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MLS, Atlanta planning 'major announcement'

Published April 14, 2014 9:46 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Atlanta • Major League Soccer and Falcons owner Arthur Blank are planning a "major announcement" Wednesday on a proposed expansion team to play in Atlanta's new downtown stadium.

Blank has long coveted a top-level soccer team for the city, and negotiations with the MLS intensified after he reached a deal on building a new $1 billion retractable roof stadium next to the Georgia Dome. Site preparation has already started, and the facility is expected to open in 2017.

Both the MLS and a top official from Blank's organization acknowledged last week that the two sides were close to a deal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the new team would be announced Wednesday.

Blank, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are scheduled to attend the news conference.