It’s been the rumor for years and now it’s official: Atlanta will get a Major League Soccer team. MLS League commissioner Don Garber, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, mayor Kasim Reed and others officially announced that Atlanta will be the 22nd team in MLS.
The team, which has yet to be named will start playing in 2017 in the new $1.2 billion dollar stadium. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The team colors will be a combination of red, white and gold, similar to the original colors of the Falcons.
Blank agreed to pay an expansion fee of $70 million for the franchise. That fee is generally paid by the first game.
Blank, a self-proclaimed fan of the sport, first expressed interest in owning an MLS team in 2004. Those discussions began to heat up last year. After months of discussions, an agreement was finalized.
This is great news for Blank and for the city which will add more diversity to the cities growing Hispanic population. It seems the new stadium may be worth it after all:
The new stadium will be constructed to accommodate the sport. The upper deck can be closed off with curtains and the lower seats and be brought closer to the field to provide a more intimate feel for the smaller crowds that most MLS teams average. The team will play on artificial turf, but Blank said grass will be brought on for international games and, he hopes, eventually a World Cup. Garber said the Georgia Dome wasn’t considered ideal to host a franchise.
A World Cup? In Atlanta? Let’s tackle another Super Bowl–successfully first.
Your Jersey Girlfriend,