Atlanta Silverbacks set to play in 2015

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Photo courtesy NASL.

NASL December 3, 2014 – The North American Soccer League (NASL) announced Tuesday that it will operate the Atlanta Silverbacks next year while it looks to secure a local ownership group in the market.

“We have tremendous belief in the Atlanta market, and we know that we can have long-term success there,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “Silverbacks fans are among the most passionate in the league, and they deserve a committed ownership group that will run the team at a high level for years to come.”

Under league ownership, the club will still play its 2015 home games at Atlanta Silverbacks Park, where they have played since 2006. The Silverbacks have begun a coaching search for next year, and already have a front office in place. President & General Manager Andy Smith will continue in his role, as will Vice President & Assistant General Manager Evan Mitz.

“Atlanta is a city with a rich soccer history and a huge existing fan base. We will continue to build that fan base and form commercial and community partnerships that will ensure long-term success for the club,” Smith said. “We appreciate the support that we have received from our fans throughout this process. It made a big difference, and we want to thank them for the passion that they have for our club.”

The league will aggressively seek a long-term ownership group for the Silverbacks, and that search could include moving the team to Cobb or Gwinnett County. Although they will not be directly involved, previous team owners Boris Jerkunica and Henry Hardin will continue to be very important supporters of the club.

“The Greater Atlanta area is one of the biggest sports markets in the country, and the number of people involved in soccer is staggering.” Peterson said. “Our commitment to the global game and our emphasis on a competitive structure has resulted in unprecedented growth and momentum. We are confident today that the NASL will thrive in Atlanta for decades to come.”

The Silverbacks were one of two NASL teams that reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The club topped a pair of Major League Soccer (MLS) sides, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids, during their deep run in the tournament last year.

Silverbacks season ticket packages are on sale now, and the club is offering a special 20% discount to fans that pay a minimum season ticket deposit of $25 per seat by Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET. 2015 season ticket packages, which start as low as $168, can be purchased by calling the Silverbacks Ticket Office at 404-969-4900.