After a groundbreaking ceremony, construction has begun on Classic Center Arena, the new 8,500-capacity Athens (GA) facility set for concerts, events, the UGA Ice Dawgs and a new ECHL team.
The Classic Center is an existing downtown Athens convention center sporting a smaller arena and other event spaces. The facility already hosts some 660 events annually, but the addition of the $126-million arena will allow the facility to host larger events and professional hockey. It’s set to open in November 2023. The design/construction team is Perkins & Will, Smallwood, J.E. Dunn, and Impact Construction Management LLC, with a goal of LEED certification.
As noted, the new facility will sport a total capacity of 7,000 for end-stage concert, 8,500 attendees for concerts and events in the round, and 5,500 permanent seats for hockey. It also features 26 suites and multiple locker rooms/dressing rooms, and be configurable for other sporting events.
In November 2020, voters approved a Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax (SPLOST) that would leverage funding for a broad list of projects, including the arena, as $34 million in SPLOST revenue acting as a funding source for the Classic Center.
RELATED STORIES: New Georgia Ice Dawgs Arena in the Works