides Charlotte’s opener took place in Atlanta, but their neighbors one state to the north are looking to challenge that fan supremacy.

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Interest in the Charlotte franchise was high from the get-go, as the organization reported that it had received reservations for more than 22,000 seats in its first months of operations, which came more than two years before the team would take to the pitch – though at the time, plans had been for the club to debut in the 2021 season, which were pushed back due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fan reaction to ownership’s choice to be the first MLS franchise to charge for personal seat licenses has been met with fan pushback, but at least for now, the supporters showed up in a big way for the team’s debut.

Charlotte, which is 0-2 on the season thus far, plays its next home game on March 19.

Largest standalone match attendances in MLS history

74,479 – Charlotte vs. LA – March 5, 2022 – Regular season
73,019 – Atlanta vs. Portland – Dec. 8, 2018 – MLS Cup 2018
72,548 – Atlanta vs. LA – Aug. 3, 2019 – Regular season
72,243 – Atlanta vs. Seattle – July 15, 2018 – Regular season
72,035 – Atlanta vs. D.C. – March 11, 2018 – Regular season

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