Citing metro Atlanta’s “tremendous passion” for the sport, a national soccer league has pinpointed the northern suburbs as the potential landing spot for a large stadium and entertainment district that would house pro-level women’s and men's soccer and more.

The City of Roswell entered into an agreement Monday with the United Soccer League to explore the possibility of developing what’s being called a “historic women’s soccer stadium-anchored entertainment district.”

Should the stadium deal come to fruition, it would make Roswell home to a USL Super League professional women’s team, and also a USL Championship professional men’s team, according to league officials. No stadium site has been identified yet.

The Roswell stadium would seat at least 10,000 fans. Per an agreement unanimously approved by the Roswell City Council at their Monday meeting, the USL would serve as the stadium’s anchor tenant and would have right of first refusal as the stadium’s operator and manager. 

For context, Gas South Arena in Duluth can seat about 13,000 people, and State Farm Arena about 17,000 for sporting events downtown.

City of Roswell in the context of north metro Atlanta. Google Maps

A letter of intent approved by the council grants the city and USL an exclusive nine-month negotiating period, expiring Dec. 31 this year, with an option to extend negotiations, if that’s needed. 

Finding a site for the entertainment district and multi-use stadium is now priority number one. (Any suggestions, dear readers?)  

Should an agreement be reached, according to USL officials, the stadium would house a professional women’s team competing in the Division One-sanctioned USL Super League and a USL Championship professional men’s team. 

Along with the metro’s indefatigable zeal for soccer, USL cited Roswell’s ambitious vision for the stadium project and “tradition of excellence in soccer” as reasons the move makes sense.

Justin Papadakis, a Roswell native and USL’s deputy CEO and chief real estate officer, said in Monday’s announcement the city “has all the ingredients to become home to the preeminent USL Club, multi-purpose stadium, and entertainment district—all driven by [USL’s] world-class professional women’s team.” 

Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson called the partnership, while still in nascent phases, “an unprecedented opportunity for our city,” adding that “[b]eing home to a new entertainment district, a multi-purpose stadium, and two professional soccer teams would be a huge economic driver and point of pride.” 

Roswell's Canton Street, a food, beverage, and shopping destination. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

In other news involving the Beautiful Game and real estate development, U.S. Soccer announced in December it’s uprooting its headquarters from Chicago to a site near Trilith, a growing southside mixed-use and filming hub, following a search that included nine sites scattered across metro Atlanta.

According to U.S. Soccer officials, the $200-million project will cover about 200 acres and create more than 400 jobs.  


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