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Sep 13, 2013

Report: MLS talking Atlanta expansion

Major League Soccer and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank are in "significant discussions" to bring an expansion team to the city, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Thursday.

The newspaper, citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the talks, said talks "accelerated" when the Falcons received permission for a new stadium, scheduled to be completed in 2017.

In 2012, Blank, a co-founder of The Home Depot, had used the possible attraction of an MLS franchise in his proposal for a retractable roof on the Falcons' stadium.

Blank and the MLS have discussed opening that new stadium with an Atlanta expansion team, according to the AJC.

MLS announced in July that it was looking to expand from 19 to 24 teams by 2020. The first of the new franchises, New York City FC, will begin play in 2015.

Orlando and Miami also look to be on the fast track for franchises. Orlando just needs to pass a tax proposal to fund a new stadium. David Beckham has an option to buy a discounted franchise and has concentrated on Miami.

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