Tuesday, September 22, 2009

College Football Hall of Fame to ATL. Yawn.

So the College Football Hall of Fame is moving to Atlanta, and we beat out Dallas and T. Boone Pickens to secure the move.  As a Michigan grad, I engage in an extremely mild amount of schadenfreude at seeing South Bend, Indiana lose the Hall of Fame.  As an Atlanta resident, I am a bit disappointed as it appears the boosters of the move are going to be taking a piece of property on the east side of Centennial Olympic Park at Harris Street:

View Terminal Station Development Tracker in a larger map
I am generally of the opinion that Atlanta needs more residents and sustainable development, not more tourist attractions.  I also would love to see a higher density development than a likely two story building on that particular piece of dirt. 

I'm not opposed to the HOF relocating.  I'm enough of a home town booster to rejoice at beating Dallas for something, especially football related.  So far, the Hall of Fame has given me Notre Dame snubbing and Texas snubbing.  If we could work in some Alabama snubbing, it'd be the holy trinity of self-important football schadenfreude.  But the College Football Hall of Fame is a decidedly B-grade tourist attraction, certainly not on par with the Aquarium or the CCHR.  It doesn't match up to the World of Coke, either, which frankly is a B-grade attraction, too.  The HOF might even be C-grade.

So I'm disappointed that this actually happened, but I guess realistically it is good to have something being built Downtown.  It might be a positive addition to the city, but I still think in the long run that the opportunity costs for that parcel are too high. 


  1. Arg -- as soon as I read this story elsewhere I immediately thought "please don't put this downtown with the other attractions."

    Very disappointed to learn that this is exactly what will happen. As a fan of Atlanta history I would love to live downtown in the historic center of the city -- if it could have more of a residential atmosphere. Despite the growing presence of GSU students and the condos built in the last several years, it feels like a place geared too heavily towards temporary occupants: 9-5 office workers and visitors to arenas and attractions.

    This eastern edge of the park would be such as great place for low-rise condo buildings that could architecturally bridge the older buildings with the skyscrapers. Packing in so many attractions here creates a situation where there is less and less of a chance for successful residential development with walkable support services like markets and retail.

  2. if its for good as it seems..then let it be..the place is awesome though..
    commercial real estate

  3. It's more like "shrug" than "yawn" for me. I'll probably visit once, forget it's there, and then years later I'll read a news article saying it closed and then shrug again.

  4. Atlanta is the perfect home for the Hall. The city is home to 5.5 million people and is the capital of college football. Not only does Atlanta host the SEC Championship game, the Kickoff Classic and the Chick-fil-a Bowl, it is also home to more SEC and ACC alumni than any other city. According to Gary Stokan of The Atlanta Sports Council, Atlanta has the No.1 alumni bases for all of the ACC and SEC schools, except for two [Duke and North Carolina], outside of their home markets.
    You can read more of my take and stick around for more good content.

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  6. Ed - As I said, I don't really have any problem with Atlanta the location. Strategically, it probably makes plenty of sense for the CFHOF. I just object to its location on the park.

    I wonder if there couldn't be the possibility of a mixed-use development that includes the CFHOF, similar to how the Museum of Patriotism and the Children's museum lease space.

    Like Rusty, I'm skeptical about the basic business model of the CFHOF. IIRC, South Bend has basically lost money on the CFHOF because no one goes there. I'd much rather the space be something that could be adapted if the CFHOF goes out of business or decides to move again (it has moved twice already now).

    Is the CFHOF really important enough that it needs to be yet another supposed architectural masterpiece that will be completely useless in 20 years when the CFHOF moves on? IMO, the only HOF I'd consider going to is Cooperstown. I've been to South Bend, and I didn't find it necessary to go to the CFHOF.

  7. I'm sure it's a character flaw but I've never had the slighted interest in the Park or it's surroundings. I thought it was a more interesting area before it was a park.

    I don't feel good anywhere in the space. It's starts feeling a little better walking east on Luckie or Walton towards Broad Street. The conventioneer-walk from Peachtree Center to the park is just awful here there and in between.

    I'm happy for Atlanta to have great attractions whatever they are but I wish they were more attractive.


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