MLS expansion team in Atlanta would be successful, says NFL Falcons president

Georgia Dome

Photo Credit: 
Mexsport

Don't forget about Atlanta.

NYC2 and Orlando may be dominating the MLS expansion discussion lately, but a report in Friday's Atlanta Business Chronicle thrusts Atlanta into the conversation.

For 2017.

That's when the new retractable-roof stadium for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons is scheduled to open and according to the article, the Falcons will make sure it's built with soccer in mind — specifically, an MLS team and the World Cup.

“We believe that a world-class city like Atlanta needs a Major League Soccer team, and that Major League Soccer will be very successful here,” Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay told the publication. “At this point, we are open to various options, including our own ownership of a team or someone else owning a team."

The same report calls Atlanta the "largest television market in the country without an MLS team" and cites an MLS spokesman who characterized the league's expansion discussions with the Falcons and owner Arthur Blank as "ongoing."

“We believe Atlanta could be a very successful MLS market," said MLS VP of communications Dan Courtemanche. "Atlanta soccer fans have come out in very large numbers for international friendlies and Georgia has one of the fastest growing Hispanic markets in the country.”