ATLANTA - The eyes of the country were supposed to be set on Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game on Monday night. Instead it is another event cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Atlanta Sports Council President Dan Corso spent the last couple of years planning the event and he said the cherry on top of his disappointment was the beautiful weather in Atlanta over the weekend.
“I was just like here it is. Perfect big event Atlanta weather. Yeah it was a little bit of a gut punch to have that weather,” says Corso.
Corso adds that the cancellation of the Final Four is disappointing for those who were working to organize the event, but the bigger blow comes to those who planned on working during the event.
“At the end of the day it’s also about people who lost some jobs. Temporary jobs that were going to come in and help run the event. Whether it’s in the hospitality community or the service industry or at the stadium itself,” says Corso.
The host committee had a projected impact study done by Georgia State University and that projected $106 million dollars of economic impact to the state by hosting the Final Four.
There have been unofficial talks about having the Final Four return to Atlanta in the future. The earliest time that could happen is 2027.
“We started having those conversations to say, okay our planning was very sound, we have a setup downtown and really throughout metro Atlanta that works perfectly for the NCAA and the Final Four as it does for the other big events that we bring here. So we did have some dialogue about ‘what does the future look like’. The next cycle is 2027-2031,” says Corso.
In the meantime there are still other big events coming to Atlanta. The next one Corso is looking forward to is the 2021 MLB All-Star Game at Truist Park.