Atlantic Station is set to officially become a basketball destination next week.
Five months after a new Brooklyn-based basketball league declared Atlanta its launchpad for “the next generation of athlete empowerment,” a ribbon-cutting is planned Wednesday for a hangar-like, 103,000-square-foot facility that’s claimed one of Atlantic Station’s open pits along 17th Street.
The basketball league, Overtime Elite, announced in May they’d selected Atlanta over seven other finalist cities for building a facility and system that young players could use as an alternate springboard to professional ranks.
Positioned between 16th and 17th streets, OTE’s arena was built with recycled and reused components. It brings to mind an oversized version of Mezcalito’s Cocina & Tequila Bar’s building in Grant Park, peeking over sidewalks on Atlantic Station’s southern rim.
Expected to attend Wednesday’s event are OTE commissioner Aaron Ryan, head coach Kevin Ollie, Atlantic Station reps, and unspecified “local Atlanta officials,” according to a league announcement.
The inaugural season will begin two days later, on October 29.
After a year-long search for a place to build OTE’s arena, Ryan called Atlanta the “perfect home” for the league, given the city’s basketball history, diversity, culture, and thriving business community.
Announced in March, the league is expected to pay elite high school basketball players guaranteed salaries starting in the low six figures. OTE said in April it had raised $80 million, with funding coming from famous investors such as Drake and Jeff Bezos and 25 NBA players. Atlanta Hawks Trae Young, Cam Reddish, and Solomon Hill are among them.
At the Atlantic Station facility, OTE players will train, study, and compete, earning at least $100,000 salaries in the process.
Building the OTE facility was expected to create 400 construction jobs—30 percent of them diverse hires, with preference given to Atlanta residents, officials said in the spring.
The league also expects to hire a more permanent staff of 100, ranging from food service employees to basketball staff and educators.
Players will be housed in “existing construction” nearby, as OTE reps previously told Urbanize Atlanta.
• Photos: 16 years later, how Atlantic Station continues to change (Urbanize Atlanta)