Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Atlanta introduced as 22nd franchise
by Paul Kennedy, April 16th, 2014 5:54PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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 Garbertargeted 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 presidentJim 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
'Past incidents' catch up with Hope Solo    
If 35-year-old Hope Solo, suspended for six months on Wednesday for her comments after the USA-Sweden ...
CCL: FC Dallas takes point in Nicaragua    
MLS Supporters' Shield leader FC Dallas escaped with a 2-1 win over Nicaragua's Real Esteli at ...
MLS Talking Points: Morris' finishing must get better    
In five games, the Seattle Sounders have made up nine of the 10-point deficit they had ...
MLS Week 25: Results & Standings    
Toronto FC moved into the lead in MLS's Eastern Conference when it won, 2-1, at Orlando ...
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"It's not my job to tell you about the Chicago Fire, I'll let the Chicago Fire ...
Video Pick TBT: Klinsmann's crowning Bundesliga moment    
With the Bundesliga's 2016-17 season kicking off this weekend, we throw it back to the 1987-88 ...
Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25    
Akron is No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25 ahead of defending champion ...
USL: OC Blues midfielder suspended for verbal abuse    
Orange County Blues FC midfielder Richard Chaplow has been suspended and fined by the USL for ...
Hope Solo handed six-month national team suspension    
U.S. Soccer suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the U.S. women's national team for six months for ...
What They're Saying: Jeff Plush    
"If we could launch with another Orlando-type situation, we would do that. Now, I already have ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives