[MLS EXPANSION] Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, confirmed on Atlanta radio station 680 The Fan he will be buying an MLS expansion team to play in the new Atlanta downtown stadium.
"We are in the very final stages of doing our agreement," he said.
The date for the announcement of
the expansion team has been reported to be April 16 by Philly.com
and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some have questioned whether Atlanta
will support a team playing in a downtown stadium, but Blank said the fan support "will be incredible."
"An urban, downtown soccer stadium is going to a tremendous hit in Atlanta," he
said. "It is a different demographic than the NFL, a completely different demographic."
(He said there was only a 3 percent overlap in season-ticket holders between the Seattle Sounders
and NFL Seahawks.)
He said MLS was "a good business model, not the NFL, but nothing in professional sports throughout the world is the NFL."
Blank said an MLS club would be
tremendous gift for Atlanta for a variety of standpoints, and pointed out soccer's impact in the community and as a sport that promotes childhood fitness and health.