Mark Geil

Dr. Mark Geil

January – Greetings from KH

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I bought tickets to see Billy Joel in concert. I’ve seen the Piano Man before, and though I’m a fan he’s not first on my list to see live (that would be U2). The reason we made an extra effort to buy tickets to this show is that it will be the first concert ever in SunTrust Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves.

Just a few hours ago, I got a text from the promoters of a big concert festival called Winter Jam that said, “Be a part of history and join us for the last concert of any kind at the Georgia Dome!”

And this afternoon, I’ll be stopping by a neighbor’s house to pay for a ticket to see the first ever regular season game for Atlanta United FC.

Clearly, Atlanta is in a profound state of flux when it comes to our stadiums. If you live nearby, you’ve heard the debates:

“The Dome looks fine to me. I don’t see why they’re tearing it down already”

“I can’t wait to see a game in that new Falcons stadium. It looks like a spaceship!”

“The traffic at 285 and 75 on game days will be a nightmare!”

“Have you seen the restaurants they’re planning for the Battery? It’s going to be a destination year-round.”

These comments only hint at the politics, economics, and environmental impact of stadium design and planning. They also hint at the importance of sound research to undergird future infrastructure.

The Department of Kinesiology and Health’s Sport and Urban Policy Initiative is in the right place at the right time. The SUPI is a forum for scientific study of the ways in which sport interacts with, contributes to, and interferes with urban spaces.

Dr. Tim Kellison heads SUPI’s emphasis on Public Stadiums and Urban Development. Since we’ve found ourselves at this remarkable epicenter of stadium development, we’re privileged to have the go-to authority on the subject right here in our department. Follow Dr. Kellison at @TBKellison, and learn more about the SUPI at http://kh.education.gsu.edu/supi/

So, whether your living in Allentown, or you’re in a New York State of Mind, or even if you’re under Scandinavian Skies (sorry, couldn’t resist), remember the hot spot for sport and urban policy discussion is right here in Atlanta, and the leaders of that research are right here in KH.

Dr. Mark Geil,
Chair, KH Department