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National Teams Apr 11, 2024

U.S. Soccer breaks ground on Arthur M. Blank National Training Center in Atlanta

ATLANTA – The U.S. Soccer Federation broke ground on its first-ever National Training Center (NTC) and Headquarters, unveiling the new facility as the Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center.

The Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center is another step in the Federation’s ambitious strategic plan to grow soccer across the country and will directly impact each of U.S. Soccer’s five strategic pillars. The commitment to build a training center was made possible by a $50 million contribution last year from iconic businessman and philanthropist Arthur M. Blank, The Home Depot co-founder and Atlanta United owner.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and First Lady, Marty Kemp, were on hand for the ceremonial “first dig,” along with Blank, U.S. Soccer and Fayette County officials and Dan Cathy, the founder of Trilith in Fayette County, Georgia, where the facility will be located.

The Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center will span 200 acres and include more than a dozen soccer fields and over 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor courts for all 27 U.S. Soccer National Teams, including Senior Women’s and Men’s, Youth and Extended National Teams. The facility will also include more than 200,000 sq. ft. of high-performance facilities, locker rooms, meeting rooms and headquarters space for all U.S. Soccer employees and is expected to open in 2026.

“Today is another incredible day for soccer in America and in Georgia, and while my family and I are truly honored and humbled by the name of the center, it is not about us, it’s about the countless young men and women that will have the opportunity to chase their dreams here,” said Blank. “This facility will be more than just a place to play soccer, it will be a hub that will serve as a beacon of joy and opportunity for the surrounding community, and for all who walk through its doors. I look forward to our continued partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation and our shared passion for the beautiful game and its continued growth.”

While the Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center will be utilized by all of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams, part of the contribution from Blank and his Family Foundation will specifically go toward the construction of facilities for U.S. Soccer’s nine Extended National Teams (ENTs), particularly in support of the Cerebral Palsy (CP), Deaf, and Power (wheelchair) Soccer National Teams, including thoughtful design of locker rooms and training facilities to maximize accessibility for players.

“Arthur’s contribution is the foundation of our partnership in Atlanta, and his generosity will change soccer in America,” said U.S. Soccer President Cindy Parlow Cone. “The Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center will have a massive impact on the entire American soccer ecosystem, from all 27 of our National Teams to all our members, and countless players, coaches and referees across the country by providing a dedicated facility for training, recovery and innovation. I truly believe this facility will help us grow the game of soccer in the U.S. and take us to the next level.”

“In breaking ground today for the U.S. Soccer National Training Center, we are not just constructing a state-of-the-art facility; we are laying the foundation for the future of soccer in America here in Atlanta,” said U.S. Soccer CEO JT Batson. “This endeavor symbolizes our collective aspirations and ambitions, and we are deeply grateful to the state of Georgia, the city of Atlanta, Fayette County, and all our sponsors and partners who have made this milestone possible. With the enthusiastic support of the greater Atlanta community and our new neighbors at Trilith, Arthur Blank’s historic investment here underscores a profound commitment to soccer’s future in the United States. We are poised to elevate the sport to new heights and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

“Georgia is proud to break ground today on the new home of our U.S. national teams, the Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “Our state has played a major role in the world of sports as a hub for national and global athletic events, and today is another reminder of that growing prominence. Congratulations to the U.S. Soccer Federation and all the leaders at the state and local level who worked to make this project a reality.”

Architecture, design, and planning firm Gensler will serve as the architect and interior designer of the project, combining its decades of experience designing some of the world’s most remarkable corporate office spaces and iconic sports facilities to create a dynamic campus for U.S. Soccer. The firm was also recently announced as the designer of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Stadium premium spaces, further enhancing Atlanta soccer fans’ experience and engagement with the sport ahead of the 2026 World Cup.  Led by developer Four Stones Real Estate, construction on the facility will begin in the near future.

“Gensler is thrilled that the U.S. Soccer Federation has chosen the Greater Atlanta area as its home, underscoring Georgia’s commitment to cultivating soccer excellence on a state and national level,” said Colin O’Brien, Regional Managing Principal at Gensler. “Our sports experts at Gensler are at the forefront of the industry, implementing innovative amenities and technologies that revolutionize athlete health and performance. With this project, we look forward to incorporating these state-of-the-art features and supporting the next wave of soccer athletes for generations to come.”

The facility will serve as headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation, creating a central hub for the entire soccer community, including coaches and referees, to access best-in-class training, technology and infrastructure to promote successful and sustainable playing environments throughout the country. For players, the Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center will guarantee uninterrupted access to elite infrastructure for training, development, recovery and performance analysis – cultivating expertise and excellence in the sport on an international level.

The Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center’s location provides proximity to the Town at Trilith, a master-planned residential and mixed-use community with a school, restaurants, retail and office space. The Town at Trilith is adjacent to Trilith Studios, a major film and television production studio in Fayette County, which has brought the world’s attention to this south-metro Atlanta community and sparked tremendous investment in the local area. Established in 2014, Trilith Studios is one of the largest production facilities in Georgia and one of the largest purpose-built studios in North America.

The location became the clear choice by meeting key criteria that included accessibility and proximity to Atlanta’s major international airport as well as downtown, optimal climate for year-round programming, the ability to drive economic impact locally and the opportunity to be part of a diverse, growing community.

The facility will include full ADA accessibility for visitors and players within the building and throughout the training ground. In addition, sustainability will be at the forefront of the design process and the project team will pursue LEED certification by incorporating energy-efficient systems, water reclamation and protection of surrounding natural habitats.

The Arthur M. Blank U.S. Soccer National Training Center will create an estimated 400+ new jobs and represents an investment valued at more than $200 million. In alignment with U.S. Soccer’s vision to promote diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging and eliminate barriers both on and off the field, the Federation is committed to working with minority- and women-owned businesses.