As of last week, an Atlanta transit station provides a setting for a very different kind of mobility. According to Curbed Atlanta, the Five Points MARTA Station is now home to the world’s first soccer pitch within a major urban transit system. The mini field sits atop one of Five Point’s concourses, measuring 66 by 99 feet and bordered by stands where fans can watch the games.
The station had originally been constructed with an amphitheater and other public spaces, Curbed reports. The soccer field and a planned community garden are steps toward reclaiming the station as a truly public space.
“Station Soccer,” as it’s being called, will host free youth soccer and mentorship programs run by Soccer in the Streets, the organization behind the new pitch. Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the strategic location is intended to remove barriers to youth soccer, like lack of access and transportation options. Because Five Points is the hub of the entire MARTA system, it will be a convenient location from kids across the city.
“Our partnership effort will help foster a sense of community around our most active MARTA station,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith T. Parker. “These collaborations are important because they turn a rail stop into a point of destination where customers can plan an entire outing — from grabbing a meal to shopping then a match — all while using the system.”
According to a press release, those youth programs may be funded through a paying adult league. “Every dollar spent by adult teams at Station Soccer will help fund youth programs, establishing a unique sustainability model,” the press release states.
Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at jakinney.com.