Atlanta to get new look in time for World Cup

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 9:00 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The work is underway to get Atlanta ready to welcome the world in 2026.

Brian McGowan is President of the new Centennial Yards development near Mercedes Benz Stadium, otherwise known as the gulch.

“This is going to be Battery 10.0,” McGowan said. “This site we’re standing on right now is literally where Atlanta was founded. The original name of the city was Terminus because all the railroads crossed in this location. So, to see a rebirth of the city at the origination point of the city is going to be very exciting.”

Atlanta is one of 16 cities across North America that will host the FIFA World Cup in just four years. Perhaps the biggest sporting event since the 1996 Olympic games. And the economic impact on businesses and hotels is going to be monumental.

“Just to give you some perspective for us for a month in the middle of summer, we’re looking at a half-million dollars or a little more and it’s easily going to do probably three times that,” Reverb Hotel Sales and Marketing Director.

The Centennial Yards development encompassing 8 million square feet is expected to be the most noticeable improvement to the area and will consist of condos, shops, restaurants, and bars.

“It will be a sports and entertainment district so restaurants and bars, and this is where people are going to want to come before the game and stay after the games,” McGowan said. “It’s the right next step, it’s the one thing that we don’t have right now. We don’t have a great downtown and this project is going to change that.”

The gulch, which has been a vacant parking lot for years, is a 50-acre piece of property right in the heart of the area. Only half of that property will be completely developed by the time the World Cup comes to town.