January 26, 2010

Atlanta Beat open at home versus Sky Blue FC

Here is my short news item at Goal.com about the event.

And here is the press release via the WPS League Office:

Atlanta Beat’s New Stadium Set to Open May 9

First Stadium Built Specifically for a WPS Team Will Debut During National Television Game on Fox Soccer Channel

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 26, 2009) – Women’s Professional Soccer and the Atlanta Beat today announced that Sunday, May, 9 will be the home opener for the expansion Atlanta Beat as the team will play host to reigning 2009 WPS Champions Sky Blue FC (New Jersey/New York) at its brand-new stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The contest will be nationally-televised on Fox Soccer Channel as part of WPS Sunday on FSC at 6pm ET/3pm PT.

"We are excited to make this announcement," said Beat General Manager Shawn McGee. "The opening of the world’s first women’s soccer-specific stadium of this magnitude means a great deal to both soccer in the Southeast and to women’s sports on a national scale."

The stadium, which holds 8,300 fans "will really be something special," said Beat Owner and Chairman T. Fitz Johnson. "We are bringing in the defending champions, which will immediately test our squad and provide a great show for our fans."

McGee "expects a packed house and a captive audience for those across the country watching on Fox Soccer Channel."

"This will be an important and historic day in the continued growth and development of our league," said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. "A stadium built specifically to play host to the world’s best soccer league for women with the atmosphere and fan-friendly characteristics that we look for in a venue. Huge credit goes to Fitz Johnson and the Atlanta Beat organization for their vision. Soccer fans everywhere will be circling May 9 on their calendars."

The Beat opens its WPS inaugural season away at the Philadelphia Independence on April 11 before returning to Atlanta for a home kick-off on May 9. The WPS will release the remainder of the 2010 schedule in early February.