Fuller said talks between Georgia State and Center Parc began more than a year ago. The initial conversations between the two parties involved a more modest sum and a shorter time commitment, but that grew over time.
“At first we were talking about a smaller opportunity,” Fuller said. “This happened after we really got to know each other and the leadership of the two organizations came together and talked about the shared opportunity.”
Cobb said, “Finding someone who shares our values was very important. … Our values intertwine and will continue as we work together.”
It certainly helped that Chuck Head, the president and CEO of Center Parc and APCU, had roots in Atlanta.
“I grew up in this area, as did my wife and kids, so I have a strong personal resonance with this iconic sports venue,” Head said. “I’m proud to make Center Parc a part of the memories that will be made for generations to come.”
The additional money from the naming rights will provide more stability to the Georgia State athletics program. This will be the 11th season for football at the school and the move from the Georgia Dome to the Turner Field site has been a big step in the program’s development. The new deal will ensure more potential growth.
“The opportunity to play in the stadium has been tremendous, as we try to grow a football program, as we try to grow an athletic department,” Cobb said. “The partnership with Center Parc will be tremendous in helping us grow. I look forward to utilizing the resources being brought to the table.
“It means stability. That’s what we’re trying to create. We’re trying to build a program. We’ve got a long way to go, but this gives us a great opportunity to reach those goals with someone who shares our values.”
Georgia State will begin its fourth season under coach Shawn Elliott. The Panthers were 7-6 last season and played in a bowl game for the second time in three years.
The stadium was built for the 1996 Olympics and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as track and field competition. It was downsized and converted into a baseball stadium that housed the Braves from 1997-2017. It was purchased by Georgia State in 2016 and converted into a 25,000-seat football stadium in time for the 2017 season.