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Friday, June 20, 2008

MLS Expansion - NFL's Atlanta Falcons owner still interested in MLS side

Although Atlanta is seldom mentioned as one of the front-runners for a MLS side, Arthur Blank, the owner of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, is still very interested in bringing a team to the city. It would also seem that the league is just as interested, calling Atlanta 'a "tremendous" potential market that would expand the league's footprint into the Southeast.'

But just like so many other expansion cities, before Blank can see another professional team into Atlanta, he needs to come up with a stadium plan. His group has looked at 'about six' metro-Atlanta counties as possible home sites, however they have not narrowed it down. Another possible way of reading this is that no city has stepped up to offer the group a good public-private funding plan for a stadium.

As far as what the group would like to see in a complex, they would like "an 80-acre to 100-acre site could contain an MLS stadium, parking lots and soccer fields for local leagues and regional tournaments." This description points to a suburban stadium instead of something closer to downtown. They also imagine that the earliest such a complex could open in 2012.

So what does MLS think of Atlanta? They like it:

"We believe Atlanta can be a tremendous market for a Major League Soccer team," said Dan Courtemanche, the league's senior vice president of marketing and communications. "First and foremost, it's a very diverse market ... and clearly a strong market for soccer participation. ... And Arthur Blank's group is a tremendous group, no question there. We think they would be a perfect group to expand the MLS presence south of Washington, D.C."

Having a team in the Deep South is something that needs to happen and Atlanta is the obvious choice. However, any team playing there will need to do something about the heat, both during the games and during practice (look how hard Dallas gets hit every August for more on this).

One other interesting point, when talking about other possible expansion cities, Courtemanche names the regular crew however he places a little disclaimer in front of Miami, saying that the city is interested "to a lesser degree" then others. I guess they still cannot find a good ownership group for the area.

So where to place Atlanta is the list of possible expansion city? I would say that at this point, they are below the likes of St. Louis, Vancouver, Portland and New York, on par with Montreal and above Las Vegas, Ottawa, San Diego and Miami.

Labels: Arthur Blank, Atlanta, Miami, MLS, MLS expansion, NFL, Stadium

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With the growing latino community in atlanta soccer could work.Could blank build our new stadium early for soccer then move the falcons there later?Gwinnett is hot with the civic center and the new buford braves stadium.Put it near 85.Or find where the new marta train route is going to gwinnett and camp there.

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I'd prefer that Blank work on making the Falcons successful before working on another pro effort. Same way I'm tired of hearing about the new stadium...I don't want a new stadium...I want a good football team. A good team with some shot at the playoffs would make my 'game day experience' better.

Maybe Rich McKay could run the MLS team however...then he wouldn't have influence on the Falcons. ;)

Looking forward to some good young talent and an improvement in 2008. Go Falcons!

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Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

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gritsnsausage (6/24/2008)
Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

Blank owns the falcons he doesnt really run them.Mckay and dimitroff do that.So youre right there.
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gritsnsausage (6/24/2008)
Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

Even back in the day, Atlanta HAD a pro soccer team....remember THE CHIEFS?

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theyhateme (6/24/2008)
gritsnsausage (6/24/2008)
Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

Even back in the day, Atlanta HAD a pro soccer team....remember THE CHIEFS?

Wow,I havent heard or thought about the chiefs in a long time.Didnt they play at dekalb stadium?

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SCFalcon58 (6/24/2008)
I'd prefer that Blank work on making the Falcons successful before working on another pro effort. Same way I'm tired of hearing about the new stadium...I don't want a new stadium...I want a good football team. A good team with some shot at the playoffs would make my 'game day experience' better.

Maybe Rich McKay could run the MLS team however...then he wouldn't have influence on the Falcons. ;)

Looking forward to some good young talent and an improvement in 2008. Go Falcons!

is he putting too much time and effort in the atl. force causing the foulcons to be so bad 

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bigduke633 (6/24/2008)
theyhateme (6/24/2008)
gritsnsausage (6/24/2008)
Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

Even back in the day, Atlanta HAD a pro soccer team....remember THE CHIEFS?

Wow,I havent heard or thought about the chiefs in a long time.Didnt they play at dekalb stadium?

I thought they played at Atlanta/Fulton Co., but you could be right...

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skn (6/24/2008)
They say it would take at least 20 mill.  Blank should use the money for the Falcons, and let somebody else deal with the MLS.  Plus they would have to build a new stadium.

Why couldnt they use the dome?I doubt blank would buy a soccer team.

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Theyhateme, WOW. It's been a LOOOONG time since I've thought about the Chiefs.

The Chiefs were here in a time when we (Atlantans) were still southern... We're significantly

more "worldly" now; heavy middle eastern and hispanic populations that *should* attend

and support soccer.

I do miss the Flames though!!!! They could PLAY!!!

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gritsnsausage (6/25/2008)
Theyhateme, WOW. It's been a LOOOONG time since I've thought about the Chiefs.

The Chiefs were here in a time when we (Atlantans) were still southern... We're significantly

more "worldly" now; heavy middle eastern and hispanic populations that *should* attend

and support soccer.

I do miss the Flames though!!!! They could PLAY!!!

Nobody is willing to call you out on your good ole days talk.Your overalls must scare them!

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That's not a pic of me... Very tongue in cheek!

Me; born in Tuscaloosa AL in 1961; we moved to Decatur that same

year, then Doraville, then Tucker, and finally moved to Lilburn during

the white-flight years (anyone know what that was?)... While I'm

not a "born" native, I consider myself a native... I dont remember those

first 6 months in Alabamayonder.

Remember the Chiefs a little, but wasnt (and still not) a Soccer fan.

Love the Braves; actually was in attendance on what was at the time

the LOWEST attendance for any MLB game in history, Braves vs. Astros,

I think it was 1978, Phil was pitching... For that matter, I used to babysit

his kids and later was a lifeguard at their pool...

Loved the Flames, but being southern it is and was really a northern sport...

We could always walk in, walk down to row one, and witness the blood up

close...

Falcons fan until I die. Win or lose, I love them. Had season tickets in the

old stadium, that transferred to Row 1 in the new one. Had them for another

10 years... Just too much time involved now to have season tickets...

I miss the old Dekalb and Gwinnett counties. They're long since gone. A few

years ago I moved to the central part of the state and live on a large (and very

quiet) lake... I miss the action and activity (particularly the restaurants), but

I do not miss the traffic and frankly the non-native idiots that are now running

the joint.

-The Dawg

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theyhateme (6/24/2008)
bigduke633 (6/24/2008)
theyhateme (6/24/2008)
gritsnsausage (6/24/2008)
Could be a real money maker. Not a traditional "southern" sport, but then Atlanta ain't

a traditional souther city any longer. Long since past that. It's very... cosmopolitan

(which I obviously AIN'T), and has a large and growing middle eastern and hispanic

population (its why I no longer live there). Good luck Arthur.

As far as Arthur's focus, he's not in the day to day details of football, and wont be for

soccer either. He assembles the team and lets them get s--t done.

JMHO

Even back in the day, Atlanta HAD a pro soccer team....remember THE CHIEFS?

Wow,I havent heard or thought about the chiefs in a long time.Didnt they play at dekalb stadium?

I thought they played at Atlanta/Fulton Co., but you could be right...

 

They play at Atlanta/Fulton county and also in the Omni as a indoor league. The only reason I remeber we got to play during half time, like the kids at the Thashers games.

I have to say it is time for Atlanta to have a MLS team. The south in general needs one and Atlanta would be a great place for it. I also think Arthur needs to stick with the falcons and let some else deal with that headache. 

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Sun Tzu 7 (6/25/2008)
Didn't Atlanta already have a soccer team?

The Atlanta Silverbacks?  Or was that part of the now dead women's pro soccer league?

 

The Silverbacks are a USL-1 team.  The same leauge that the Seattle Sounders play in.. They are the next city for a MLS team.

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