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8 Days until Atlanta United play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium

We’ve hit single digits!

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy weekend, DSSers! Well, happy if you’re not a U.S. men’s national team fan, that is... But, I digress...

We’re not just 8 (EIGHT) days away from witnessing Atlanta United play their first match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. As you’ve probably heard by now, September 10 against FC Dallas will be the historic day in front of a sold out (by soccer standards) crowd.

I want to take today to focus in on the man who made this all possible, Mr. Atlanta himself, Arthur Blank. “Uncle Arthur” a nickname of pure endearment has been earned due to his decades of philanthropic work in the city of Atlanta. You’d think building a $1.6 Billion stadium for two of the city’s sports franchises and numerous other uses would be enough of a gesture to fill a lifetime of goodwill. The AMB Family Foundation is making sure that the new stadium is used to give back to the community.

In conjunction with Westside Works and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Blank’s Foundation has instituted the Westside Guest Services Program. This program is designed to offer stadium jobs to local residents. Formal training is provided to Westside residents for them to be ready and able to compete to be hired as part of the stadium’s event staff. The goal of the program is to get 150 residents hired.

The legend of Arthur Blank’s contributions to Atlanta continue to grow. If you want to learn more about the man behind it all, NBC will air a documentary on him today at 2:00 p.m. ET.

It’s a safe bet that the show will be Atlanta Falcons and MBS heavy, but there should be some mentions of Atlanta United in there as well if you’re into that sort of thing. Nevertheless, we’re so lucky to have Uncle Arthur behind this amazing project and behind this city. Hopefully he’s honored somehow inside the stadium when the real games start on September 10.