Finally, roughly three years after opening, KSU's Fifth Third Bank Stadium is getting a taste of what it was primarily built for - a football venue. While the 8,300 seat stadium has played host to lacrosse and soccer, it will finally have a football game when Kennesaw Mountain and North Cobb high schools play the first football game inside the stadium Sept. 20.
That's good news.
High school officials want to make this an annual affair which is good for the schools, the university, the community and - yes - the players who get the opportunity of playing in a unique environment.
"The goal for all parties is for this to be an annual affair," North Cobb athletic director Bucky Horton told the Marietta Daily Journal.
Could this become a better draw than the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome?
While this year's game has two Cobb teams facing off, future events could draw teams from throughout the state and Southeast. This would be a boon for KSU on several levels, including general campus exposure and an opportunity for potential football recruits to play in the stadium and view the campus up close.
Of course, the Cobb Travel and Tourism would be elated. Out-of-town crowds would fill hotel rooms and dine at local restaurants. It would be a win-win for all.
Back to school ... but did the state miss the tax-free date?
Recent columns from the “Wall Street Journal” and “The Brunswick News” are both touting the benefits of a later school date. While some of the writing is waxing nostalgic, they do both bring up some good points.
Both columns touted the economic benefit of tourism in August, once a prime month for a last go at the beach or a vacation. The trickle down economics helps the local tax bases and summer employment.
While Cobb might not benefit from a later school start as much as primary destinations — beaches, mountains and such — a rising tide does lift all ships as the cliché goes.
But speaking of late school starts, here is our biggest bafflement of late? Why did the state tax-free weekend take place the weekend after many school systems in the metro area had already started? Everyone knows that the main shopping sweep occurs before school starts with the purchasing of everything from basic school supplies to clothes and shoes. Cobb County Schools, for example started on Aug. 7, yet the tax-free weekend was the following weekend Aug. 8 and 9. And Cobb wasn’t the only one. Several other metro counties had also started school. The tax-free weekend can be a win-win for local retailers and residents, but putting it after school starts, well just doesn’t add up. Hard to figure this one out…
Canton Road headed in the right direction
One of the county’s older main thoroughfares is gaining steam in terms of redevelopment.
The Canton Road corridor in northeast Cobb experienced an explosion of growth in the 1960s and ’70s as suburban east Cobb boomed. The last decade or so, however, have left many of those storefronts and strip centers rundown or empty.
Cobb Commissioner Tim Lee first started laying the groundwork for revitalization while he was still a commissioner for that district in the early 2000s. Now his successor, JoAnn Birrell, is continuing to push for improvement.
So far, improvements include various intersection upgrades and the creation of the Canton Road Revitalization Foundation Inc. Its goal is to be a matchmaker between those who have a property to sell, rent, fix up, rezone or lease, on the one hand, and those seeking a property to buy, rent, lease or start a business.
The county also has set up a rehabilitation incentive program that allows qualified businesses that increase the fair-market value of their property by at least 50 percent to receive tax abatements on the additional money they invest in the property.
Have you heard?
Former WellStar CEO Dr. Greg Simone has opened a “Personalized Cardiology” private practice in the Kennestone East office park in Marietta. Its retainer-based business model will translate to enhanced personal consultation and assistance monitoring the work of the patient’s other doctors, among other things, he says
Congratulations to actor/author Ric Reitz of Marietta, who has been elected president of the Atlanta chapter of The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Actors. Reitz was a leader in the effort a decade ago to persuade the state Legislature to pass tax incentives that truly put the state on the map for film and TV production. He also serves on the board of the Governor’s Film Commission.
Health care help
We enjoy having health care and benefits guru David Bottoms contribute to our publication regularly. His columns provide in-depth insight into a world that many business owners can find hard to navigate. Look for more of Bottoms’ insights in our October issue where we will have a dedicated section to health care in Cobb.