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The spirit of Atlanta

So we paid the IOC’s bounty for the ’96 Olympics to get a park downtown where one day the Zac Brown Band would perform? Thanks for the memories, Billy Payne.

“I never measured the success of the Olympics by the venues left behind,” said the man who conceived the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The stadium that served as the hub of those Games was reconfigured into Turner Field, a new home for the Braves, the following year.

“The most important venue and the one that most represents the spirit of the Games is Centennial Olympic Park. Beyond that, I never thought about any legacy value (in the buildings from Atlanta’s 1996 Olympics) because that’s not why I did it,” Payne said.

Lest anyone get the wrong idea where his sentiments lie, he added, “Bricks and mortar are not that important.”

Don’t forget the beautiful aluminum tower off I-20 that held the flame.


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