MLS announcement expected this week

ATLANTA -- Major League Soccer and Falcons owner Arthur Blank are planning a "major announcement" Wednesday, on the future of MLS in Atlanta.

Monday evening, a source with knowledge of the situation told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander the announcement is related to a Major League Soccer team coming to Atlanta.

Blank has long coveted a top-level soccer team for the city, and negotiations with the MLS intensified after he reached a deal on building a new $1 billion retractable roof stadium next to the Georgia Dome. Site preparation is underway, and the new dome is expected to open in 2017.

Both the MLS and a top official from Blank's organization acknowledged last week that the two sides were close to a deal.

Wednesday's announcement will come in the middle of a "Celebration of Soccer," a three-hour festive event with soccer radio stations, food trucks and games. The news conference will be shown on a big screen at the corner of Baker and Marietta Streets. The flyer urges readers to share with "friends and family who are soccer fans."

Blank, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are scheduled to be at the news conference.


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