The new arena in College Park will have a guiding hand when it opens this fall – a partnership with The Fox Theatre.
Gateway Center Arena @ College Park, slated to open in November, is committed as the home of the Atlanta Hawks G League team, the Skyhawks. But the 5,000-capacity venue operated by the Georgia International Convention Center will also be used for concerts and family events, which is where the Fox steps in.
“It provides us more leverage as it relates to programming,” said Allan Vella, president and CEO of the Fox. “(The venue) has a similar capacity to the Fox, so when we have long-term engagements for Broadway shows – like ‘Hamilton’ or ‘Wicked’ – artists have other opportunities to go elsewhere, and we want to take them to the Gateway.”
The Gateway Center will also utilize the same ticketing program as the Fox, which already occasionally presents shows at Cobb Energy Centre, Atlanta Symphony Hall and the Buckhead Theatre.
Vella said he’s looking into booking events at the arena starting in December. But, Fox fans don’t need to worry that anything will be taken away from the stately theater in Midtown Atlanta.
“It will be mostly commercial events – concerts and family shows and things that will be fitting for the arena,” Vella said. “We won’t be moving Broadway, but it might be an R&B artist or a large family show better suited for Gateway, or even an athletic event where the Fox wouldn’t be the best fit.”
The location of the arena, minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, makes it accessible to artists zipping into town for a performance, as well as a welcome option for eventgoers in the neighborhood.
“It will help serve southern Metro Atlanta a little better. This will be convenient for people who live in that area and don’t necessarily want to drive to Gwinnett (for a show),” Vella said. “It’s making the pot bigger, not smaller.”
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