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Arthur Blank

Jim Burress / WABE

Friday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Courtesy of AMB Group

Once Mercedes-Benz Stadium is finished, the Georgia Dome will be torn down and will be replaced by a park. The 13-acre space will be for tailgating on game days and open to the public when the new stadium is not in use.

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Todd Kirkland / associated press

The stands are packed with red-and-black-clad fans who chant incessantly, accompanied by a steady drumbeat and swirling flags.

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"Atlanta!" they shout from one end of Bobby Dodd Stadium.


"United!" everyone else responds.


There's plenty to cheer about with an expansion team that has already displayed a dynamic style of play, scoring 11 goals in its first three games.


John Bazemore / Associated Press

Atlanta United F.C. kicks off its first season of Major League Soccer on Sunday at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, with a match against the New York Red Bulls.

In the past, Atlanta has had not one, but two, teams in America’s top soccer leagues. Both were called the Chiefs – the first Chiefs even won a title – but both fizzled out. So what makes us think the sport will take off this time around in Atlanta?

Closer Look: West Side Developments; HIV/AIDS; And More

Oct 18, 2016
Candace Wheeler / WABE

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

johnny kauffman / WABE

Construction on the Atlanta Falcons' stadium is now on schedule, and the team's owner, Arthur Blank, said revitalization of the area around the stadium continues.

Blank said Wednesday the team remains set on its goal to complete Mercedes-Benz Stadium by June 2017. That's a few months later than originally planned.

Along with the stadium, Blank said efforts to revitalize the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods surrounding the stadium are going well.

Atlanta United will also play at the Mercedes-Benz stadium with the Atlanta Falcons. It plans to install mechanical drapes on the the top half of the stadium -- so the capacity for soccer games will be about 30,000.
Illustration courtesy of Atlanta United FC

The city of Atlanta has won the bid to host the Super Bowl in 2019, after NFL owners voted Tuesday. Tampa, New Orleans, Miami and Los Angeles were also in the running to host the championship games from 2019 through 2021. 

“It’s a wonderful day for our city and franchise and I know the people of Atlanta and all of Georgia will deliver a spectacular Super Bowl celebration in 2019,” Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank said in a statement.

David Goldman / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons want to feed their fans for less. Today Arthur Blank announced that concessions pricing at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be priced below the average for NFL stadiums.

Two dollars for sodas and water, $3 for snacks like nachos and pizza, and a domestic beer will cost $5.

JC Bradbury, a sports management economist with Kennesaw State University, said the price change isn't just from the goodness of the Falcon management's hearts.

Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank Says He Has Cancer

Feb 9, 2016
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank wrote in a statement on the team’s website that he was diagnosed with “a treatable form of prostate cancer” in December.

He has visited experts and identified “the best treatment options," according to the statement.

This story is developing. 

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank speaks in front of a model of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium
Alison Guillory / WABE


The Atlanta Falcons' future home officially has a name: Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Team owner Arthur Blank and Mercedes-Benz U.S.A. CEO Steve Cannon confirmed the naming rights deal early Monday, after news of the agreement leaked late last week. Both said the deal would run for 27 years.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Gov. Nathan Deal were also in attendance for the announcement.

Atlanta United

DeKalb County's deal with Atlanta United FC to construct a $30 million soccer complex near the Kensington MARTA station represents yet another stadium building venture in metro Atlanta.

But while some Atlanta residents have grown wary of stadium deals and the sometimes destructive development that comes with them, Curbed Atlanta editor Michael Kahn says there is reason to be optimistic.

Arthur Blank Celebrates Soccer Complex Deal In DeKalb

Aug 6, 2015
The DeKalb County Commission voted in August to approve the agreement with Atlanta United FC, one that would have involved a $12 million investment by the county.
Atlanta United FC

It’s official. A major league soccer complex will soon be built in DeKalb County on Memorial Drive near Interstate 285. On Tuesday, the DeKalb County Commission approved a $30 million practice facility and headquarters for Atlanta United FC.

About 200 county employees, several county commissioners, team owner Arthur Blank and members of the public celebrated the announcement.

Jason Longshore was one of those who showed up in support. He serves as chief development officer for Soccer in the Streets, a soccer organization for disadvantaged youth.

DeKalb Commission Approves $30M Soccer Complex

Aug 4, 2015
A fan holds a scarf during a party at which Atlanta United FC was announced as the name of an MLS soccer expansion team, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Atlanta. The team is scheduled to begin to play in 2017 at the city's new retractable-roof stadium.
Branden Camp / AP Photo

Editor's note: This story has been updated at 12:33 p.m. 

The DeKalb County Commission voted 4-3 Tuesday morning in favor of leasing county land for a $30 million training complex for Atlanta’s future major league soccer team. The practice site for Atlanta United FC would be built behind the county's jail near Memorial Drive and I-285.

Under the deal, team owner Arthur Blank would build a small outdoor stadium, several practice fields and Atlanta United’s corporate headquarters.

Atlanta's New Soccer Team Could Be Symbol For Unity

Jul 10, 2015
A fan holds a scarf during a party at which Atlanta United FC was announced as the name of an MLS soccer expansion team, Tuesday, July 7, 2015, in Atlanta. The team is scheduled to begin to play in 2017 at the city's new retractable-roof stadium.
Branden Camp / AP Photo


Soccer fans still have to wait about a year and a half before they will be able to go to a match to see Atlanta's pro team at the new downtown stadium. But when owner 

Arthur Blank officially unveiled the team's new name – Atlanta United FC – and its new logo at a rowdy event Tuesday, and the crowd of 4,000 fans could not have been more excited!

When it comes to sports in Georgia, frenzy is usually associated with college football or NASCAR ... maybe the Falcons, the Hawks or the Braves.

But soccer?

Well all that is beginning to change.

Atlanta United FC

Atlanta United FC is ready for its close-up.

Officials with the 22nd franchise in Major League Soccer unveiled the team’s logo and colors on Tuesday.

“When we announced the club in 2014, I promised three things: to put a winning team on the field, to provide a great match day experience for our fans, and to entrench this club into the community. We’re on our way to fulfilling those promises, and I look forward to sharing the excitement of building this club with our incredible supporters,” team owner Arthur Blank said.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank looks on during a news conference introducing former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as the NFL football team's new head coach, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Flowery Branch, Ga.
John Bazemore / Associated Press

There's a chance the National Football League's grand finale could be played in Atlanta soon.  

Atlanta is among the four cities hoping to host a Super Bowl.

In addition to Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans and Tampa have placed bids for the 2019 and 2020 Super Bowls, according to a statement released by the NFL late Tuesday.

A final decision is expected during a team owners meeting in May 2016.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said numerous times in the past that he would love to have a Super Bowl in Atlanta.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank says the new Falcons stadium will now cost $1.5 billion dollars.
Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons' theme is "Rise Up."

That's also what's happening to the price-tag for the team's new stadium. Team owner Arthur Blank says the cost of the football field is now $1.5 billion.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports Blank made that claim during a Rotary Club event on Monday.

The original estimate for the stadium, which will have a retractable roof, was $950 million. Funding for the stadium comes from Blank, the Falcons, the National Football League and the city’s hotel-motel taxes.

Keith Srakocic / Associated Press

The Home Depot co-founder and owner of the Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta is set to speak in the University of Georgia Chapel.

The university says Arthur Blank is set to speak March 27 at 10:10 a.m. as part of a Terry College of Business speaker series. His portfolio also includes PGA TOUR Superstore, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch in Montana and AMB Group.

The Terry Leadership Speaker Series aims to bring well-known leaders to the university to discuss their leadership styles and experiences.

Prime 50-yard line seats at the Georgia Dome will go on sale for $45,000 on Monday.
TravelHyper /

Lifelong Falcons fan Terry Whitehead’s done the math, and she estimates her four season tickets will cost her over $94,000 at the new stadium.

“94? That’s out of our reach, and that’s out of our intelligence. Who does that?” said Whitehead.

Someone will, the Falcons hope. The new Personal Seat Licenses, or “PSLs,” mean you own your seat for 30 years. Right now the best spots, near the 50-yard line, are going for $45,000.

Brian Blanco / Associated Press

On Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced the team had fired head coach Mike Smith, who had been with the team for 7 seasons.  

Despite two straight losing campaigns, and a bad loss that eliminated the team from this year's playoffs, Smith was the most successful coach in Falcons history.  

So why did Blank decide to fire Smith now?  And what lies ahead for other members of the front office, like general manger Thomas Dimitroff?  

Falcons Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For New Stadium

May 19, 2014
Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons Monday night held a flashy groundbreaking ceremony for a new stadium to be completed in March 2017.

The ceremony took place about a hundred yards from the actual construction site and was a spectacle that included fireworks, pyrotechnics, hors d'oeuvres, an open bar, and a 3-D video tour of the new stadium projected onto a huge movie screen.

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It’s official.

In 2017 when the new downtown stadium opens, the Atlanta Falcons won’t be the only hometown team playing.

WABE’s Rose Scott reports major league soccer is expanding to the south and Atlanta is getting a team.

Everyone attending Wednesday’s announcement was in a party mood and cheered as MLS commissioner Don Garber made the announcement.

“On behalf of soccer fans across America, it is my pleasure to welcome the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia to major league soccer. Can’t wait 'til 2017!”

Arthur Blank (center) receives a high five from fans after announcing that a new MLS team will be coming to Atlanta.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced today that he will be the owner of a Major League Soccer expansion franchise team being awarded to Atlanta.  The new team, yet to be given a name and a logo, will play in the new Atlanta Falcons stadium beginning in 2017.

Blank made the announcement Wednesday afternoon flanked by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, and Georgia World Congress Center Authority executive director Frank Poe.  MLS streamed the announcement live (video below):

Arthur Blank
Steve Burns /

  It's one of the worst kept secrets in Atlanta sports.

There is a push to bring Major League Soccer into the capital of the Peach State.

In his State of the League address earlier this week, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Atlanta is one of the areas that could see an expansion team before the end of the decade.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On September 12, 2013, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is in "significant discussions" with Major League Soccer about possibly starting an expansion franchise in Atlanta.  

If that happens, it won't be the first time Atlanta has been home to a big-league soccer team.  What are the chances that a team would survive this time?  

WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with veteran AJC sports columnist Mark Bradley.

Falcons Owner Says Decision On Stadium Site Close

Aug 28, 2013
Arthur Blank
Steve Burns /

The owner of the Atlanta Falcons says a decision on a new stadium site is close.

Speaking at a panel discussion in downtown Atlanta, Arthur Blank said prep work is nearly done on both sites - the preferred location south of the Georgia Dome, and the backup option on the Dome's north side.

“We’re fairly close to coming to a conclusion. Obviously a lot of work was done on the south (site). The north (site) is pretty much caught up with that. Our aspiration is that in the next couple of weeks we’d be able to get that finalized.”

Georgia Tech

On Thursday, March 7, 2013, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced they have reached a deal for the financing of a new downtown stadium for the team.  

The Falcons will contribute $800 million of the estimated $1 billion cost; the City will add $200 million from its hotel/motel tax.

Charles Edwards / WABE News

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced today they’ve reached an agreement on some terms for the construction of a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.

There are still some details that haven’t been worked out.  Martha Dalton reports:

But one key term that has been worked out is the money. The stadium’s estimated cost is $1 billion — $800 million of which will be paid for by the Falcons and other private donors. The remaining $200 million will come from the city’s hotel/motel tax.