ATLANTA, Jan. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The James M. Cox Foundation announced a $2 million contribution to help fund Centennial Olympic Park's renovation and expansion. The park served as a focal point during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
"Jim Kennedy and Cox were among the first true believers, and their support helped us realize Atlanta's Olympic dream. Their continued support through the Cox Foundation's gift to Centennial Olympic Park keeps the dream alive," said Billy Payne, who first envisioned Atlanta hosting the Olympics and served as CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. "The Park is the tangible reminder of the 1996 Centennial Games and is a shining example of how Atlantans can make anything happen when they work together."
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the state agency that oversees the 21-acre park, has outlined numerous upgrades through a $25 million fundraising campaign. Payne has helped lead the effort to raise the funds needed to renovate and expand the Park. The campaign will fund the expansion of the park's greenspace and amphitheater, enhance connections to neighboring attractions and create a new pedestrian plaza.
"Cox Enterprises was honored to be an early supporter of the 1996 Olympic Games," said Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises and grandson of company founder James M. Cox. "Under Billy Payne's leadership, we knew it would be a success and an important part of our city's legacy. That legacy continues today through Centennial Olympic Park. This expansion will allow the park to be an even greater gathering place for Atlanta's residents and visitors."
This support builds upon a $6 million grant from the James M. Cox Foundation to the PATH Foundation, which is funding the creation of a central trail hub within Centennial Olympic Park. The hub will create connectivity within the park, as well as with nearby destinations including the existing PATH trail network and the Atlanta BeltLine. Additionally, a new Bike Depot is being built between the Park and the Georgia Aquarium.
Cox Enterprises and its associated entities are longtime supporters of parks, trails and greenspace. The company is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cox Conserves, a national sustainability program that promotes conservation and eco-friendly behavior among its operations, employees, communities and customers.
About the James M. Cox Foundation
The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises' founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including: conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.
About the Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) now includes Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 3.9 million- square-foot convention center, the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome, and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. Additionally, GWCCA manages operations of the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. These public facilities represent the largest combined convention, sports, and entertainment destination in the world. This past year, the GWCCA hosted more than 500 events and welcomed 2.7 million visitors, generating $1.5 billion in economic impact to the State of Georgia.
SOURCE Cox Enterprises
For further information: Elizabeth Olmstead, email@example.com, 678-645-0762