Falcons making progress on MLS for Atlanta

In a keynote speech Thursday to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay said attempts to woo Major League Soccer to the city are moving right along.

“We’re far along in negotiations with them,” McKay, speaking to chamber members at their annual meeting, said of talks with MLS leaders. “It’s our objective to get an MLS franchise if we can make it happen. We think it would be, not just great for Atlanta and the region, but really it’s the right thing to do for the southeast.”

The Falcons want a soccer team to play at a new $1.2 billion retractable-roof stadium that will break ground just south of the Georgia Dome sometime in the spring. Falcons officials are promoting the new facility as more than a football stadium, highlighting the multitude of events held at the Dome, including concerts, monster truck rallies and graduations.

Soccer games could join legacy events planned for the new stadium, including the SEC championship, Chick-fil-A Bowl and the Atlanta Football Classic.

“We think that it could have some real impact,” McKay said of soccer.