ATLANTA, GA – (November 16, 2015) –The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation has made a $10 million commitment to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) for Centennial Olympic Park and its 2020Vision.. The Woodruff gift comes two decades after the Foundation’s initial transformational investment in the Park, which set off a chain of events resulting in unprecedented levels of public and private sector support. The leadership and vision for transforming the western edge of downtown into a glorious 21-acre public greenspace redefined Atlanta and sparked an urban renaissance with new museums and attractions, as well as significant commercial and residential development that has now exceeded $2.2 billion in total investments.
“We are tremendously grateful and excited by the confidence in the GWCCA expressed by this gift from the Woodruff Foundation,” said executive director, Frank Poe. “We also feel a great responsibility to steward these funds in a way that leverages the greatest possible impact to the Park now, and in the years to come.”
To celebrate the Park’s 20th anniversary and usher in a new era of service to the community, GWCCA has developed a forward-thinking master plan detailing $25 million in capital improvements. The Woodruff Foundation gift is the first major philanthropic contribution to this effort.
These capital improvements will allow Centennial Olympic Park to continue to serve as a popular gathering place for local residents, a top tourist destination, and a beacon for a revitalized downtown Atlanta.
“When the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation invested in Centennial Olympic Park twenty years ago, we had high hopes for what the Park could mean for downtown Atlanta. The results have exceeded our expectations,” said P. Russell Hardin, president of the Woodruff Foundation. “The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has been a wonderful steward and we are excited about the plans to reinvest in the Park.”
In addition to garnering support from foundations and corporations, Centennial Olympic Park’s 20th Anniversary Campaign will generate broad-based support from the public at large. A new commemorative brick campaign, reminiscent of the extraordinarily successful community-wide effort that helped to build the Park in the mid- 1990s, is expected to launch in early 2016.
Georgia World Congress Center Authority
About the Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA)
now includes Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 3.9 million square foot convention center, the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome, and 21- acre Centennial Olympic Park. Additionally, GWCCA manages operations of the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. These public facilities represent the largest combined convention, sports, and entertainment destinations in the world. This past year, the GWCCA hosted 552 events and welcomed more than 2.3 million visitors who generated $1.4 billion in economic impact and sustained 15,134 jobs in Georgia.