Atlanta moves one step closer to MLS expansion with new Falcons stadium

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There’s been plenty of noise surrounding Atlanta as a very possible position for MLS expansion in the near future.

That noise just got even more ammo as Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank revealed plans for a $1 billion stadium to replace the Georgia Dome, complete with soccer configurations.

The stadium is expected to be ready by 2017. The plot of land has already been fully purchased.

The pictures released by the team – computer generated images of what they are planning for – includes a 360-degree video board “halo” embedded in the roof of the dome, which is retractable in an oval shape.

An MLS expansion team is nothing new, with Sports Illustrated hammering home the point on numerous occasions that Atlanta is heavily in the mix, but the new developments are certainly a more concrete piece of evidence.

In addition, it’s been widely reported that Blank has been in negotiations with MLS commish Don Garber about expanding in Atlanta.

Finally, on the official website for the new stadium, it lists the World Cup as a potential marquee event that the stadium would be capable of hosting. Clearly that’s overshooting their capabilities a bit, but the point remains that soccer is clearly on the minds of those putting the stadium together.