Stadium and sports complex to be built in Stonecrest

A 15,000-seat stadium will be built as part of the Atlanta Sports City complex in Stonecrest.

A 15,000-seat stadium will be built as part of the Atlanta Sports City complex in Stonecrest.

A giant sports complex featuring a 15,000-seat stadium, 22 soccer and football fields and seven baseball diamonds will be built next to Stonecrest Mall in southeast DeKalb County.

Developers announced  Atlanta Sports City on Wednesday, which will be located on a nearly 200-acre site they hope will attract regional youth tournaments, professional teams and tourists to the area.

The $200 million sports center is located along I-20 and will become the second-largest multi-sport facility of its kind in the southeast, behind only the 220-acre Disney ESPN Wide World of Sports.

It will join other new sports facilities including the new SunTrust Park for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County and Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Atlanta Falcons in downtown Atlanta.

Two professional soccer teams could move in to the area over the next couple of years, said Trey Brantley, CEO of First Team SC. A men’s team could move there in 2018, and he hopes for a women’s team in 2019.

In addition, Atlanta Sports City will provide a venue for large regional soccer events that the metro area currently lacks, said Greg Griffith, executive director of the Georgia Soccer Association.

"This facility will provide a place for dozens of local tournament and give us the ability to bid on major regional and national tournaments,” Griffith said. “The proximity to metro Atlanta and the best airport in the country makes this a great location for a sports complex.”

The complex could draw 3 million visitors annually, creating $197 million in economic impact, according to a study by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute. It’s anticipated to create nearly 2,000 permanent jobs.

It also includes a 204,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility and five basketball courts. Many other sports, from martial arts to volleyball, can also use the facilities.

“Atlanta Sports City is the definitely going to be one of the biggest economic development projects around,” said James Tsismanakis, executive director of Discover DeKalb.

The complex will be owned by a company called Atlanta Sports Connection and developed by Atlanta Partners for Development.

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A $200 million sports complex is being built in Stonecrest.