COLLEGE PARK – The WNBA’s Atlanta Dream announced Friday the franchise will play its 2020 home games at the new Gateway Center Arena in College Park, but that wasn’t the only thing the team unveiled.
For the past two years, the Dream had been on a flotsam path that found them at Georgia State and State Farm Arena, its home for the 2019 season. Friday ushered in a lot of new things for the Atlanta Dream, most notably the move to its new home at Gateway Arena in Clayton County in Metro Atlanta’s Southside for the team’s 13th season. The WNBA team also released rebranding efforts ahead of the 2020 season, the 10th for owners Mary Brock and Kelly Loeffler.
The co-owners were looking for a new home court after the season and looked to the south.
“When we learned we needed to find a new home court, we turned challenge into opportunity, and are thrilled to showcase the Atlanta Dream in College Park at Gateway Center where the growth of the city is evident,” Brock and Loeffler said in a press release. “We’re excited to offer our fans a professional basketball experience in a state-of-the-art setting.”
On the other side of the coin, even Atlanta Dream head coach Nicki Collen mentioned that it’s still an exciting time for everyone following the team’s previous success.
“I’m excited to springboard off the kind of season that we not necessarily wanted and be able to push into 2020 with both of these exciting announcements,” Collen said. “I just think we’re going to create something special here in College Park at the Gateway Center certainly. We’re always going to represent Atlanta but I think it’s a unique opportunity for us to be here and truly create a home environment where our fans can impact the outcome of games.”
Gateway Center Arena is a new 100,000-square-foot arena set to open Friday, Oct. 26, with the first events scheduled for November. The arena will seat 3,500 with the potential to expand up to 5,000 for concerts.
The venue, operated by the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), will also host the College Park Skyhawks, the Atlanta Hawks G-League team, as well as concerts, conventions and more.
“The first conversation I had was with a coworker when they had the whole idea about the arena,” Georgia International Convention Center executive director Mercedes Miller said. “The Dream was the first thing that came to mind because I felt like we were the perfect place for them. I’m very high on women’s basketball and women’s professional sports and me being a woman in charge, I’m just excited they’re here.”
But it’s not the only thing the Atlanta Dream brought to the table with their move. The Dream also unveiled a new logo.
“The new logo is just cool,” Collen said. “I think it’s where our league is going, we’re trying to younger, hipper and more progressive. It pays homage to the past while creating something that a 14-year-old would want to wear. I think it does both of those things but conceptually we wanted something people could look at and say wow, that’s cool.”