Soccerex are delighted to announce that Atlanta United President, Darren Eales, will conduct an exclusive interview at the Soccerex Global Convention, 4 - 6 September. Eales will discuss the MLS expansion club's launch and first season, as well as its new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will be a world-class venue and leader in technology, sustainability and fan engagement.
Darren was announced as President of Atlanta United in September 2014 after spending four years as Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur FC, and a previous four with West Bromwich Albion. With eight years Premier League experience behind him, he was given the chance with Atlanta to oversee the creation of the city's first MLS club, forming a ground share with the Atlanta Falcons NFL team as they both move into the state-of-the-art Mercedes Benz Stadium this summer.
In its inaugural season, Atlanta United is already being recognized for its exciting, attacking style of play. Atlanta is the top scoring club in MLS averaging two goals per match and leads the league in total scoring with 32 goals scored. The expansion club has built a strong foundation attracting former Argentine National Team manager Tata Martino as well as former premier league players such as striker Kenwyne Jones and ex-Bolton and Burnley defender Tyrone Mears. The club's approach to building its roster with a mix of veterans and young, talented international players in their prime has pushed Atlanta in their debut season to a respectable 7th place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Atlanta United currently plays at Bobby Dodd Stadium in downtown Atlanta and will play its first match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 10. Atlanta United has already developed a passionate fan base who have created a match-day atmosphere that many say rivals European football. The club leads MLS in average attendance at over 47,000 and has broken the league record in season ticket sales with over 30,000 sold to date.
From its roots as a railroad town in 1847, the city of Atlanta is now a "global hub of travel and commerce," with over four million residents. This vibrant, bustling city can now boast a new MLS club, along with NFL, NBA and MLB teams already in place. With the addition of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta can now in its own right be called a "global hub of sport."
Mercedes-Benz Stadium will rank among the world's finest sports venues with flexible seating capacity and soccer-specific features tailored to create an authentic and intimate atmosphere for Atlanta United matches. Furthermore the environmental and sustainability aspect have been at the forefront of construction with the venue currently on course to achieve a platinum certification from LEED; the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings and would bea world first for professional sports venues. No other stadium comes close when considering on-screen, video entertainment, as the stadium incorporates a 58-foot high, 360-degree, high-definition video halo board, a one-of-a-kind feature that is not only the largest video board in professional sports but in the world at 1,100 lineal feet long and 64,000 total square feet.
At the Global Convention, Eales will be providing audience members with exclusive insight into the Mercedes-Benz Stadium project and sharing his personal experiences on the process that brought Atlanta United to where they are now. In addition to his experiences of launching an MLS club, his knowledge gleaned from years operating at the top of the game in both UK and the US will be a fascinating learning experience for delegates attending.
Eales will be contributing to a thought-provoking conference program at the Soccerex Global Convention, designed to deliver unique business insight across a variety of football's key sectors from stadia design, sponsorship, international investment, the latest in wearable technology and the rise of influencer marketing. To view our recently launched conference concept for the Global Convention, click here.
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