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Atlanta Beat Set To Open New Stadium Sunday

May 7, 2010 - Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - Atlanta Beat News Release

ATLANTA, GA (May 7, 2010) - Just 14 months after the league launched with the WPS Inaugural Match in March 2009, Women's Professional Soccer now has its first brand-new stadium. The expansion Atlanta Beat will open KSU Soccer Stadium this Sunday against Sky Blue FC in a nationally-televised game on Fox Soccer Channel at 7pm ET.

KSU Soccer Stadium is the first stadium built specifically for a WPS team and just the second soccer-specific stadium built for a women's professional team in the U.S. since the Carolina Courage in WUSA opened SAS Soccer Park in 2002.

The 8,300-seat, $16.5 million stadium was built as a partnership between Kennesaw State University and the Atlanta Beat and includes sideline, family section, on-field and suite level seating. It also accommodates up to 16,000 patrons as a concert venue.

"This is the only women's soccer-specific stadium of this size in the world," Atlanta Beat Chairman and Owner T. Fitz Johnson said. "Through our partnership with Kennesaw State that provides us access to this state-of-the art facility, we are the envy of every other team in the league. The stadium is setting a new standard in women's professional soccer."

WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci will be on-hand Sunday to take part in the ceremonial First Kick at KSU Soccer Stadium.

"Sunday's home opener in Atlanta at KSU Soccer Stadium is one of the biggest moments in the development of our league since we launched last March," said Antonucci. "Sports-specific stadiums have been crucial to the long-term success and growth of all leagues - both young and established ones - and we're incredibly pleased to have one of our own teams build a new stadium in their first year as a team and in the second year overall for WPS."

The bowl-shaped stadium was built on 21 acres of land about 1 mile from Kennesaw State University campus. The stadium is owned by the KSU Foundation and run by the Atlanta Beat, who will manage the stadium operations for events including soccer, concerts and festivals. The stadium will be featured again nationally later this summer as host of the 2010 WPS All-Star Game presented by the U.S. Coast Guard on June 30, as 36 of the world's best players gather in Atlanta for a mid-summer soccer festival.

"It's an exciting time for WPS as the product on the field continues to get better and better this season," said Antonucci. "We look forward to being back in Atlanta for our 2010 WPS All-Star Game to showcase the world class players in our league at a world class venue. A huge credit to Beat owner T. Fitz Johnson, Kennesaw State University and the Atlanta Beat organization for their accomplishment in getting this new stadium built and ready for this weekend."

The league will see another addition to its stadium roster on June 19 when FC Gold Pride play their first game at 5,000 seat Pioneer Stadium on the campus of Cal State, East Bay. The team is currently renovating and retro-fitting the stadium for its June debut.

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