We are excited about the building of our new headquarters and the nation’s first-ever National Training Center (NTC) in our new home city of Atlanta, Georgia. We are confident that the creation of this facility will support our overall Strategic Vision, including growing the game, fostering the best playing environments, developing winning teams, growing the soccer economy, and creating a world class organization.
These are exciting times for soccer in the U.S. We view the advent of the NTC as not only beneficial for players at the top level, to train with world class infrastructure on par with our competitors, but as an opportunity that lies at the heart of our wider commitment to grow the game across the U.S. and help everyone to find a home in this sport.
We had a chance to sit down with U.S. Soccer President, Cindy Parlow Cone, and CEO, JT Batson, to talk about the new U.S. Soccer National Training Center
Why build a National Training Center?
JT: This is the new home for U.S. Soccer and the entire American soccer community. This project accelerates all aspects of our strategic vision and is the physical embodiment of our ambition as a soccer nation. In addition, support that this project will generate from commercial and philanthropic partners will allow U.S. Soccer to drive more reinvestment into the soccer ecosystem to contribute to the game’s growth and future.
What does this mean for the soccer community across the United States?
Cindy: The facility will serve as headquarters for U.S. Soccer, creating a hub for the entire soccer community, including coaches and referees, our membership, players, and fans. The National Training Center will directly support each element of our Strategic Vision, most notably fueling our work to develop winning teams, building a world class organization and grow the game across the U.S. At U.S. Soccer, we know our responsibility for a National Training Center is one of stewardship. We feel a deep sense of responsibility to leverage such an incredible asset to help everyone across the soccer ecosystem thrive and find a home in this sport for life.
Will U.S. Soccer’s members be able to take advantage of the National Training Center?
Cindy: We believe it is our responsibility to leverage the National Training Center as a home for soccer for all who participate in and love the game. We expect the site to act as a destination for specific membership, fan and community needs, such as professional development, training, experiences or meetings. Ultimately, we believe this project will be an overall net benefit to the entire landscape, allowing U.S. to drive more investment into the ecosystem.
What does this mean for U.S. Soccer’s National Teams?
JT: For players on our 27 National Team players, the NTC will provide the best environment, guaranteeing uninterrupted access to best in class infrastructure for training, development, recovery, and performance analysis – cultivating expertise and excellence in the sport on an international level. Having all 27 National Teams in one location also provides an incredible opportunity for career development for our Sporting staff, as well as an exciting environment for everyone at U.S. Soccer. While the National Training Center will be utilized by all 27 of U.S. Soccer’s National Teams, part of Arthur M. Blank’s contribution will specifically go towards the construction of facilities for U.S. Soccer’s nine Extended National Teams (ENTs), particularly in support of the Cerebral Palsy (CP), Deaf, and Power Soccer National Teams, including thoughtful design of locker rooms and training facilities to maximize accessibility for players.
How will the National Training Center benefit Atlanta?
Cindy: Together with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and Coca-Cola, we will create opportunities for community groups to be exposed to soccer through a multitude of on-site experiences. We will also provide community programming to benefit soccer-focused non-profits in Metro Atlanta, including partners such as Soccer in the Streets and GA 100, that provide access, training and expert coaching opportunities to underserved communities.
Where will the funding come from to build this?
Cindy: We are able to build a National Training Center in part by the incredible support from philanthropic donors and corporate partners. Arthur M. Blank and Coca-Cola have both come to the table to bring the NTC to life – their generous support is the foundation necessary to build this state-of-the-art facility and invest millions into growing the game, developing winning teams, and giving back to the community. In addition, by having a full time home for all 27 National Teams, U.S. Soccer will achieve material operational cost savings that can be reinvested back.
Why did you choose Atlanta?
JT: In partnership with Deloitte, we ran a multi-year process to determine where the right long-term home is for U.S. Soccer. We used a robust, data-driven approach to arrive on a city, and Atlanta rose to the top as the best option. Key factors included proximity to an international airport, weather for year-round play, and easy access to Central America, South America, and Europe for our players playing in those regions. We also wanted a city that aligns with U.S. Soccer’s values, offering strong quality of life, a diverse, growing community, a thriving business environment, and a history of philanthropic and education leadership.
Who are the founding partners of the National Training Center?
JT: Atlanta’s robust business community played an important role in the decision to choose Atlanta as the destination for the National Training Center. Coca-Cola has been an incredible partner and their connection to the local community and overall support was vital throughout this process. We are also incredibly thankful for Arthur M. Blank's contribution that will not only go towards the National Training Center here in Atlanta, but fuel the Federation's work to develop winning teams and grow the game across the United States.