The U.S. Soccer Federation is leaving Chicago after more than two decades and moving its headquarters to Atlanta, joining a growing list of companies leaving the city.
According to a statement on its website, the association plans to build its first-ever National Training Center in Atlanta with a $50 million donation from Arthur Blank, founder of Home Depot Inc. and owner of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United.
The decision comes amid growing concerns in Chicago’s business community about public safety, which has led some of the city’s top executives to suspend operations or express frustration over the violence. Ken Griffin, the founder of hedge fund Citadel, moved his company to Miami last year, citing crime as a factor, while McDonald’s Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said it had become harder to attract talent to the Windy City.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp welcomed the move and said he was pleased to host U.S. Soccer’s new base. “Georgia is proud to welcome US Soccer’s new headquarters and looks forward to working with them to build a new home for American soccer players and fans,” Kemp said.
The offices of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Illinois Gov. JB Pritkzer did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The association, U.S. Soccer’s governing body, oversees 27 women’s and men’s national teams, all of which will use the new facility, US Soccer said.
Potential locations for the football center are currently being examined. A final decision on a location is expected to be made in January, the association said.
Atlanta is one of 16 cities in the United States, Mexico and Canada that will host FIFA World Cup games in 2026.
— With support from Jonathan Roeder
Source : fortune.com