Falcons owner Arthur Blank, left, and Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber shake hands after the official announcement.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have made it official: Atlanta will be the home of a Major League Soccer franchise beginning in 2017. It will be the 22nd team in the MLS.

Blank said work on getting the team to Atlanta had been ongoing for more than a decade. “This is an exciting day for the city, state, region and for my family,” Blank said. “We think Atlanta is a natural fit for Major League Soccer and has a special fan base.”

Blank also said that fans would help choose the team’s name, logo and colors.

Garber said Atlanta has been on MLS’s radar for many years. “The youth market is one of the largest in the nation and will be a hot bed to drive our great national team,” Garber said.

The commissioner also the new stadium will be one of the best in the world and said new technology will be used to create a more intimate space for games. Garber also said season tickets will be on sale soon.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.