ATLANTA - Thousands of people packed downtown Atlanta on Monday to celebrate Atlanta United's championship win.
An open-top bus parade traveled down Baker Street, Marietta Street, and Andrew Young International Boulevard and ended with a pep rally at the Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
All of the Atlanta United players and coaches, team owner Arthur Blank, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and governor Nathan Deal were in attendance.
The last time Atlanta celebrated a major sports championship was the Braves in 1995.
From a proud mayor to the littlest of fans, this was a day of celebration.
"Soccer is the No. 1 sport in the world and Atlanta is a melting pot city," one fan told Channel 2's Carol Sbarge along the parade route.
Bottoms told the crowd that at first, she hadn't known much about soccer, but now Atlanta United has quickly become one of her favorites for how the team has unified the city.
"There's so many people just so excited (about) the energy of this team and happy to be a part of it, and to have a championship in just a couple of short years is incredible and I know there are many more to come," she said.
Did you miss the parade? You can relive the entire celebration on our Facebook page here.
12:45 p.m. Arthur Blank tells Channel 2 the team has set an example for the future. During his speech, he told fans, "We'll be back with many more."
"It’s one of the great stories. This kind of success is available to other cities." @ATLUTD owner Arthur Blank on the example his team has built for the future.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 10, 2018
LIVE UPDATES: https://t.co/atZ5e7QuVd pic.twitter.com/5mza46w9jj
12:35 p.m. Fans are still braving the cold and rain to celebrate as the rally begins to wind down.
12:26 p.m.: Coach Tata Martino hits the Golden Spike one final time.
12:21 p.m.: “It feels damn good to be champion. This cup is ours. And this cup is yours,” said Captain Michael Parkhurst.
12:16 p.m.: Fans chanted "One more year! One more year!" as coach Tata Martino speaks to the crowd.
12:10 p.m.: Arthur Blank on Atlanta coach Tata Martino, "To his credit when he decided to join us, it was a vision. He saw the vision, bought into the vision and executed the vision."
"To his credit when he decided to join us, it was a vision. He saw the vision, bought into the vision and executed the vision." Arthur Blank on @ATLUTD coach Tata Martino.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) December 10, 2018
WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/ouKfJ5PQyZ #UniteAndConquer pic.twitter.com/oblejXXR5Q
12:07 p.m.: Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that soccer is everything and then thanked Arthur Blank.
"Soccer is everything."- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. She's thanking Arthur Blank and the team for a great season. We're live on Channel 2! https://t.co/wJshyKllHd— Linda Stouffer (@LindaWSB) December 10, 2018
12:05 p.m.: Gov. Nathan Deal said that "We're united and we conquered."
"We united, and we conquered." -Gov. Nathan Deal https://t.co/ynuQnvcWsO— Linda Stouffer (@LindaWSB) December 10, 2018
11:43 a.m.: Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan captured the moment the Atlanta United team passed by him.
11:29 a.m.: This picture captures Channel 2's photographer Scott Mottern in the middle of the parade.
My photographer @SwagOn2 (Scott Mottern) got that parade SWAG ON today. He was right in the middle of the action so that viewers feel like they were out here having the great time we had. pic.twitter.com/EJmDUVERIO— Tyisha Fernandes (@TyishaWSB) December 10, 2018
11:06 a.m.: Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank got a loud cheer as he drove by the crowds.
Uncle Arthur just got loud cheers!@wsbtv pic.twitter.com/nwBB3tqbdk— Carol Sbarge (@carolsbargeWSB) December 10, 2018
11:02 a.m.: A young boy holds the newspaper front page of "Champs" after Atlanta United won the MLS championship.
10:35 a.m.: Channel 2's Dave Huddleston is at the Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where fans are getting pumped for the pep rally.
10:33 a.m.: Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan spoke to a fan at the parade who said the “the weather is beautiful today!”
10:13 a.m.: People are lining up to buy merchandise during the parade.
10 a.m.: Channel 2's Carol Sbarge spoke to young soccer fans who said they loved the sport because they "get to run around a lot and make new friends."
9:50 a.m.: Atlanta Police are here with fans to make sure the excitement doesn’t get too out of hand during celebration parade.
9:48 a.m.: Fans are bundled up and listening to music ahead of the pep rally at the Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
9 a.m.: Fans are beginning to pack in Home Depot Backyard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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