The Classic Center Arena

The Classic Center Authority's proposal for the 2020 SPLOST

The mission of the proposed Classic Center Arena project is to fulfill the original vision of The Classic Center as defined in its 1989 program - to serve the community as a civic, cultural, and social center - while increasing the impact of The Classic Center as Athens’ greatest economic development engine for hospitality and tourism. In addition to providing cultural and entertainment opportunities for citizens, this project stimulates the economy and creates over 600 jobs through hospitality and tourism while acting as a learning lab for students in our universities and technical colleges for one of Athens' leading clean and "green" industries. Hospitality is now one of the leading industries in our country, providing outstanding pathways to meaningful careers with significant salaries. 

  1. Goal #1
  2. Goal #2
  3. Goal #3

GOAL: Enable The Classic Center Authority to generate an additional $33 million per year in economic impact for Athens as calculated by a study completed in 2018 by Convention Sports and Leisure International, a team recognized within the hospitality industry for its expertise in providing consulting services to the convention, sport, entertainment, and visitor industries, as well as generate an additional 100,000+ hotel room nights.

a. Expand to accommodate an additional 125 events at The Classic Center of up to 7,000+ participants through the expanded space and new state-of-the-art technology

b. Enhance Athens' reputation as an internationally recognized music city by creating a venue capable of hosting national touring music concerts that draw 7,000+ fans.             

c. Build on Athens' status as the preferred venue for statewide, regional, and national conferences by hosting groups capable of drawing 5,000+ guests.

d. Create a facility able to attract and host up to 10 family shows (Marvel Universe, Disney on Ice, Harlem Globetrotters, etc.) each year.

e. Increase visitor spending by $33 million annually, directly raising hotel occupancy and generating jobs. According to the Georgia Dept. of Economic Development, the current economic impact generated by the local hospitality industry saves each Athens household $465 annually in taxes. This expansion is anticipated to increase The Classic Center's room night generation by over 90 percent, by driving an additional 100,000+ room nights annually.

f. Make Athens more attractive to businesses seeking to locate operations in a community that provides a high level of cultural and leisure services for families, employees, and customers.