MARTA Five Points will be the new home of urban soccer
ATLANTA (Oct. 13, 2016) - Atlanta United, Soccer in the Streets and MARTA today announced a community project to help develop grassroots soccer and provide life skills programs to Atlanta's underserved urban communities. The project, officially named ‘Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station,’ represents the first soccer field to be built inside the perimeter of a major urban transit station in the world.
Renderings of Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station found here.
The strategic location of the field in the heart of downtown Atlanta will remove the primary barrier preventing many of the city’s youth from playing soccer: lack of access and poor transportation options. The Five Points station is the hub of the MARTA metro system, making the field an ideal location for kids from across the city to come together in one place to play soccer.
“Our partnership effort will help foster a sense of community around our most active MARTA station,” said GM/CEO Keith T. Parker, AICP. “These collaborations are important because they turn a rail stop into a point of destination where customers can plan an entire outing—from grabbing a meal to shopping then a match—all while using the system.”
Funded through a grant by Atlanta United, Soccer in the Streets will lead programming of Station Soccer initiating in late fall of this year. Programming will include establishing mentoring programs, promoting employability among young people and creating a sustainable, competitive format through adult leagues.
“Station Soccer represents a unique opportunity to provide a practical pathway to the game of soccer for youth across metro Atlanta,” said Atlanta United president Darren Eales. “Kids will now be able to take MARTA to the Five Points field to compete and play with peers from diverse communities across the city. We’re proud to partner with Soccer in the Streets and MARTA on this groundbreaking community project.”
The project seeks to include community members across metro Atlanta by using downtown as a converging point for a new urban soccer culture. Using innovative ideas focused on inclusiveness and collaboration, the Station Soccer project aims to embrace and encourage the global nature of the game.
"The partnership between Soccer in the Streets and Atlanta United demonstrates the club’s commitment to providing access to the game of soccer to our city’s youth, especially in areas that have historically been marginalized," said Phil Hill, Executive Director for Soccer in the Streets. "The field will allow our organization to expand through a totally new concept in urban soccer, designed specifically for kids who live in underserved neighborhoods.”
The inspiration for the project came from Soccer in the Streets’ board member Sanjay Patel, who has envisioned combining soccer and transit in Atlanta since 2014. “Projects like Station Soccer will allow us to help build healthy transit environments and will also provide access and connectivity for all through soccer,” said Patel.
Station Soccer - Five Points MARTA Station will feature turf and lighting infrastructure provided by GreenFields USA, Musco/Cree Lighting and the U.S. Soccer 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. We are extremely efficient, making great use of the resources we’ve been given to achieve the mission. For more information about Soccer in the Streets, visit www.soccerstreets.org, and follow @soccerstreets
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (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 ATLANTA UNITED
Atlanta United brings Major League Soccer to the Southeast as the league’s 22nd franchise. The club will celebrate its inaugural season in 2017 and will play in the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium currently under construction downtown. Atlanta United is owned by one of the city’s most influential businessmen and philanthropists, Arthur M. Blank, and is led by club President Darren Eales. For more information about Atlanta United, including how to purchase season tickets visit: www.atlutd.com, and follow @ATLUTD.