Friday May 24th, 2024 8:30AM

Atlanta United unveils massive expansion plans

By ATLUTD Communications

ATLANTA — Atlanta United on Thursday unveiled plans to expand and transform Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground. The project will be highlighted by a two-story, 20,000-square foot development that will include numerous additions and improvements for player health and well-being, a state-of-the-art content production studio and dedicated space for its Academy and front office associates.

The $23 million investment will commence this summer and push total investment in the Marietta campus in excess of $85 million, bolstering the reputation of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground as one of the most prestigious soccer facilities in North America. Connecting to the existing east wing of the facility, full project completion is expected by summer of 2025.

"When we launched Atlanta United, we set out to ensure the club had everything it needed to be successful, and part of that was to have a state-of-the-art training facility to serve as the club’s home," said United owner Arthur Blank. "At its opening, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground was instantly the gold standard of MLS training facilities and has been routinely emulated by expansion teams that have since joined the league. Our intention has always been to further develop the campus in Marietta and that time has arrived. This evolution of the Training Ground is a credit to all our soccer people and the broader organization that have been part of driving the growth and development of our soccer assets and our position in the global soccer universe."

The expansion will nearly double Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground’s footprint to 50,000-square feet, in addition to more than 500,000-square feet of playing surface, inclusive of six full-length fields and two warmup areas. It will also enable the club to dedicate more space in the existing structure to First Team player health and well-being, notably converting areas to aid in recovery, environmental adaptation and cognitive training. Enhancements will also be made to Truist Pavilion by renovating the second-floor flex space and by upgrading both first-floor locker rooms to meet professional standards. This will aid the club’s ability to host international clubs and federations for major soccer competitions arriving in Atlanta in the coming years with minimum disruption to the First Team’s day-to-day activities.   

"Considering the tremendous momentum behind MLS and soccer in Atlanta, and ahead of some of the world’s most prestigious international tournaments coming to the United States in the next few years, we have a generational opportunity to create a lasting impact on the sport of soccer in our region," Atlanta United President and CEO Garth Lagerwey said. "This investment will make Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground one of the premier soccer facilities in the world, boasting state-of-the-art amenities for our players and the flexibility to host several teams on campus at once. We consider this another significant step for Atlanta becoming the epicenter of soccer in North America."

Overall, the two-floor expansion will also make a significant impact in areas of youth development, content development and media distribution. Featuring nearly 4,000 square feet dedicated to ATL UTD 2 and the club’s five Academy teams, the new space will have a dedicated gym, locker room and office space for its six development teams and 20-plus staff members. Additionally, the Academy will receive a dedicated classroom, better equipping the club’s educational staff and its academic partner Atlanta International School for youth players pursuing high school diplomas.  

Lastly, the reimagined headquarters of Atlanta United will elevate the club’s capabilities in content development and media distribution, providing fans, media and corporate and league partners with more of the highest quality of content. With two new digital content studios, a new podcast and esports studio, as well as a press conference room with dedicated workspace for external media, fans can expect to receive more in-depth analysis of key moments, all-access exclusive content across all platforms, and live productions of matches from the facility.

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