ATHENS, Ga. – A ground-breaking ceremony took place in late-April at the site of the new Classic Center Arena in Athens, Ga.
Slated to open in November 2023, The Classic Center Arena will serve as a premier event facility in northeast Georgia.
“I am so excited that together we are breaking ground on a project that will drive millions in economic impact in Clarke County,” said Paul Cramer, president/CEO. “This project will create over 600 new jobs, link downtown Athens to the Oconee River, and will provide an estimated $33 million in annual economic impact.”
Once complete, The Classic Center Arena will have 5,500 permanent seats with the capacity to hold up to 8,500 people along with the ability to host events from concerts and sports tournaments to banquets and general sessions. “Built into the fabric of downtown Athens, The Classic Center Arena will echo the energy of the college town with its rich music history, outstanding clubs, restaurants, and breweries, along with walkable access to hotels,” a news release states.
The arena will be home to The UGA Ice Dawgs, an East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team and used as a learning lab. The Georgia Music Hall will also open, bringing the state’s collection of memorabilia to life in The Classic Center Arena through an interactive, museum-quality experience.
According to the news release, the new LEED-certified arena will continue The Classic Center’s mission along with generating more jobs for the Athens area while focusing on sustainability and green energy.