ATLANTA – (July 31, 2018) Today Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) Board of Governors officially broke ground on the Georgia World Congress Center’s (GWCC) first major expansion since 2002.
The $55 million expansion project, a component of the Authority’s 2020 Vision strategic plan, features a new 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall affixed between the convention center’s Buildings B and C that, once complete, will create over one million square feet of contiguous exhibition space. This new fixed gateway will allow GWCC to compete for the industry’s most in-demand trade shows, conventions, and expos, while offering its largest annual events much-needed space now.
The potential economic impact of the new exhibition space is estimated to be $632 million.
“Georgia’s preeminence on the national and international stage is the result of solid economic growth and increased tourism made possible by fixtures such as the GWCC,” said Gov. Deal. “As host to premier conventions, festivals, sporting events and trade shows, the GWCC serves as the first impression for industry leaders interested in exploring all that Georgia has to offer. By expanding this welcoming center of opportunity, we are reaffirming our commitment to delivering world-class experiences for job creators and visitors, while laying a strong foundation for a more prosperous Georgia.”
“The addition of this new contiguous exhibition facility will be a catalyst for the next level of growth,” said William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are one of only five convention centers in the country offering one million square feet of contiguous exhibit space and when combined with our impressive suite of venues, Atlanta is well positioned for the future.”
The Georgia General Assembly approved general obligation bond funding for the project. Construction, contracted to Atlanta-based Holder Construction Group, is expected to be completed by end of 2019.
Opened in 1976 as a single building, the GWCC has undergone four previous major expansion phases, with the last being in 2002 with the completion of Building C, which features four exhibit halls, 23 meeting rooms, two auditoriums, and the Georgia Ballroom and Galleria.
(ATLANTA – June 15, 2018) The Georgia World Congress Center Authority is pleased to announce that R&B vocal group After 7 will headline this year’s Fourth of July celebration. The group features Kevon Edmonds and Melvin Edmonds and Keith Mitchell. The Edmonds brothers are the siblings of R&B singer-songwriter-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. After 7 is best known for its chart-topping hits “Ready or Not” and “Can’t Stop.”
This year’s celebration has moved from Centennial Olympic Park to International Plaza, the green space and surrounding areas located between the Georgia World Congress Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Philips Arena. Gates will open onto International Plaza at 6 p.m. WSB-TV, Channel 2, will broadcast the fireworks live during its award-winning primetime special “Georgia Salutes America” hosted by Jovita Moore, anchor of Channel 2 Action News at 5, 6, and 11 p.m., and sports director Zach Klein.
ATLANTA– (January 30, 2018) – On Monday, Jan. 8, thousands of University of Georgia and University of Alabama fans swarmed to Atlanta to attend the College Football Playoff National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It was an event of firsts and breaking records, and while the Crimson Tide prevailed as champions, the Atlanta community proved why the city is recognized as the epicenter of college football.
And a majority of the championship events and activity took place on the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) downtown campus, the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.
“Atlanta was a truly first-class setting for the national championship game,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “We appreciate the hard work of the Atlanta Football Host Committee members, and all their efforts that led to a wonderful experience for thousands of college football fans.”
“That game was something the Atlanta community and college football fans will cherish for years to come,” said Carl Adkins, executive director of the Atlanta Football Host Committee. “We hope that everyone in Atlanta experienced a one-of-a-kind Championship Weekend. I speak for the entire Atlanta Football Host Committee in saying that it was a tremendous honor to host the College Football Playoff National Championship and we look forward to what the future brings for Atlanta as a destination for major sporting events.”
Some highlights from the game and the surrounding events include:
· First presidential visit to a college football championship since 1980.
· First-ever College Football Playoff National Championship overtime.
· First College Football Playoff National Championship to be played in Atlanta and at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
· First-ever ESPN Watch Party and Halftime Show (hosted at Centennial Olympic Park).
· First-ever All-SEC College Football Playoff National Championship.
· According to ESPN, the telecast was the network’s second highest-rated event, scoring a 16.7 overnight Nielsen rating. This is a nine percent increase from last season.
· With a 47.8 rating, Atlanta earned its highest rating ever for a college football game on ESPN.
· First-ever national championship game held in a LEED platinum certified stadium.
· First walkable urban footprint to host the national championship game and all fan events.
· Highest-attended college football game in Atlanta with 77,430 people.
· Over 125,000 guests attended Championship Campus events in downtown Atlanta in conjunction with the College Football Playoff National Championship.
· Previous attendance records were broken for Playoff Fan Central (Georgia World Congress Center), Media Day and the Extra Yard 5K (GWCCA’s International Plaza).
Media contact: Traci Messier, Jackson Spalding, 404-214-3596.
About the Atlanta Football Host Committee
Formed in 2016 under the Championship Hosting Division of the Atlanta Sports Council, the Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) serves as an extension of the College Football Playoff Group in the local community. The organization is responsible for assisting with the planning and production of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship and accompanying fan events. The AFHC is comprised of local leaders in business, sports and tourism and its mission is to host a one-of-a-kind championship experience for student-athletes, university representatives, media and college football fans. For more information visit: www.ATLChampGame.com.
About the GWCCA
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus, which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the College Football Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement Discovery Center and state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is the No. 1 convention, sports and entertainment destination in the world.
About the College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff matches the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4, and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in semifinal games that rotate annually among six bowl games – the Goodyear Cotton Bowl, PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Capital One Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. This season’s Playoff Semifinals will take place Saturday, December 29, 2018, at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic and Capital One Orange Bowl. The College Football Playoff National Championship will be Monday, January 7, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
ATLANTA – (November 2, 2017) – After more than 30 years working with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), former Georgia World Congress Center General Manager Mark Zimmerman has officially retired as senior business consultant for the convention center in order to devote full attention to his new business, Zimmerman Consulting LLC. (more…)
ATLANTA – (October 25, 2017) – Featuring headlining appearances by Academy Award-winning actors Renee Zellweger and Jon Voight, a luncheon today at the Georgia World Congress Center sought to raise awareness of Atlanta’s homeless population.
“Most of us know about and care for the homeless, we just don’t know how to help,” said David Smith, founder of Carry the Torch, an organization that aims to bridge that gap by connecting people that want to help with a plethora of organizations that administer to the needs of the local homeless populace. According to Atlanta Mission, a nonprofit serving local homeless men, women, and children, there are approximately 7,000 homeless people in metro Atlanta, including 2,000 that live on the streets and don’t spend the night in local shelters, along with a growing number of homeless families.
Carry the Torch is trying to raise $1 million for agencies that serve Atlanta’s homeless population. The luncheon fundraiser also promoted Zellweger and Voight’s new film “Same Kind of Different As Me,” based on the book about the relationship between Ron Hall, a former international art dealer, Hall’s wife Deborah, and Denver Moore, a former homeless-man-turned-activist. Hall and Moore co-authored the book. In the movie, which was released Oct. 20, Voight portrays Hall’s father and Zellweger plays Deborah Hall.
After reading “Same Kind of Different As Me” (he received two copies on the same day), Smith he was inspired to be an advocate for Atlanta’s homeless. The program featured guest speakers Jack Hardin, co-chair of the Regional Commission on Homelessness, and Hall, as well as a panel discussion with Zellweger and “Same Kind of Different As Me’’ producer/director Michael Carney, moderated by TV journalist/host Julie Moran. Attendees also had the opportunity to browse and connect with local advocacy groups to learn about real solutions for the homeless in Atlanta.
For more information about Carry the Torch, visit carrythetorchatlanta2017.com.
What better setting to host the World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC) than the world’s largest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified convention center?
The three-day event, sponsored by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), kicked off its opening session Sept. 27 at the LEED Silver-certified Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) with an intimate, candid and often humorous conversation with former President George W. Bush before a rapt audience inside the Sidney Marcus Auditorium.
It was the 43rd president’s second publicized appearance at the GWCC – his first was in 2001 while in office – and the facility’s second presidential visit of 2017. President Donald J. Trump, was a featured speaker at the National Rifle Association’s ILA Leadership Forum on April 28 at the GWCC.
WEEC, the largest energy conference and technology expo in the U.S. specifically for industrial, business and institutional energy users, presented multiple opportunities for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s (GWCCA) downtown Atlanta campus to showcase its energy conservation and sustainability efforts.
Prior to the conference’s official kick-off, the Authority’s Physical Plant Manager Wayne Rosser accepted the Energy Project of the Year honors at the AEE 2017 Regional Awards Presentations. The Authority was recognized for its Energy Savings Performance Contract (EPC) with Trane, which is expected to reduce the GWCCA campus’ energy consumption by 39 percent annually, and save more than $2.5 million in utility costs in the first year alone.
The EPC – believed to be the largest for a public assembly venue in the country –also was the focus of a presentation given by Cameron Griffith, solutions advisor for Trane, and the Authority’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Tim Trefzer as part of the conference’s programming block. The pact is a creative financing solution for capital improvements – and another example of the Authority’s commitment to environmental sustainability. It allowed the GWCCA to use future energy and operational savings to finance the infrastructure improvements up front. The agreement is guaranteed, meaning that if the specified reduction in energy is not met, then Trane will pay the GWCCA the difference, reducing the project’s risk. Major aspects of the multifaceted $28 million project included replacement of the GWCC’s central heating and cooling plant in Building B with modern, more efficient machinery, replacing the GWCC’s interior, exterior and exhibit hall lighting, upgrading the facility’s various water features along with lighting upgrades at Centennial Olympic Park. Energy engineers from around the globe took notes during the session and intently asked Griffith and Trefzer various questions as they sought more details.
WEEC attendees took free tours of the convention center’s facility upgrades that were completed in April as part of the energy savings deal. The tour included the new, perhaps surprisingly colorful, central plant chiller room, which consolidated three separate chiller rooms, and now cools the entire 3.9-million-square-foot convention center. Also, the tour provided an up-close view of the GWCC’s new highly-efficient consolidated boiler room and an overview of the more than 60,000 LED lamps that were installed as part of the energy savings contract’s lighting upgrade.
The GWCCA campus’ newest kid on the block, the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS), had a chance to tout its game-changing approach to sustainability when stadium General Manager Scott Jenkins spoke during the AEE Georgia Chapter Luncheon, part of the WEEC. MBS was designed to set a new standard for stadium sustainability and the venue is on track to receiveLEED Platinum certification.
The GWCC was awarded LEED Silver certification in 2014. LEED is an internationally-recognized green building rating system. The Authority is anticipating receiving an upgrade to LEED Gold status, largely on the strength of the successful energy savings contract with Trane.