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Monday, August 24, 2015

CEO Lee May on DeKalb's New Soccer Facility

 A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get out the front door, and that is what’s happening right now in DeKalb County. There has been a lot of misinformation, at best, and outright lies and deception, at worst, as it pertains to the new soccer development coming to DeKalb.

The Atlanta United Football Club is investing upwards of $51 million into this area, and it is the single largest investment central and south DeKalb County has seen in more than two decades. It comes at a cost of  $12 million to the county, which is a 325 percent return on investment. However, the significance of the deal spans far beyond the numbers.

This project will be a catalyst for the revitalization of the Memorial Drive corridor, and will bring new people and expanded awareness of the area as a destination for business growth and development. DeKalb’s vast diversity in its population of more than 700,000 is concurrent to the diversity of Major League Soccer’s fan base. My hope is that this development can unite north and south DeKalb, as it presents a new venue for entertainment, events and tournaments, outdoor graduations and large community gatherings.

I have made no commitments on job numbers, taxes generated, or of specific financial benefits for a reason. This is more than just a soccer facility, and it is more than just about Arthur Blank; although we are excited to welcome both. It is an investment in our future.

DeKalb County Government is a billion dollar organization, and our investment is only a fraction of our budgets over the multi-year commitment in which we will pay out the $12 million.

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