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Friday, September 13, 2013

Arthur Blank's quest to purchase a shiny, new MLS franchise for Atlanta continues

Atlanta's is inching closer to getting a shiny, deluxe Major League Soccer franchise.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank remains deep in talks over the possibility of landing one of MLS' four planned expansion teams. The league expects to create those teams - three of which Commissioner Don Garber says are "spoken for" already - between 2015 and 2020. According to Sports Illustrated, multiple sources have confirmed that advanced discussions are ongoing. The AJC reports:

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is in significant discussions with Major League Soccer about bringing an expansion franchise to the city, according to two people with knowledge of the situation but who wished to remain anonymous because the discussions aren't complete.

Blank has long expressed an interest in a team. The recent approval of the new Falcons' stadium accelerated the talks between Blank and the league. The construction of the stadium is scheduled to be finished in 2017 and the two parties have discussed opening the stadium with an MLS game.

If all goes according to plan, the new squad would play at the new Falcons stadium. Considering that $1 billion multi-use facility's plans are supposed to include space for an MLS office, you can bet Blank will fight for the right to host countless 90-minutes matches during which no goals are scored.

This would be the city's first top-tier soccer team since the legendary Atlanta Chiefs dissolved in 1981. Who will be the next Carl Strong? Only time will tell.

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