Report: Atlanta To Become Next MLS Expansion Club

Report: Atlanta To Become Next MLS Expansion Club

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 7, 2014
  • Atlanta Expansion, MLS Expansion

I always had a gut feeling this would end up happening. Many people assumed that when David Beckham had his announcement in Miami that they were being awarded the 22nd franchise in MLS. But they really were not. It was more of a gentleman’s agreement that if Miami gets a stadium in their downtown area, then they will be awarded an expansion club.

The story isn’t the same for Atlanta. is reporting that multiple sources are claiming that the Peace State capital is close to being awarded the next expansion bid by Don Garber and MLS.

An announcement could come as early as next week (though MLS has thrown some cold water on that).

The team will begin play in 2017, which has been the target date all along. The team will be run in association with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, whose owner, Arthur Blank, has been in negotiations with MLS for some time. Blank also founded the Home Depot chain, which is a major commercial sponsor of both MLS and the U.S. Soccer Federation.

We’ve touched on how the stadium will be for Atlanta. Retractable roof to keep the heat out, turf field (ew), closed off upper deck similar to BC Place, just to name a few. The stadium is being built with soccer in mind, so that is good.

  • TSN3

    I think MLS had to get Miami “out of the way” by “awarding” it to Beckham, as the $25M franchise fee agreed with Beckham was potentially dragging down the value future franchise fees. Also, to help get Beckham’s stadium plans/discussions moving. Buying out Chivas also might be along the same lines, as having a bottom end franchise up for sale doesn’t help increasing the future franchise fees. I think MLS did the right thing on both accounts.

    Re: Atlanta, all looks great, except the artificial turf field. I hope they can do something with that. Montreal played NYRBs on the weekend and 2 of the better players didn’t participate due to it being on turf (incl Henry). I think thats a big issue that Garber has to find solutions for (look at scheduling in March/April for snow cities)? Otherwise the league wont attract the best players.

    Also, hoping Blank can work out something with Silverbacks so they work together in Atlanta. Reserve team or something.