The Atlanta United Foundation and the City of Atlanta, through its Department of Planning and Design, today announced an official collaboration with Soccer in the Streets and MARTA to expand Station Soccer, the world's first network of soccer fields inside the perimeter of major transit stations. Officially named Station Soccer – West End, the second location of this innovative project will be marked by the unveiling of two new community pitches at MARTA’s West End station on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 3 p.m.
- To view the renderings of Station Soccer – West End, click here.
“This is a milestone moment for the Atlanta United Foundation and for our partner's Soccer in the Streets, the City of Atlanta and MARTA,” said Atlanta United President Darren Eales. “The Soccer in the Streets - West End project represents the Atlanta United Foundation’s commitment to promoting positive change in Atlanta’s historic Westside communities. It also furthers our mission of providing access and opportunity for individuals across our city to enjoy the game of soccer. We are very proud of this collaboration and look forward to continuing to support the great work being done by Soccer in the Streets.”
Station Soccer – West End is a culmination of a group of partners aligned toward providing access to soccer for all and connecting communities. The first Station Soccer location was opened at the Five Points MARTA Station in 2016. Additional Station Soccer locations will be announced at a later date as part of the program’s planned expansion. The Atlanta United Foundation, City of Atlanta and MARTA are committed to the growth of Station Soccer over the long term, and the West End Station Soccer project is a result of a collaborative effort involving other key partners including the Transformation Alliance as part of the Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), MLS WORKS, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco Lighting, FieldTurf, Deluxe Athletics, OxBlue, Kaboom, and Hothouse.
“Atlanta United has approached its commitment to the community with the same energy fans take to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on game day. These innovative soccer pitches are more than a new environment for young people to learn to play soccer,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Developing safe and welcoming spaces throughout the community for youth to engage in positive activities help our neighborhoods thrive and restore pride in underdeveloped areas of the city.”
The West End event on Sept. 8 will kick-off with a 5v5 youth soccer tournament at Station Soccer - Five Points (Station Soccer’s first MARTA pitch) starting at 10 a.m. The tournament includes competition among four Atlanta-based Soccer in the Streets high school boys and girls teams. The top two teams will advance to the final, which will be played at the new Station Soccer – West End pitches following the dedication ceremony. All tournament participants will travel to West End Station via MARTA for the championship match.
“In addition to providing transit services to millions of customers, MARTA proudly supports Station Soccer as a healthy, innovative and meaningful way of deepening our connections to the communities we serve,” said Jeff Parker, MARTA’s GM/CEO. “The Station Soccer pilot at Five Points Station was a huge success and we’re excited to be working with our partners to expand the program to include more rail stations.”
With the activation of the new Station Soccer location, Soccer in the Streets will conduct a public contest for the creation of a Station Soccer logo. The submissions are posted online, and the winner will be selected by public vote. To vote for the new logo, go to the @soccerstreets Instagram page and “like” your favorite logo.
“Thousands of kids in Atlanta miss out on being able to participate in grassroots soccer because they can’t get there to play. Expanding Station Soccer provides underserved youth with new ways to thrive both on and off the field,” said Phil Hill, Executive Director of Soccer in the Streets.
Sanjay Patel, Director of Strategic Projects for Soccer in the Streets added “Collaboration has been one of the important aspects of bringing this project together. Through this initiative we look forward to building the first League of Stations here in Atlanta, growing the game of soccer and providing life skills along the way - the train has left the station.”
The Station Soccer Logo Contest winner will be announced on Sept. 4 and the banner with the new logo will be revealed on Sept. 8 at the West End opening event. For more information on voting, contact Tess Patton: Marketing & Communications Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT ATLANTA UNITED FOUNDATION
The Atlanta United Foundation (AUF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting, and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUF is an affiliated fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
ABOUT SOCCER IN THE STREETS
Soccer in the Streets empowers underserved youth through sports-based training, character development, mentoring, and employability programs. Our organization serves in a holistic and comprehensive way. Reaching kids on the field, in small-group classroom sessions, through hands-on experiences and activities, and participation in youth leadership councils. Equal access to quality soccer training and educational opportunities, as well as leveling the playing field across the board, are also key elements in our core mission. Our organization is behind the construction and programming of the first soccer field inside a metro hub – ‘Station Soccer’, an innovation recognized worldwide. For more information about Soccer in the Streets, visit www.soccerstreets.org, or follow us on Twitter at @soccerstreets and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/soccerstreets/. Press inquiries contact Tess Patton at email@example.com
MARTA was established in 1979 as a combined bus and rail transit system to provide safe, convenient and affordable public transportation for Atlanta area residents and visitors. Since then, MARTA has grown to become the ninth largest public transportation system in the United States providing more than 430,000 daily passenger trips. MARTA’s funding is sourced primarily from a 1 percent sales tax in Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties and the City of Atlanta. MARTA is a significant part of the regional and state economy contributing an estimated $2.6 billion in economic activity every year and supporting an estimated 24,000 jobs. To find out more, visit www.itsmarta.com.
ABOUT THE CITY OF ATLANTA
Under the leadership of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the vision for the city is One Atlanta – a safe and welcoming city with world-class employees, infrastructure and services, an ethical, transparent, and fiscally responsible government, thriving neighborhoods, communities, and businesses and residents who are equipped for success. To learn more about the City of Atlanta, visit: www.AtlantaGa.gov or follow us on social media at @CityofAtlanta.