James.qxp Nov Dec 2018 web - Page 15

The result is now a sprawling 15-acre parcel at
Roswell Road and Mount Vernon Highway. Besides the
state-of-the-art City Hall and corporate meeting
rooms, facilities also include a performing
arts center, a four-acre public green
space, nearly 300 condos and apartments and approximately 20,000
feet of shops and restaurants.
Jazz saxophonist Branford
Marsalis performed with his
quartet for the grand opening of
the Performing Arts Center.
Artists appear regularly at the
venue. This fall features the
Bernstein at 100 celebration, the
Prague Philharmonic Children’s
Choir, Elf the Musical before Christmas
and Jewel’s Handmade Holiday Tour.
Additionally, the venue will host the Miss
Georgia Pageant, the Atlanta Ballet at City Springs and
lectures on a range of issues.
Besides the Performing Arts Center, the City Springs
complex hosts numerous other events, often on the “City
Green”— the annual “Movies by Moonlight”
outdoor film screening series kicked off at
the new location back in August.
Festivals and concerts are often held
out on the Green as well.
On her last day as mayor,
Galambos climbed into the cab
of a backhoe and started tearing down the western wall of
the old Target building.
Galambos and the City Council
had been setting aside some $7
million a year for the ultimate
building of the complex and acquiring property. Even right up to the end
of her life, Mayor Paul says she was giving him advice on the project.
It looks like it turned out pretty well.
Baker Owens is a staff writer for James and InsiderAdvantage Georgia
tlanta is enjoying a tremendous run of
success attracting the most high-profile
sports events our nation— and even the
world— has to offer.
All eyes will turn toward Georgia in
February 2019 when Super Bowl LIII
kicks off in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. We earlier this year
hosted both the College Football Playoff National
Championship and the Major League Soccer All-Star game.
In 2020, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will also host the NCAA
Men’s Final Four. Atlanta is one of the only cities to host a
College Football Playoff National Championship, Super Bowl
and NCAA Men’s Final Four in three consecutive years.
The concerted efforts by the state of Georgia and Arthur
Blank are largely to thank for making this a reality. Hosting
these major sports events is a team sport unto itself. It takes
a collaborative effort on behalf of all involved to make the
bids, land the events and successfully execute them.
These accomplishments are partly driven by the
work of the Atlanta Sports Council (ASC), which is
housed within the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Over the
years, the ASC has spearheaded efforts, with the support of key local and state partners, to land other signature events such as the NCAA Women’s Final Four,
NBA and MLB All-Star games, WWE’s WrestleMania
and many others. Not to mention, Atlanta is poised to
bring back many of these high-profile sporting events
again over the next decade.
To top it off, with the fervor demonstrated by
Atlanta United fans, we know soccer is a major draw in
this market. With the 2026 FIFA World Cup coming to
North America, there is a real opportunity for Atlanta to
host FIFA World Cup matches— and, potentially, even a
FIFA World Cup Semifinal. Hosting an event of this
magnitude would shine a global spotlight on Atlanta
and Georgia in a way not seen since the 1996
Centennial Olympic Games.
While many of these major events are years in the
future, the decisions on host cities will come in the next
three to four years. Hosting major events is a competitive
process, and Georgia will compete with states across the
country including California, Florida, Louisiana and
Texas. The decision to bring these major sporting events
back to Atlanta is far from a sure thing.
Competing states know that these events offer a
great platform to show off their cities and states while
providing a real economic boost. To keep winning one
big bid after another, we must collectively continue to
make strategic decisions to keep us in the hunt to win
these world-class events.
Our state leadership contributes much to our success.
Gov. Nathan Deal and members of the General Assembly
led by House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey
Cagle helped tremendously when they
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N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8
N OV E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8


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