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12 septembre 2018

Uniting Atlanta’s Community Through Train Station Soccer Fields

In collaboration with the Atlanta United Foundation, the City of Atlanta’s Department of Planning and Design, Soccer in the Streets and MARTA, FieldTurf is proud to unveil its latest installation in Atlanta’s expanding network of soccer fields, strategically located at train stations across the city. Officially named Station Soccer, the project, created by Soccer in the Streets, aims to provide an opportunity for Atlanta’s community and youth to engage in playing soccer in an accessible manner by means of public transportation.

The project’s vision embodies FieldTurf’s core values, that all children should have access to the sport regardless of race, gender, religion, or socio-economic status. By partnering with FieldTurf, Soccer in the Streets have committed to leveling the playing field so that all youth can play soccer and find new opportunity in life regardless of where they live. We are thrilled at the opportunity to provide access to soccer for all.

MARTA was established in 1979 as a combined bus and rail transit system to provide safe, convenient and affordable public transportation for Atlanta area residents and visitors. Since then, MARTA has grown to become the ninth largest public transportation system in the United States providing more than 430,000 daily passenger trips.

The first Station Soccer location was opened at the Five Points MARTA Station in 2016 and now two new community pitches at MARTA’s West End station were unveiled this weekend as the second location for this innovative project. Additional field locations will be added as a part of Station Soccer’s planned expansion with two other locations already scheduled to install FieldTurf surfaces this year.

“The Station Soccer pilot at Five Points Station was a huge success and we’re excited to be working with our partners to expand the program to include more rail stations.” said Jeff Parker, MARTA’s CEO

“This is a milestone moment for the Atlanta United Foundation,” said Atlanta United President Darren Eales. “The Soccer in the Streets - West End project represents the Atlanta United Foundation’s commitment to promoting positive change in Atlanta’s historic Westside communities. It also furthers our mission of providing access and opportunity for individuals across our city to enjoy the game of soccer. We are very proud of this collaboration and look forward to continuing to support the great work being done by Soccer in the Streets.”

“These innovative soccer pitches are more than a new environment for young people to learn to play soccer,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Developing safe and welcoming spaces throughout the community for youth to engage in positive activities help our neighborhoods thrive and restore pride in underdeveloped areas of the city.”

“Thousands of kids in Atlanta miss out on being able to participate in grassroots soccer because they can’t get there to play. Expanding Station Soccer provides underserved youth with new ways to thrive both on and off the field,” said Phil Hill, Executive Director of Soccer in the Streets.

Sanjay Patel, Director of Strategic Projects for Soccer in the Streets added “Collaboration has been one of the important aspects of bringing this project together. Through this initiative we look forward to building the first League of Stations here in Atlanta, growing the game of soccer and providing life skills along the way - the train has left the station.”

The West End field opening on September 8th kicked-off with a 5v5 youth soccer tournament at Station Soccer - Five Points (Station Soccer’s first MARTA pitch) before the top two teams advanced to the final, played at the new Station Soccer – West End location. All tournament participants boarded the train and travelled to West End Station via MARTA for the championship match.

“FieldTurf is proud to be the official playing surface for Station Soccer, we’re excited to help elevate Atlanta’s soccer culture with safe and sustainable fields across the city,” said FieldTurf President Eric Daliere. “FieldTurf partnered with Soccer In The Streets to help increase participation in youth athletics and unite communities around sport.”

FieldTurf’s dedication to innovation, performance, durability, and safety has made us one of the most trusted brands in the artificial turf industry. Manufactured in Calhoun, Georgia, FieldTurf can be found at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as the home surface for the Atlanta United and Atlanta Falcons and over 20,000 installations worldwide. Our focus on providing athletes of all levels with the best possible field to play on makes us the right choice for this amazing community initiative.

The Atlanta United Foundation (AUF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting, and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUF is an affiliated fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

For more information about Soccer in the Streets visit