Dome September 6, 2018
Georgia Dome joins iconic sites in Georgia with Business History Initiatiave historical marker

From left to right: Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Executive Director and Georgia Dome General Manager (2002-2016) Carl Adkins, Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) Executive Director Frank Poe, Georgia Historical Society (GHS) President and CEO Todd Groce, State Rep. Calvin Smyre, GWCCA Board of Governors Member Doug Tollett, GHS Board of Curators Chairman Walter “Sonny” Deriso, and former University of Georgia Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Vince Dooley. Photo by Ashley Gilmer, GWCCA Multimedia Specialist.

Atlanta, Ga., September 6, 2018 – Atlanta’s iconic Georgia Dome today became the newest member of the Georgia Historical Society’s Business History Initiative (BHI) with the addition of a historical marker at the former site of the Georgia Dome, now The Home Depot Back Yard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“GHS is excited to highlight the huge role that the Georgia Dome played in shaping not only the physical landscape of Atlanta, but also the cultural and economic landscape of the city and the state of Georgia,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “From its beginnings as an architectural marvel, to its role as a host site during the 1996 Olympic Games and the home of the Atlanta Falcons for 25 seasons, the Georgia Dome’s legacy will be ensured for future generations through this new historical marker.”

Each year the Georgia Historical Society selects iconic companies and institutions as honorees of the prestigious Georgia Business History Initiative. Through the Business History Initiative, GHS seeks to teach Georgia students, citizens and tourists alike about the pivotal role of Georgia’s leading businesses in the economic, cultural and social development of Georgia and the United States.

“The Georgia Dome forever changed the multi-purpose venue landscape and brought Atlanta the recognition it deserved; proving that no other city executed back-to-back-to-back nationally prominent sporting events like Atlanta,” said Frank Poe, Executive Director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. “Likewise, it changed the state of Georgia’s cultural, architectural and economic landscape. This marker will serve as a reminder of the Dome’s profound impact, and we are honored to pay tribute to her legacy.”

“My first conversation about what would become the Georgia Dome took place in 1984 with at that time, Mayor Andrew Young and former mayor Maynard Jackson,” said Calvin Smyre, Georgia State Representative. “There were many discussions about a home for the Atlanta Falcons and it took five years of work to make it a reality, but I saw the Georgia Dome as something that was transformational for the people of Atlanta and for the State of Georgia. I consider myself lucky to have played a part in bringing the Georgia Dome to life.”

Other speakers included Carl Adkins, Executive Director of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and Georgia Dome General Manager, 2002-2016; and Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Chairman, GHS Board of Curators.

The marker reads:

Georgia Dome

Completed in three years, the $214 million, 71,996-seat Georgia Dome opened in August 1992 as the world’s largest cable-supported domed stadium, serving as the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons for 25 seasons. The stadium hosted some of the world’s most prestigious sporting and entertainment events, welcoming more than 37 million guests and generating an economic impact of $7 billion dollars. More than 1,400 events took place here, including two Super Bowls (1994, 2000), Olympic events (1996), NCAA Men’s Final Four (2002, 2007, 2013), NCAA Women’s Final Four (2003), 23 SEC college football championships, the annual Chick-fil-A Bowl, and two seasons as home court for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks (1997-99). In 2012, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Falcons agreed to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in 2017. The Dome was demolished on November 20, 2017.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority

This is the second location governed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to join the Business History Initiative. A historical marker for the 1996 Olympic Games was dedicated in 2016.

For more information about the Business History Initiative please contact Patricia Meagher, GHS Director of Communications at [email protected] or by phone at 912-651-2125, ext. 153 or Jaleesa Fears, GWCCA Senior Communications Specialist at [email protected], telephone 404-223-4013.

GWCC July 31, 2018
Georgia World Congress Center Authority breaks ground on Congress Center expansion project

From left to right: Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO William Pate, State Senator Butch Miller, GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe, IWF President & CEO Kevin Holtzclaw, Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association President John Starkey, and Bronner Bros. Trade Show Manager Erika Respress.

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.


Holly Richmond, Director of Communications

[email protected]


Artist rendering of the Georgia World Congress Center’s $55 million expansion project.

Rendering of the GWCC’s expansion project.

Rendering of GWCC’s expansion project.

Rendering of GWCC’s expansion project.

GWCC July 1, 2018
Hands-free driving law now in effect in Georgia


GWCC June 15, 2018
R&B group After 7 headlines Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s July 4 Celebration

(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.

Other artists joining the celebration include:

·        Keisha Jackson

·        Christian Jones

·        Kayte Burgess

·        Von Grey

·        Hamilton Park

·        Dionne Farris

·        Cody Matlock

·        Klymaxx

·        Melvin Miller

·        JessLove

·        The Van Lears

·        Charlie Singleton from Cameo

·        Griots String Ensemble

For a complete listing of updated entertainment, parking, and know-before-you-go information, please visit or follow GWCCA on social media for updates:



Holly Richmond – Director of Communications

[email protected]



GWCC January 30, 2018
National Championship Success Proves Atlanta and GWCCA Campus is Epicenter of College Football

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:

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.

GWCCA December 20, 2017
Secondary Demolition of the Georgia Dome Successfully Executed


GWCC November 20, 2017
Georgia Dome Demolition Sets Stage for New GWCCA Campus Development

 ATLANTA – (Nov. 20, 2017) (more…)

GWCC November 2, 2017
Former Georgia World Congress Center General Manager Mark Zimmerman Retires

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…)

GWCC October 26, 2017
Zellweger and Voight Carry the Torch for Homelessness at GWCC Event

11 Alive entertainment reporter Francesca Amiker chats with Renee Zellweger at the Carry the Torch luncheon Wednesday at the Georgia World Congress Center.

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


GWCC October 13, 2017
Modern Art Installation on GWCCA Campus is Just Peachy

On Monday when Gregory Johnson retired for the evening, he slept straight through the night for the first time in a year.

That’s because a 10,000-pound weight had figuratively been lifted from his shoulders earlier in the day. (more…)

First-ever North American Commercial Vehicle Show Revs Up at GWCC

Commuters who traverse I-285, I-20, I-75 and I-85 know that semis, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are no strangers to navigating in and around metro Atlanta’s major roadways. (more…)

Futbol Y’all! Major League Soccer Era on GWCCA Campus Kicks Off at MBS

Are you ready for some futbol, downtown Atlanta? (more…)