During a press conference this afternoon, plans were officially announced for Atlanta Sports City, a huge sports complex located in suburban DeKalb County beside The Mall of Stonecrest. The 200-acre complex will be right outside the city of Lithonia and be located about a half-hour or so east of Downtown Atlanta.
[The] giant sports complex featuring a 15,000-seat stadium, 22 soccer fields and seven baseball diamonds...will become the second-largest multi-sport facility in the southeast, behind only Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.
It will complement LakePoint Sports in Emerson, which focuses on baseball. It also joins the new SunTrust Park for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County and Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Atlanta Falcons in downtown Atlanta.
"Disney WWoS is 220 acres and we are 200 and we can grow" Vaughn Irons— Jarrett Smith (@Jarrett_Smith) February 22, 2017
The initial renderings of the project look fantastic, and it’s clear that the investors are serious about the amount of money ($200 million) they’re pouring into this project. While the complex itself extends well outside the realms of soccer, it’s a reason for fans of the sport to get excited as it significantly boosts the region’s chances of being awarded a NASL and NWSL franchise (certainly both) sooner rather than later.
Announcing two clubs— Jarrett Smith (@Jarrett_Smith) February 22, 2017
2018 men's team.
2019 women's team planned.
While Brantley didn’t announce either team’s affiliation, it’s fair to assume that he’s planning to push for NASL and NWSL expansion based on his remarks in the past. And with a project of this scale in progress, it’s going to be very hard for either league to overlook Atlanta when the next wave of expansion occurs, even though NASL (if it survives) has targeted four cities (for now) for 2018. If not, the next logical step would be USL.
The Atlanta Sports City website is live, which includes more information on the complex and what to expect. For sports fans, and especially local soccer fans, this is a big deal.