Kennesaw State University welcomes Major League Lacrosse expansion team
Fifth Third Bank Stadium will be the home of the Atlanta Blaze KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 7, 2015)…
Georgia (Aug 7, 2015) — Fifth Third Bank Stadium will be the home of the Atlanta Blaze
KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 7, 2015) — With much fanfare and many good wishes, Kennesaw State University officials and community leaders welcomed the Atlanta Blaze Major League Lacrosse team to Kennesaw Friday. The team will call Fifth Third Bank Stadium home.
“This is just one more thing that makes Kennesaw State University, Cobb County and this community so special,” Vaughn Williams, director of athletics at KSU, said during a press conference. “We recently started a women’s lacrosse team, and this partnership is just another way we’re going to help grow the sport in metro Atlanta and this region. I know this sport; I love this sport; and what a great place to have it.”
Fifth Third Bank Stadium is no stranger to Major League Lacrosse. On Aug. 8, the venue will again play host to the MLL championship game, as it did in 2014.
“It is rewarding to be a part of the start of a brand new Major League Lacrosse team. This is the culmination of a lot of effort by a lot of people to bring the best quality lacrosse to Atlanta,” said Marty S. Elliot, general manager of Fifth Third Bank Stadium. “Our stadium is a great house to showcase America's fastest growing sport, and we are thrilled to be the home field. The fans are going to love it here as much as the team.”
The Blaze becomes the MLL’s ninth and newest team and will join league play in the 2016 season, which runs from the end of April until early August.
“Since the first time I saw this stadium on TV, I’ve been talking about an MLL team playing here,” said MLL Commissioner David Gross. “The appeal was the venue, but the stadium is not what made this work. What made this work and come to fruition is the people we’ve worked with here in Atlanta. Every step of the way, everyone we worked with has gone the extra mile, making coming here the biggest no-brainer.”
As a gesture of goodwill, Blaze coach Kevin O’Leary announced every first responder and firefighter in the county will get free admission to all games in the inaugural season.
“Kennesaw State University is an extraordinary place,” O’Leary said.
Also on hand was Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee.
“This is absolutely phenomenal,” Lee said. “Sports and tourism are our No. 1 industry, and an expansion team calling KSU and Cobb County home is just phenomenal.”
According to Holly Bass Quinlan, CEO of the Cobb Sports Alliance, in 2014, sports tourism generated more than $242 million in economic impact in the county.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive university with more than 32,000 students from 130 countries. In January 2015, Kennesaw State and Southern Polytechnic State University consolidated to create one of the 50 largest public universities in the country.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.