Interview with William Pate, president and CEO, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

 
 
 
(0:15) What is there to do in Atlanta for Super Bowl? 
One of the great things about Atlanta is we have a variety of offerings, so if you’re looking for family-friendly attractions, they are all around Centennial Olympic Park. If you’re looking for shopping, we have the best shopping in the Southeast just 10 minutes north in Buckhead. If you like cultural institutions, we have 1,700 cultural institutions throughout the metro Atlanta area. Whatever you’re looking for, there is something to do in Atlanta. During Super Bowl week, you can go to atlanta.net/superbowl to see all the activities we have going on in the city.
 
(1:04) For fans that were here in 2000, what’s new? 
In the 19 years since we last hosted the Super Bowl, Atlanta has really remodeled the city. Centennial Olympic Park is now surrounded by family-friendly attractions with a lot of variety. Five miles north of here in Midtown, we’ve had a huge influx of residential. When you get residential, you’re going to get more restaurants and more retail. The vibrancy Downtown has really elevated since the last time the Super Bowl was here.
 
(1:50) What is the hotel landscape like in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII? 
Atlanta has almost 100,000 hotel rooms in the metro area. As you can imagine, most of that inventory was committed six months to a year out; however, if you’re making the last minute decision to come to Atlanta for Super Bowl, we still have some hotel availability outside of the perimeter, which is about a 20-minute drive from Downtown.
 
(2:25) What sets Atlanta apart for hosting large-scale events such as Super Bowl?
I think Atlanta is a very popular city to hold major events because logistically, we are almost unparalleled. We have the busiest airport in the world, so it is very easy to get in and out of the city. Eighty percent of the U.S. population can be here in under two hours. Then, it is a quick 20-minute train ride on MARTA to be right in the middle of Downtown. It is very easy to get around. You have all these attractions around the park. They are within walking distance of our almost 12,000 hotel rooms in the middle of Downtown. When you think about the ease of being able to host big events and to host all the ancillary events that come with them, Atlanta sets up as nicely as any other city in the country.
 
(3:24) How important are events like Super Bowl to Atlanta?
Atlanta loves to host mega-events because it creates so many great opportunities. For instance, here at Super Bowl, we will have nearly 6,000 journalists from around the world here for the game. They’re going to write stories about Atlanta - its culture, its history ... you can’t buy that kind of marketing exposure. Then, you’re also going to have a lot of people who come to the city who haven’t been in Atlanta in 20 or 30 years and some people who have never been to Atlanta. When they come here, they’re going to have a great time, and when they go home, they will tell their friends about it. Hopefully, their friends will plan to visit here very soon.
 
(4:21) Can people still have a great Super Bowl experience in Atlanta without a ticket to the game?
You don’t have to have a ticket to the football game in order to have a Super Bowl experience here in Atlanta. We have Super Bowl Opening Night, which is going to be media interviews with the players and coaches. State Farm Arena, right across the park here, is going to host three nights of concerts. Here in the park, we will also host Super Bowl LIVE, which will be some additional concerts and festivals tied in with Super Bowl. Then, you can go to Super Bowl Experience at Georgia World Congress Center next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This is an opportunity to bring the kids out where they can play games, get autographs and really have that Super Bowl experience.