Atlanta, our new destination for ITW 2019, is a magnet for sporting blockbusters and a major centre for sport in the US. Who can forget the 1994 Superbowl, when the Dallas Cowboys came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat? Or the one in 2000, when the now-infamous “Tackle” ended one of the most dramatic contests in the history of the game?
On February 3rd, tens of thousands will once again flock to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home to both the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Atlanta United (MLS), for Super Bowl LIII. Millions will tune in to watch it on TV. And local bars like the STATS Brewpub in Downtown (minutes from your hotel) and the Fado Irish Pub in Buckhead (just up the road in a cab), will be bursting at the seams with sports fans ordering beers, snacks, and yelling inordinately at the big screens.
Also in Downtown, just a stone’s throw away from the CNN Center, you’ll find Dantanna’s, a sanctuary for the rather more discerning appreciator of the athletic arts, with higher end drinks and bites. You can even book a private room with a flat screen TV. During your visit, Atlanta United - winners of the 2018 MLS Cup, no less! - will be playing Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Yes, when it comes to big sporting events, Atlanta shows dedication and a startlingly good pedigree. The famous Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown stands as a living monument to that halcyon summer of 1996, when Michael Johnson and his golden Nikes left scorch marks in the history books (he bagged two world records for the 200m and 400m). The city is still basking in the good vibes over 20 years later - at last count, The Fountain of Rings was the biggest photo hotspot in Georgia!
The State Farm Arena – stomping ground of the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) – doubles up as one of the best music venues in the south. In May and June, global superstars like Ozzy Osbourne and Ariana Grande will be popping by to put on a show. Then, later in the year, on July 4th (Independence Day) the local streets will be awash with vests and shorts as 70,000 runners take part in the annual Peachtree Road Race, the biggest 10k in the world.
If there’s a sport going, count Atlanta in. Big time.
Why not stay on a few extra days after ITW 2019 to get a taste of Atlanta sport and see Atlanta United play Montreal Impact at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday 29th June?