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Atlanta group moving forward with NWSL plans

Atlanta Silverbacks stadium could be the home of an NWSL team, according to a source.

Atlanta Silverbacks stadium could be the home of an NWSL team, according to a source.

Plans from a group of investors hoping to bring a National Women’s Soccer League expansion team to Atlanta are moving forward following positive online responses.

Trey Brantley, the spokesman for the group that includes Atlanta-based real estate investment company Southfund Partners, said over 1,000 respondents expressed interest in purchasing season tickets for a potential team.

“We know that we want to move forward,” Brantley said.

One thousand was the threshold which Brantley and his partners wanted to meet in the initial public questionnaire in order to take the next steps. The survey cited average prices as $178 for 11 games. Brantley said his group hopes to start play in 2016, but much of that is out of his hands, he admits. He would not comment on whether or not he has spoken to NWSL officials.

Henderson Field at Grady Stadium in midtown Atlanta was the original home proposed for the team, but a source with knowledge of the situation says that the proposed NWSL team would play at Silverbacks Park, home of the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks. Brantley could not comment on the venue.

Several markets have expressed interest in NWSL expansion franchises, including Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City. The NWSL has not commented on potential expansion. Currently the league has nine teams.

[LAULETTA: When, to where might the NWSL expand?]

Atlanta was twice home to the Atlanta Beat, in the Women’s United Soccer Association from 2001-03 and in Women’s Professional Soccer from 2009-11. This potential expansion team is operating under the working name, “Atlanta Vibe,” but enough opposition to that was shown that the potential investors opened up the name to a vote. Vibe and Atlanta United FC are clearly the two most popular names in the first few days of the vote, Brantley said.

But the colors which the team will wear are clear to Brantley & Co.: red and black.

“As one response put it: ‘The (Georgia Bull)dogs, the Falcons, the Hawks; What color do you think?’”

The next step is finalizing the business model, Brantley says.

“We’re excited about the prospects, we’re excited about Atlanta and we’re excited to move forward,” he said.


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