US Soccer Federation leaves Chicago over public safety concerns as frustration with violence mounts

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The US Soccer Federation is leaving Chicago after more than two decades and relocating its headquarters to Atlanta, joining a growing list of companies moving out of the city.

The federation plans to build its first-ever National Training Center in Atlanta with a $50 million contribution from Arthur Blank, the founder of Home Depot Inc. and owner of Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, according to a statement on its website.

The decision comes amid growing concerns by Chicago’s business community over public safety, which has prompted some of the city’s top executives to uproot their 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 Officer Chris Kempczinski has said it’s become harder to attract talent to the Windy City.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp applauded the move and said he was pleased to host US soccer’s new base. “Georgia is proud to welcome US Soccer’s new headquarters and looks forward to working alongside them to build a new home for American soccer players and fans,” Kemp said.

The offices of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Illinois Governor JB Pritkzer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The federation, the governing body of soccer in the US, oversees 27 women’s and men’s national teams, all of which will use the new facility, US Soccer said.

Potential sites for the soccer hub are currently under consideration, with a final decision on a location expected to be made in January, the federation said.

Atlanta is one of 16 cities across the US, Mexico and Canada that will host FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

    — With assistance by Jonathan Roeder

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