Beckham bringing MLS to Atlanta?

Guest post from Jeff DiSantis

The availability and quality of professional and amateur sporting entertainment often serves as a proxy for the overall viability of the investment opportunities available in a city. With coverage of the Thrashers’ seemingly ever imminent move to Winnipeg like slow dripping water torture for Atlanta sports fans and civic boosters, some hints point to some coming good news on the sports front. When Mayor Kasim Reed was interviewed by local media on May 24 regarding the Thrashers’ expected departure, he stated that while it would “hurt the city” to lose the Thrashers, he said, “we have a lot of positive things going on in the sports franchise space that I think we’ll be announcing pretty soon that will offset it a bit.”

When David Beckham, at the time arguably international soccer’s biggest star, agreed to leave Europe for the Los Angeles Galaxy of the then-fledging Major League Soccer, his contract gave him the right to buy the league’s yet to be established 20th franchise after his playing career ends. Beckham is now in the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The apparent target date for adding the 20th MLS team is 2012. Among the cities reportedly under consideration for that expansion franchise is Atlanta, along with Miami, San Diego and Montreal.

As for a hint to whether Beckham has decided where to put his new MLS team, he and wife Victoria are expecting their fourth child, a girl, on July 4 of this year. They’ve apparently already decided on a name for her, the choice being made because “David wanted a name that was relevant to their lives during conception.” For soccer fans here, let’s hope the name remains relevant. They’re calling her Atlanta.

Jeff DiSantis is an Atlanta based Democratic campaign consultant who is the co-founder of Blogging While Blue’s polling partner 20/20 Insight. He’s also the head coach of his 7 year old son’s soccer team.

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