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
ICYMI | MLS: Dynamo breaks crowd record    
The Houston Dynamo set an attendance record at BBVA Compass Stadium, while Crew SC drew its ...
USA's Road to Russia begins in St. Louis    
The USA will open 2018 World Cup qualifying Nov. 13 against the winner of the series ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"I always thought if I was in that position I would kind of keep my cool ...
Drogba and Gilberto: A tale of two DPs    
Chicago didn't get its top choice but it did upgrade its attack by signing Gilberto, using ...
MLS Power Rankings: Big win pushes FCD into top spot    
There's a new leader in Soccer America's MLS Power Rankings after a big win by FC ...
Player Ratings: USA reaches new low in Klinsmann era    
Of the 16 matches the USA has played at competitive tournaments in the Jurgen Klinsmann era, ...
European draw for 2018 World Cup produces enticing groups    
A group with former World Cup champions Spain and Italy and another with Netherlands, France and ...
What They're Saying: Mauricio Pochettino    
"[MLS All-Stars coach] Pablo [Mastroeni] and I share something. Pablo is Argentine like me, same nationality.  ...
Tottenham manager loves challenge of playing in altitude    
For many of Tottenham's players, playing at altitude, even in the Mile-High City of Denver at ...
Three-time gold-medalist Boxx will retire after fall tour    
Shannon Boxx, who won three Olympic gold medals to go along with her Women's World Cup ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives