Last December, former tech executive Trey Brantley and a group of Atlanta investors were talking about bringing professional soccer to the metro area… and no, not about the Atlanta United.
In February of this year, a press conference was held to reveal the plan to construct a brand new 200-acre sports complex. The sports complex will have a 15,000-seat stadium, 22 soccer, and football fields, seven baseball diamonds, and will be next to Stonecrest Mall in southeast Delkab County.
With this complex, there is now a chance to have 2 additional new professional soccer teams in the Atlanta area. This could be a professional men’s team and a professional women’s team.
Previously, Brantley and Southfund Partners pushed for the Vibe, a National Women’s Soccer League team. However, that project became less prioritized as they began focusing on the new sports complex project.
Brantley says that investors and privately placed bonds will fund the new and much-awaited sports complex project. He stated, “It will have zero tax dollars involved in it.”
Brantley also mentioned that the new facility and teams were not there to create competition or rivalry between them and the United. He believes that the new teams and facility will help promote soccer to more people in Atlanta, which will help the United on a bigger picture.
“We’re just going to help bring soccer to the forefront, which will help the United,” Brantley said.
In the past, professional soccer has struggled in Atlanta. In 2016, the North American Soccer league pulled the plug on the Atlanta Silverbacks during the season. A new ownership organization picked up the team, and they now play in the amateur National Premier Soccer League. The Atlanta Beat first came to the city in 2001 and played in the Women’s United Soccer Association but was dissolved in 2003. They then became part of the Women’s Professional League but the organization died in 2012.
Brantley concludes, “The Atlanta Beat was very well-supported, locally. All of their issues came from the league. So from that standpoint, I’m not worried about how a new team would be received. The men’s team will have a completely different model, and the facility will add a lot to it. So right now, we’re feeling pretty good.”