After three years of playing at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the Kennesaw State campus, the Atlanta Blaze will be moving into the Atlanta city limits for the 2019 season.
The Major League Lacrosse franchise will play its games at Grady Stadium in midtown-Atlanta. The artificial-turf field at Grady High School is one of two municipal stadiums owned by Atlanta City Schools.
“The Atlanta Blaze continues to change to benefit the city of Atlanta and its surrounding areas,” general manager Spencer Ford said in a release. “Our relocation to Grady Stadium in Midtown Atlanta will help us grow in many ways. Most importantly, it will enable us to reach all fans of all ages. This is very exciting news for our organization.”
The Blaze will play their first home game June 2 against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. According to the release, the Blaze will be the first MLL team to play its games in the heart of the city it is based in.
Fifth Third Bank Stadium had been linked to MLL even before the Blaze’s inaugural game, hosting a regular-season game between the New York Lizards and Boston Cannons in 2013, and the league championship game three times from 2014-16.
The stadium, however, has become busier with the addition of Atlanta United 2, the Major League Soccer team’s top affiliate, this season. The soccer team’s March-to-October schedule coincides with the lacrosse league’s May-to-September schedule.
The stadium also serves as the home field for Kennesaw State’s women’s lacrosse team, which plays through the end of April, and the university’s football team, which will begin the 2019 season in September.