When will Atlanta’s sports, entertainment scene start seeing a shift back to normal?

One year into this pandemic, Georgia’s economy continues to recover. But when the “fun” parts of Atlanta’s economy start to come back, things like going to a Braves game, a play or a festival at Piedmont Park?

Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon has been working to get those answers.

All the stuff that makes Atlanta, Atlanta has been hammered by the pandemic.

Th Sitkowski family hoped to take their one-year-old daughter to her first Braves game last year.

“We’ll try and make that happen later on this year. It would be a lot of fun,” Matt Sitkowski said.

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The Braves are just one part of Atlanta’s normally booming sports and entertainment scene devastated by the pandemic. Last year, the team played only a shortened season without any fans in attendance.

In a February email Channel 2 obtained sent to Braves season ticket holders, the team promised an answer by Friday March 12 on the number of fans the team plans to allow in this season.

“It would be nice to just be smart about it and get fans in the stands to cheer on the Braves.”

Across town at State Farm Arena, the Atlanta Hawks plan to allow more fans in the stands starting this weekend up to 3,000.


Meanwhile, midtown Atlanta’s iconic Fox Theater still sits empty.

“We’ve been closed an entire year. We’ve refunded millions of dollars worth of tickets. We’ve cancelled hundreds of events,” Fox president Allan Vella said. “We’ve rescheduled hundreds of events and unfortunately we’ve had to lay off the majority of our staff. It’s been a very, very difficult.”

Vella told Wilfon he expects the theater will be able to finally re-open this summer with the Broadway musical “Hamilton” hitting the staging in august.

He hopes for a full house, with a long list of COVID-19 safety measures in place.

“The economics of Broadway and concerts and such, don’t really allow us to operate with 6 feet social distancing. So it’s really imperative that we can open at full capacity and do it in a safe way,” he said.


At Piedmont Park, a spokesperson told Wilfon it’s still unclear if the park will host any festivals this year, but on the Music Midtown website, organizers for that festival are promoting September dates in the park.

Channel 2 reached out to Music Midtown to see if officials still expect it to happen but has not heard back.

We do know another big Atlanta event will return this year: The AJC Peachtree Road Race on July 4 weekend.

“We are known as the world’s largest 10k road race, cause we are. and we’re the largest road race of any kind in the united states. But in 2021 our focus is going to be on being the safest,” race director Rich Kenah said.

After the pandemic led to the race being held virtually last year, Kenah said the race will be spread over two days this year to keep tens of thousands of runners socially distant.

One of the many pieces of the fabric of Atlanta -- that a fading pandemic -- could allow to be stitched back together.

“We celebrated the 50th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race in 2019 and we were excited about our next 50 years and then 2020 happened.”

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