Can Atlanta help an MLS franchise? That is the query that Arthur Clean has requested Dick Sullivan, a former Dwelling Depot government who beforehand had been the Falcons’ Govt Vice President of Advertising.Mr. Sullivan is on depart from that submit to assist Mr. Clean with a few of his different particular initiatives. One such challenge is a due diligence effort to find what it’s going to take to convey the MLS to Atlanta.Atlanta, on the floor, would appear to be a logical marketplace for enlargement. Town is house to skilled groups in American soccer, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Atlanta is house to tens of 1000’s of soccer gamers of all ages scattered throughout the Metro space taking part in in scores of youth and beginner leagues – making for a big and profitable soccer literate inhabitants. Not too point out, at the least anecdotally, soccer dad and mom have cash. So will Atlanta have the ability to capitalize on the largest development sport within the nation?Let’s first take a look on the Silverbacks, Atlanta’s skilled USL staff. The Backs are comparatively effectively supported by the native Atlanta soccer scene. They’ve a slowly evolving soccer particular stadium at REMAX Better Atlanta Stadium. By the point the fourth section of development is full, the stadium can have 15,000 seats. About 10,000 shy of MLS’s goal, however nonetheless not a nasty venue in any respect. However except MLS and USL undertake a promotion / relegation system, regardless of what the US Open Cup teaches us, the USL will at all times play second fiddle.
The true problem in my opinion: the Atlanta sports activities fan.Atlanta sports activities followers are a notoriously fickle bunch.Whether or not it is the Falcons, the Braves, or the Hawks; except they’re successful, Atlanta’s sports activities followers simply do not appear to point out up. The hassle is just too nice – the trouble outweighs the profit.In protection of Atlanta sports activities followers, a part of the problem is the truth that the “city” is definitely a metro space unfold over 28 counties. Arthur Clean is aware of that taking the time to search out the correct stadium location; a location that can present sufficient comfort to make the journey worthwhile, is paramount to success.Put a membership in Gwinnett, and also you most likely lose Cobb. Put it in Cobb and you almost certainly lose Gwinnett. Put it in both and also you most likely lose all the Southside. And the tradeoffs proceed with nearly each state of affairs.So precisely what’s the right combination? Can Atlanta help an MLS franchise? I believe the reply just isn’t as simple because it appears.I’ve a loopy thought. I do know it is loopy and that I most likely lose credibility based mostly on my delusion; however…Atlanta wants two groups. Sure, I stated two groups. I informed you it was loopy, however hear me out.I see no motive why a metro space that is roughly the dimensions (in inhabitants) of Denmark, cannot help a couple of skilled soccer membership. Two groups wouldn’t dilute Atlanta’s soccer inhabitants and in reality, my speculation is that two groups would really strengthen fan dedication to their respective staff! I’ve a principle that one of many two keys to true spectator success for soccer in America, is extra groups in nearer proximity (the opposite is promotion and relegation…however that is a topic for an additional beer).Stadiums, true Soccer Particular Stadiums (SSSs), are supposed to be intimate. Atlanta is not going to be supporting a Wembley or Stamford Bridge anytime quickly, however a few Craven Cottages are completely inside motive! And with out the good thing about a storied historical past, fan/participant intimacy is a vital ingredient for fostering the form of fan help and power you discover in soccer everywhere in the world.Two golf equipment in stadiums central to Northside vs. Southside or Eastside vs. Westside inhabitants facilities may simply see Atlanta taking part in host to the primary true derby sequence in American soccer. I do know Texas claims a derby between F.C. Dallas and Houston Dynamo – however come on, New York Metropolis and Washington D.C. are nearer than these two Texas giants.My thought is auspicious certain. However not fully past actuality. London helps 13 soccer golf equipment; 5 of that are within the Premiership! Most true followers I do know, the blokes who awoke at 2:00AM to observe the Nationwide Workforce in Korea, would like to equipment up with scarves and paint, and head out to help THEIR staff – a staff with some native expertise – with some house grown gamers who bought picked up via THEIR native membership methods, a staff with gamers they may see on the weekend at a film or at a restaurant someplace. Atlanta’s sports activities followers – certainly most American sports activities followers, merely have not had entry to the sort of state of affairs.
Many Individuals on the perimeter, whose publicity to soccer is the occasional European Championship or World Cup match, simply do not perceive the environment – the dedication – the songs – the scarves – the standing – the unity – the truth that 100 thousand individuals are at a match, to observe the match, with minimal distractions.What many Individuals might not understand is that this identical drama takes place each Saturday and Sunday in membership leagues throughout Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia.Atlanta is lacking this, and Atlantans are lacking out on this. Now could be the time to create this environment in Atlanta. To destroy our collective apathy as sports activities followers…to create true golf equipment with the form of environment surrounding them that builds a deep fan base behind a real native staff. Your staff.Get your scarves prepared!