An innovative new Brooklyn-based basketball league announced today it’s taking its talents to Atlanta.
Planning is underway for a 103,000-square-foot facility to be built on a below-grade Atlantic Station lot for Overtime Elite, a league that aims to offer gifted young basketball players an alternative route to professional ranks—paying them at least $100,000 salaries in the process.
At the Atlantic Station facility, OTE players will train, study, and compete. In the short term, the project is expected to create 400 construction jobs, at least 30 percent of them diverse hires, with preference given to people living within Atlanta city limits, OTE reps say. Meanwhile, the league is also recruiting and hiring a staff of more than 100, ranging from food service emplyees to basketball staff and educators.
Atlanta beat out seven other U.S. cities during a year-long search process. OTE games are scheduled to begin at Atlantic Station in September.
“If we could construct a city that would be the perfect home for Overtime Elite, it would look just like Atlanta,” OTE commissioner and president Aaron Ryan said in a release, citing the city’s basketball history, diversity, thriving business community, and “rich culture.”
Announced in March, the pro league is expected to pay elite high school basketball players guaranteed salaries starting in the low six figures, addressing the perennial hot topic that is pay for amateur athletes. OTE announced in April it raised $80 million, with funding coming from famous investors such as Drake and Jeff Bezos and 25 NBA players. Playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks Trae Young, Cam Reddish, and Solomon Hill are among them.
OTE officials say the Atlantic Station facility will be built with recycled and reused components in time for the league’s September debut.
We asked reps exactly where it’s planned to rise at the mixed-use megaplex but were told only that it's an undeveloped lot. (Renderings suggest the facility will take an empty slot on Atlantic Station’s southern rim, near Hines’ new Atlantic Yards development where Microsoft is building out offices.)
UPDATE: 10:54 a.m. May 19: An OTE rep provided the following clarification after publication of this story: "Players will be housed in existing construction near Atlantic Station. A 103,000-square-foot arena is scheduled to be built south of 17th and Market Streets in Atlantic Station."
In addition to guaranteed salaries, OTE offers budding NBA talent a year-round program of top coaching and access to advanced sports science and performance tech, per the company. Players will also profit from sales of jerseys, video games, trading cards, NFTs, and other uses of their name and likeness.
Several notable Atlantans chimed in with statements in today’s announcement.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms: “This ... underscores that Atlanta is still a great place to do business. Overtime Elite will bring several well-paying jobs to our city, generate millions of dollars in economic impact, and expand mentorship and programming opportunities for our young people.”
Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, an entertainer, activist, and entrepreneur: “[The project] will bring longtime benefits to the City of Atlanta, not only economically, but it will teach our young people about empowerment and competing from a position of strength.”
Hawks dynamo point guard Trae Young: “[It’s] a welcome addition to Atlanta’s rich sports tradition, elevating the city as a global center for basketball development and a cultural hub for people of all backgrounds.”
Anyone interested in OTE job openings can visit LinkedIn for more information.
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