ATLANTA – The Super Bowl is looking to make a lasting impact on Atlanta years after the game ends. In fact, it was a requirement if Atlanta wanted to win the bid for the Super Bowl.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Host Committee held a ground-breaking ceremony at Kennedy Park to reveal the capital improvement project.
Along with the Host Committee, Super Bowl’s Legacy 53 Initiative, NFL Foundation, and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation are teaming up to fund the project that will benefit children of Atlanta. The plans call for a huge field, basketball court and playground.
The investment is supposed to be committed to fostering play and healthy lifestyles of the community right in the backyard of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium
11Alive was there when the group made their announcement.
The Host Committee recently launched Legacy 53, which is their effort to create a “lasting legacy for the City of Atlanta.” It's a large-scale initiative throughout the city and will focus on civil rights and social justice. Legacy 53 has five pillars including business connect, capital improvement project, civil rights and social justice, sustainability, and youth engagement.
The site of Wednesday's project - Kennedy Park - is within eyesight of the stadium - and Arthur Blank said he wanted people inside the stadium to be able to see the Westside community. The goal, he said, was to change how people who live there feel about the area.
And the $2 million dollar investment is just the beginning of what Blank said he wants people on the Westside to be proud of.
"Crime, as an example, is down year-over-year in these communities. It's down by 43 percent," she said.
11Alive verified that number with the Atlanta Police Department, and they said yes, crime has dropped dramatically in those areas.
But it's not just about statistics. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said park will be a reflection of what people on the Westside want.
"People are often looking with their noses pressed against the window pane, and when you have the Atlanta Falcons and the Blank Foundation saying that we have MBS in your backyard but you won't be left behind," she said.
The park is supposed to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new space the week of the Super Bowl