DLA Piper advises Arthur M Blank on acquisition of MLS franchise in Atlanta

DLA Piper has advised Arthur M Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, on the acquisition of a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Atlanta. The transaction closed on 16 April 2014.

Under the terms of the deal, the team will become the 22nd MLS franchise and will begin playing in 2017 when a new $1.2bn (£714m) multi-purpose stadium next to the Georgia Dome is scheduled to open. The team is currently unnamed, but its colours will likely be red, black and gold.

Charles H Baker, a partner with DLA Piper’s global media, sports and entertainment practice, and Richard Rubano led the DLA Piper team, which also included Alexander Steinberg, partners William Bartow and Gerald Rokoff and associates Drew Young and Kurtis Weaver.

This is the second buyer of an MLS expansion team that DLA Piper has represented in the past year. The firm also represented City Football Group, the owners of Manchester City of the English Premier League, in their acquisition, along with the New York Yankees, of the 20th MLS team, named New York City Football Club.