ATLANTA—Georgia State University officially opened its new Convocation Center in the Summerhill neighborhood of Atlanta, near Center Parc Stadium.
The latest addition to Georgia State’s growing presence in the neighborhood and in downtown Atlanta, the Convocation Center at 455 Capitol Ave. has a seating capacity of up to 8,000 and it will host large-scale events such as First-Year Convocation, commencement and concerts. It will also be the new home court for Georgia State men’s and women’s basketball.
Georgia State officials hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Convocation Center at noon Sept. 15.
The first large-scale event scheduled at the multiuse facility will be the Friday, Sept. 16, investiture of Georgia State’s eighth president, Dr. M. Brian Blake.
“This amazing new facility will not only benefit the Georgia State community, but also the revitalized Summerhill neighborhood and the entire city of Atlanta,” Blake said. “We’re delighted our Convocation Center will be a gathering place for the city and an anchor to further advance the vitality of the neighborhood. We all owe a debt of gratitude to my predecessor, President Mark Becker, for his leadership in setting the vision and foundation for this center.”
Georgia State officials broke ground on the center in November 2020 on a 6-acre site just north of Center Parc Stadium, which Georgia State acquired in 2017 and converted from the home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves to the home of the Panthers football team.
The Convocation Center brings Panthers basketball to the neighborhood, where the university also plans a baseball and softball complex on the site where Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium once stood.
The Convocation Center is an upgrade from the basketball teams’ longtime home court, Georgia State Sports Arena, which was constructed in 1972 and has a maximum capacity of 3,500 seats.
“The Convocation Center is a game-changer, not just for our men’s and women’s basketball programs, but for all of Georgia State University,” said Athletics Director Charlie Cobb. “It’s a vehicle for engagement for the entire community — whether it’s graduation, an academic seminar, an esports tournament, a concert or a basketball game.”
The new facility also includes classroom and academic support space as well as the ability to accommodate large events, with divisible meeting and conference spaces and the latest technology in lighting, acoustics and building control systems.
“The facility is designed to serve as a multipurpose and multiuse venue not only for convocation and commencement events,” said Ramesh Vakamudi, vice president for Facilities Management at Georgia State, “but also for various Georgia State academic and community outreach activities, conferences, seminars, holiday gatherings and more.”