AN OLD, abandoned football stadium could be set to undergo a huge makeover, seeing it become an iconic venue for the 2026 World Cup.
The creaking 15,000-seat ground, sits in Atlanta, Georgia, but hasn’t been used since 2014, despite it hosting the Olympics and a major Hollywood film.
The renovations to Alonzo Herndon Stadium could cost investors anywhere between £15million to a staggering £100million.
It's being considered before the original plans to demolish the stadium and replace it with flats start.
Many FIFA representatives are now discussing the ambitious plans, including FIFA World Cup Senior Advisor Olubunmi Jinadu.
He said: “I see this stadium being a training ground for teams that come and play friendly matches with men and women during the FIFA window.
READ MORE IN OLD STADIUMS
Abandoned football stadium where Man Utd suffered historic upset now demolished
Abandoned stadium once home to AS Roma now taken over by weeds & debris
“I see collegiate soccer and I see international soccer coming from across the globe.
Jinadu said the stadium could possibly bring millions and millions of dollars to the area and the city that could be used to build up the surrounding community.
The once packed stadium was built during the post-war boom of 1948 and sits on the campus of Morris Brown College.
It was named after Alonzo Herndon, a local entrepreneur born into slavery, who was one of the first black millionaires in the US.
Most read in The Sun
This Morning star’s cause of death revealed as family share tribute
FINDING JILL’S KILLER
Criminal’s chilling theory revealed in hunt for Jill Dando’s killer
Louise Redknapp breaks silence on Eternal feud as she quits tour over ‘gay’ row
Rashford rushed to help woman driver after horror crash in £700k Rolls-Royce
It was once home to the Morris Brown Wolverines football team and held 15,011 fans at college games.
The uniquely designed ground has two huge double tiered stands running along each side-line but nothing by either end zone like a typical stadium.
It even attracted music royalty during the 1950s, with “The Genius” Ray Charles recording his entire live album, In Person, at the arena on a rainy 1959 Atlanta night.
The Herndon was given a huge financial revamp before the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and transformed into a field hockey venue.
Before returning as the home of college football in the city after the successful games.
It was briefly the venue for soccer team Atlanta Beat, a professional women’s team who played there from 2001-2003.
They were a successful team during the short-lived period, getting to the play offs in the Woman’s United Soccer Association on all three attempts.
The ground continued to play a huge role in popular culture in the early 2000’s as it hosted Hollywood’s finest actors for a film.
We Are Marshall, a 2006 biographical sports film, featuring Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Mackie and Kate Mara used the stadium as one of its filming spots.
However, due to crippling finances at the college, the crumbling stadium was sold in 2014 and was left to rot.
Its large concrete stands were used as a canvas for local graffiti artists, and the pitch was overgrown with trees sprouting up at the side of the playing field.
The goalposts still stand but are brown and decaying.
Multiple instances of joyriders entering the venue and leaving burned-out cars across the field were also reported since it was left for dead.
Clark Atlanta University now own the ground and are in talks over the next steps of renovations.
This isn’t the first major sporting venue left abandoned as the forgotten Stadio Flamino which hosted superstars like Michael Jackson, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen, as well as an Olympic Games, has faced calls to be demolished after being unused since 2011.
READ MORE SUN STORIES
Big Brother in huge shake up for launch as ITV clears schedules for first night
The truth about 'marble' poos – and how it's a sign you need to act now
An old Olympic venue in Sarajevo was left abandoned for 19 years despite being used in the 1984 Olympics as it was a key base in the Bosnian War and left ruined and riddled with bullet holes.
Another eerie stadium is North Korea’s Rungrado 1st of May Stadium which despite being the world's biggest stadium just collects dust as it’s barely used.
Source: Read Full Article