Georgia Continues to Attract Major Sporting Events

October 10, 2023
5 mins read

Georgia, especially its capital, Atlanta, has become a magnet for major sporting events over the years. The state boasts an impressive resume of hosting large-scale events, from the Olympics to Super Bowls. This article delves into why Georgia remains a top choice for these events, emphasizing the immense economic benefits they bring to the region and what this means for its residents.

The College Football Playoff National Championship Returns to Atlanta

Bill Hancock, the Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP) recently revealed that Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to host the 2025 CFP National Championship. This marks the second time the city will host the prestigious title game, making it the first city to achieve this honor.

A Triple Threat City: Olympics, Super Bowl, and World Cup – Atlanta’s Unique Feat

Atlanta’s achievements don’t stop there. The city has the rare distinction of hosting the Summer Olympics, the Super Bowl, and soon, the World Cup, putting it on par with Los Angeles. This monumental accomplishment highlights Atlanta’s drive and vision.

Olympic Spotlight: The Centennial Legacy

1996 wasn’t just a year; it was when Atlanta became a global hotspot, hosting the Summer Olympics. Such a monumental event meant global attention and a direct injection of an estimated $5 billion into Georgia’s economy. The infrastructural and business advancements from that period still echo today, underlining the long-term benefits of hosting global sporting events.

Atlanta’s Super Bowl Legacy: More Than Just a Game 

Atlanta’s tryst with the Super Bowl has been historic, hosting Super Bowl XXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIV at the Georgia Dome, and most recently, Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2019. Beyond the thrill of the game, these events brought immense economic value. For instance, Super Bowl 53 resulted in an over $400 million economic impact, as more than half a million people, including 150,000 from out-of-town, descended upon Atlanta. 

Such events also leave behind lasting legacies; the 2019 Super Bowl led to an NFL-funded $2.4 million renovation of the John F. Kennedy Park, emphasizing that such mega-events are more than just sports – they’re opportunities for infrastructural and communal growth.

The World Cup Dream: Atlanta’s Global Soccer Moment

Georgia’s soccer enthusiasm reached new heights when FIFA named Atlanta as one of the host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. This event will be historically significant as it will be held across three countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. 

Out of the 11 US cities chosen, Atlanta proudly stands among the elite list after rigorous planning, virtual meetings, and facility tours, proving its reputation as a major player in the global sports arena.

Hosting games of this magnitude doesn’t just boost pride and morale; the economic influx from tourism, sponsorships, and media rights can be transformative for the region.

The Soccer Wave: Atlanta United FC’s Phenomenal Impact 

Atlanta United FC’s meteoric rise in soccer not only captured the city’s heart but also had tangible economic benefits. Their success on the field brought global recognition, but off the field, the 5-Stripes caught the eyes of soccer fans globally, boasting attendance numbers rivalling major leagues like the Premier League and Bundesliga. Such massive gatherings directly boost local businesses, from eateries to merchandisers, and the ripple effect is felt across the state’s economy.

Atlanta’s Sporting Rankings: Testament to the City’s Sports Fervor

Atlanta United opening up full stadium for six matches in 2020 |

Atlanta’s passion for sports isn’t confined to football. Evidence of this lies in the city’s impressive fanbase attendance rankings: 

  • #1 in MLS fanbase attendance in 2022 (Atlanta United FC with average fan attendance of 47,353, helping the club be valued at $855 million)
  • #4 in MLB fanbase attendance in 2022 (Atlanta Braves with average fan attendance of 33,461) 
  • #3 in increase in NBA fanbase attendance in 2022 (Atlanta Hawks with a regular season home attendance of 719,787, at an average of 17,555 per game) 

Such figures aren’t mere numbers; they translate to ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorships, and a bustling sports economy.

Atlanta’s Unique Advantage

Atlanta’s logistical and cultural milieu makes it a preferred destination for major sporting events. Its infrastructure, coupled with a diverse and passionate populace, ensures that some of the most iconic moments in sports history happen right here. This not only elevates the city’s global stature but also brings multifaceted economic advantages, enriching the state and its residents.

The Role of Atlanta Sports Council

Behind Atlanta’s sporting successes lies the tireless effort of the Atlanta Sports Council (ASC). By working to establish Atlanta as a leading choice for national and global events, the ASC plays a pivotal role in securing significant sporting opportunities for the state.

The Georgia Bulldogs and Their Economic Contribution

While the state of Georgia continues to attract big events it doesn’t hurt that the Georgia Bulldogs have won back-to-back college football championships. BetMGM Georgia has the Bulldogs as the outright favoriteto win the title this year.

The Georgia Bulldogs have proven to be more than just a sports team for the state; they’re an economic powerhouse. Their back-to-back college football championships have brought immense recognition and financial windfall to the state. Here’s how.

Ticket Sales and Merchandise

Each championship game and the events surrounding it generate significant revenue from ticket sales. The sheer demand for merchandise, be it jerseys, caps, or memorabilia, further adds to the coffers.

Boost to Local Businesses

The influx of fans attending these games provides a direct boost to local businesses. Hotels see increased bookings, restaurants witness a surge in customers, and local attractions get a higher footfall. It’s a comprehensive economic upliftment for the city hosting the matches.

Sponsorships and Advertisements

The winning streak of the Bulldogs has made them a favorite for brands and advertisers. Partnerships and sponsorships, especially with renowned platforms like BetMGM Georgia, have poured in, bringing in additional revenue. These associations don’t just benefit the team, but the entire state, as the funds often get channeled into infrastructural developments, youth programs, and more.

Media Rights

With the team’s consistent performance, the broadcasting rights for their games see increased demand, leading to better deals and higher revenue generation.

Increased Tourism

Success on the field means attracting more fans from outside the state and even outside the country. This results in a more extended stay, further exploration of Georgia, and higher expenditure, all contributing to the state’s economy.

In essence, the success of the Georgia Bulldogs doesn’t just light up the eyes of their fans; it also lights up the economic indicators for the state.

In Conclusion: Atlanta’s Sporting Legacy as an Economic Catalyst

Carson Beck - 2023 - Football - University of Georgia Athletics

Atlanta’s ascent as a sporting epicenter, hosting events like the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the CFP National Championship and soon, FIFA World Cup games, underscores its strategic importance on the global stage. These events aren’t merely a testament to the city’s passion for sports but are significant drivers of its economic growth.  

With every ticket sold, every hotel booked, and every merchandise purchased, the city witnesses a boost in employment, tourism, and business activities. Moreover, the legacy these events leave behind is not just in memories but also in tangible infrastructural advancements, positioning Atlanta as a desirable location for both businesses and residents. The consistent achievements of teams like the Georgia Bulldogs further amplify this effect, enhancing local morale and pride. 

In sum, Atlanta’s vibrant sporting culture isn’t just about games and scores. It’s a reflection of its dynamic economy, infrastructural prowess, and the unyielding spirit of its residents, promising a future filled with growth, recognition, and unparalleled experiences.

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