Atlanta being considered for MLS All-Star Game

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, and MLS All-Stars' Michael Parkhurst vie for the ball during the second half of the MLS All-Star Game, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Chicago. Real Madrid won the game. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, and MLS All-Stars' Michael Parkhurst vie for the ball during the second half of the MLS All-Star Game, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Chicago. Real Madrid won the game. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Atlanta is one of several cities under consideration to host the MLS All-Star Game in 2018, ’19 or ’20.

The site for 2018, and also possibly for ’19, likely will be announced by the end of the year.

Among the other cities under consideration are Orlando, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Minnesota. Orlando opened its new stadium earlier this season. The other cities are expected to unveil new soccer-specific stadiums next year or in 2019.

Atlanta United will play its first game in the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday against Dallas. The team leads the league in attendance (46,318) and is trying to set a single-game record for MLS when its hosts Orlando City on Sept. 16. The record of 69,255 was set on April 13, 1996 in a game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the N.Y./N.J. MetroStars.

“Atlanta United’s debut season is arguably the best launch of a professional sports team in a long time,” said Dan Courtemanche, executive vice president of communications for MLS. “Arthur Blank’s vision for professional soccer in Atlanta combined with a best-in-class organization, a spectacular stadium and some of the most passionate soccer fans in the world make Atlanta a strong candidate to host any marquee soccer event.”

Atlanta’s franchise agreement with the league includes a clause to host the All-Star game.

Atlanta also is among 41 cities that will be considered to host a game in the 2026 World Cup should FIFA approve the joint bid from the U.S., Mexico and Canada.