The U.S. Soccer Federation is moving from Chicago to Atlanta, where it will build a new headquarters and its first National Training Center, which will be large enough to accommodate its 27 teams. Arthur Blank, owner of Atlanta United and the Falcons, has pledged $50 million toward the endeavor. That money also will be used to grow the game of soccer across the United States.
U.S. Soccer is negotiating with at least two sites in the metro area to host the center. The search is being led by U.S. Soccer CEO and Secretary General JT Batson. A decision is expected to be announced in January. Though no location has been confirmed, the most important prerequisites for the site include a lot of space, a couple hundred acres of land, and proximity to the airport. There is not yet a timetable on the groundbreaking or when construction is expected to be completed. The U.S., along with Mexico and Canada, will host the World Cup in 2026. Atlanta is scheduled to be one of the host cities for tournament matches.
The national center is expected to be a hub to improve playing, coaching and refereeing through advances in technology, analysis and infrastructure.
The U.S. Soccer Federation was founded in 1913. It moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Chicago in 1991. It opened a national training center in 2003 in Carson, California, for $130 million. It included a stadium now the home of the L.A. Galaxy, four grass fields and a turf field. A national development center opened in Kansas City in 2018. It is more than 50 acres, buildings consisting of 81,000 square feet, and five fields. It cost $75 million to build.