College Park and the Atlanta Hawks will break ground Jan. 30 on a new $42 million, 100,000-square-foot multi-purpose arena.
Atlanta Business Chronicle has exclusively obtained renderings of the facility and learned it will be called The Gateway Center @ College Park.
The center will be the home of the Atlanta Hawks G League team — the first Hawks feeder team in Georgia — and serve as a multi-purpose event space for sporting, entertainment and community events like high school graduations. The Gateway Center is a conglomeration of hotels and office space surrounding the 400,000-square-foot Georgia International Convention Center, which is connected to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport via light rail.
The Hawk’s current G League affiliate is the Erie BayHawks, which plays its games about 800 miles away from Philips Arena in Erie, Pa. The G League is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. In 2016, the Hawks announced it bought the rights to own and operate an NBA G League (then D-League) team that will play in College Park, Ga., beginning with the 2019-20 season.
“We sent three players to our Erie, Pa., affiliate the other day,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “We would now be able to have those players sleep in their own beds since they live in Atlanta and play in a G-League game on a Tuesday and be at a [Atlanta] Hawks game on a Wednesday so it gives us so much more control in developing our players and it helps us with limiting player travel.”
About 60 percent of NBA players have played in the G League, including current Hawks star Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schröder, Koonin said.
“[A G League team] helps you with the draft and with developing players,” he said. “There are also a lot of benefits coming as there is the questioning and looking into of how we develop basketball throughout America and I think the G League will play a very prominent role in that.”
According to College Park, about 600 jobs will be created during the construction of the arena with a focus on Women and Minority Business Enterprise (WMBE) participation.
Upon completion, the center will have a 3,500-seat configuration for G League basketball, and a 5,000-seat configuration for concerts and convocations.
College Park Mayor Jack Longino said the addition of the arena will “absolutely” spur more economic development around the Georgia International Convention Center.
“BMW is already building their training facility here and with this facility coming, you will absolutely see a lot more talk about great developments in College Park,” he said.
Longino added that the Hawks and College Park will decide what the team will be named at a later date but did confirm the name would include “College Park.”
The multi-purpose arena is expected to be completed by summer 2019.
Jesse Frasier, Program Manager, BDR PartnersHector Morales, Program Manager, BDR Partners The Collaborative FirmMichael Hightower, The Collaborative FirmBrittney Lindsey, The Collaborative FirmDannelle Crowe, The Collaborative Firm
Rob O’Keefe, Architect, TVS DesignSal Lalani, Architect, TVS Design
Jim Curry, Architect, Rosser InternationalGary Miller, Architect, Rosser InternationalAmanda Hodgins, Architect, Rosser International
Barton Malow Construction
Chris Torchia, Barton Malow ConstructionBrandon Scott, Barton Malow Construction HJ RussellMichael Russell, HJ Russell