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In March, the Atlanta United Football Club announced plans for an expansion of their operations on Franklin Gateway in Marietta. The Marietta City Council approved a contract to sell 17 acres on Franklin Gateway to Atlanta United for $9.6 million. The team will use the land to expand its training operations, and the new building will sit next to an existing 30,000-square-foot facility and near six full-sized practice fields.

In a report by the Marietta Daily Journal, Mayor Steve Tumlin said he is excited for Atlanta United’s expansion in the Franklin Gateway corridor, adding that the club will provide much-needed stability to the area that has seen fluctuations in development plans.

“Whatever comes from this (Atlanta United) has the wherewithal to have long-term sustainability,” Tumlin said, pointing to the delays in Ikea’s plans for a store on Franklin Gateway and the recently terminated deal with Drive Shack, in which the company paid the city $220,000 to back out.

At a press conference celebrating the land purchase, Catie Griggs, vice president of business operations for Atlanta United, stated “Clearly, Marietta has been a great home for us. We’ve had several good years at our training ground,” she said. “The growth of soccer and the growth of excitement about soccer, particularly in this market, has surpassed all of our expectations.”