Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Atlanta introduced as 22nd franchise
by Paul Kennedy, April 16th, 2014 5:54PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS EXPANSION] MLS introduced Atlanta as its latest expansion team, owned by Atlanta Falcons Arthur Blank, to begin play in 2017.

It is the third city -- all located in the Southeast -- MLS has announced plans to move into since Commissioner Don Garber targeted MLS's growth from 20 to 24 teams by 2020. Orlando City will begin play in 2015, while MLS's move into Miami is contingent on it securing a stadium.

Blank is the fourth NFL owner to purchase an MLS team after Robert Kraft (owner of the New England Revolution since MLS's first season), Stan Kroenke (owner of the Colorado Rapids) and Paul Allen (minority owner of the Seattle Sounders)



Garber called Blank, who purchased the Falcons in 2002, one of the most respected owners in pro sports.

"He had a focus on fans and keeping fans first," said Garber, "and a focus of being very committed to community service."

The new MLS club will play in a new downtown stadium that will cost $1.2 billion and be paid for by stadium bonds issued by the Atlanta Development Authority and repaid by the city of Atlanta through a portion of revenues it receives from a hotel tax.

The stadium, which will feature a retractable roof, is being built for the Falcons to replace the Georgia Dome and seat 71,000-plus fans. The seating capacity for the MLS club will be 29,322, and the stadium will be veiled to create a more intimate atmosphere. Blank said the upper levels of the stadium will be draped over and the stadium will be an open air stadium, depending on the weather.

"Never will there be an MLS game where there will be NFL lines," Blank assured fans.

Blank said his group has been working for more than 10 years. Falcons senior vice president Jim Smith was previously an executive with the Columbus Crew, where he was 2001 MLS Executive of the Year

Blank said the MLS team would have its unique fan base, different from the Falcons, and involve it in the selection of the team name, color scheme and logo.


4 comments
  1. ROBERT BOND
    commented on: April 17, 2014 at 10:01 a.m.
    OK-guess i'm in now since it's only 1&1/2 hrs.away.........

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: April 17, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.
    What about the pitch, natural grass or the synthetic one?

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: April 17, 2014 at 3:45 p.m.
    Nice! I like that they are paying for it through hotel tax as well. Seems fair. The option of having the stadium expand up to 71,000+ seats for future growth is nice, too. We needed that in Seattle. Great job, Blank! :)

  1. Andrea Hana
    commented on: April 17, 2014 at 6:25 p.m.
    "The newest version of FieldTurf will be installed..." from another Soccer America article: http://www.socceramerica.com/article/57517/mls-is-going-out-on-a-limb-with-atlanta.html


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer    
"Our newest soccer champions represent an opportunity for New York to recognize that heroes and role ...
ICYMI | MLS: The wait for Pirlo ends    
Is one of the greatest Italian players in history worth a reported $9 million over 18 ...
Average attendance down at Canada 2015    
While the total attendance of 1,353,506 for the 2015 Women's World Cup in Canada set a ...
TV Report: BeIN Sports draws 1.5 million viewers for Copa America final    
BeIN Sports averaged more than 1.5 million total viewers on its two networks for the Argentina-Chile ...
MLS Power Rankings: Sporting KC retains first place    
Sporting Kansas City kept the top spot in Soccer America's MLS  Power Rankings after sitting out ...
Scouting Report: USA opens against reshaped Catrachos    
The USA begins its Gold Cup title defense against a familiar foe, Honduras, in the second ...
2015 Gold Cup Schedule    
The 2015 Gold Cup opens with a Haiti-Panama and USA-Honduras doubleheader in Group A on Tuesday ...
TV Report: One World Sports to air weekly NASL game    
The NASL has entered into a multiyear agreement with One World Sports to air an NASL ...
What They're Saying: English FA    
"Our lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on ...
Video Pick: Brazilian sent off for jumping the gun    
Here's the kind of ejection you don't see very often: Santos midfielder Geuvanio got a yellow ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives