Atlanta’s new Major League Rugby team picks a name
Atlanta’s newest sports team now has a name: Rugby ATL.
Rugby ATL is expected to be one of two new additions to Major League Rugby — along with a Boston squad — when the league begins play in the 2020 season, the third season for the league.
Rugby ATL said it will “represent the South,” as the only team within a six-state region. The franchise said final logo, stadium, player, and scheduling announcements will come later in the year.
MLR expects the the two new additions, plus Rugby United New York, which begins league play in 2019, will solidify the the league’s presence throughout the East Coast’s largest media markets.
“We are excited to expand the league to Atlanta, giving rugby fans a front row seat to the action of the game on a professional level,” said Dean Howes, MLR commissioner, in a news release.
Rugby is the fastest-growing sport in the world, and Life University in Marietta is one of the country’s top college rugby programs, producing many current MLR players.
Atlanta’s has seen successful additions in other professional sport leagues beyond the major three — MLB, NFL and NBA. Its Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United, has broken most every attendance record since joining the league in 2017 and won the MLS Cup last season. The Georgia Swarm lacrosse team won the National Lacrosse League Championship in 2017.
The Atlanta Legends, one of eight teams in the inaugural Alliance of American Football spring league, have started the season 0-3. The team drew more than 10,000 fans over the weekend for their first home game, at Georgia State University.
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