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Sports council president looks ahead to more big events after CFP, Super Bowl and Final Four

Sports council president looks ahead to more big events after CFP, Super Bowl and Final Four

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With a CFP championship, Super Bowl and Final Four on the calendar for the next three years, Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council, is a busy man. In a recent question-and-answer session with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Corso discussed what attracts big events to Atlanta, what the city’s new venues mean for competing for those events, and what is the “dream” event he hopes to land.

Atlanta is lined up to host the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2018, the Super Bowl in 2019 and the NCAA Final Four in 2020. How does Atlanta keep winning big sporting events?

CORSO: We’re fortunate Atlanta’s infrastructure offers nearly everything event operators look for in a host city. Our compact downtown transforms into a “championship campus” featuring more than 10,000 hotel rooms, abundant dining options, family-friendly attractions and world-class venues all within walking distance of one another. Atlanta’s downtown footprint paired with the city’s accessibility, mass transit and strong corporate community creates a very desirable combination.

Why are these events so important?

CORSO: Hosting major sporting events helps generate millions into our local economy. For residents, it’s a quality-of-life perk. As a sports fan, there’s a tangible upside to living in a city with professional teams and having an opportunity to attend some of the biggest sporting events in the world in your own backyard. All of this continues to build Atlanta as a vibrant place to live, work and play.

There’s also an intangible benefit which comes in the form of media viewership. As Atlanta’s professional and collegiate teams compete and/or we host major sporting events, millions of viewers tune in, which creates a significant amount of exposure for the city. Not to mention the excitement generated by fans of our teams drives tourism, social media chatter and general buzz about Atlanta.

What’s down the line after 2020?

CORSO:
Alongside our partners in the region, we are focused on recruiting a variety of events in the collegiate, Olympic and professional spaces. We are currently in discussion, and anticipate future discussion, with event stakeholders and look forward to seeing where those conversations lead.

Atlanta saw the opening of a new baseball stadium, will open a new football stadium, and Philips Arena is soon to undergo major renovations. How unusual is this for a major American city and why does it matter?

CORSO:
It’s certainly rare to have a metro region experience two major sports development projects in the same year. From the Atlanta Sports Council’s standpoint, sports event recruitment has become extremely competitive with more and more state-of-the-art venues emerging across the country. New venues help us stay competitive and provide an edge when competing for major sporting events.

What are you most excited about?

CORSO:
The opportunity ahead with the trifecta of major sporting events. In January, we launched the Championship Hosting Division, a new division focused on streamlining efficiencies for planning and producing major sporting events locally.

What’s your dream win?

CORSO:
Going back to the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, the Atlanta community has been fortunate to host nearly every major sporting event, and it would be an incredible opportunity to add a future FIFA World Cup to that list.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle is an affiliated publication.


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