While all the talk this week had been about David Beckham and Miami’s potential expansion club (remember, they gotta get that stadium!), their possible rivals to the north are making some progress as well.
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay said on Thursday that attempts to ‘woo Major League Soccer to the city’ are moving right along.
“We’re far along in negotiations with them,” McKay, speaking to chamber members at their annual meeting, said of talks with MLS leaders. “It’s our objective to get an MLS franchise if we can make it happen. We think it would be, not just great for Atlanta and the region, but really it’s the right thing to do for the southeast.”
The Falcons still plan to use their new NFL stadium to host MLS games should they be awarded a MLS franchise. The new $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium that will break ground just south of the Georgia Dome sometime in the spring. They plan on having a similar configuration for soccer like the Vancouver Whitecaps have at BC Place.
I would imagine as the shovels hit the ground in Atlanta, the talks between the league and the Falcons will really pick up steam. With Miami likely slated to join in 2017, I would venture to guess that with this stadium finishing up in 2017, a new MLS team would begin the following year in 2018.