I practically grew up at the Omni. I had a more familiar relationship with our chain-smoking usher decked out in her red sateen jacket with the octogonal patch sewn on the sleeve than I did with the administrators who roamed the halls of my elementary school.
At the time I started attending Hawks games, the population of metro Atlanta was around 2.3 million people, qualifying it as a medium-sized market still in its relative infancy as a major league city -- the Falcons were the first to arrive in Atlanta in 1965. When I attended my first Hawks game, the team had been in Atlanta for only 13 years. At age eight that meant nothing to me, but for my father, who was born and raised a couple of miles from the Omni, the Hawks were still a novelty. For most of his lifetime, southern cities simply weren't candidates for big-league sports teams for reasons ranging from economics to history.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
TrueHoop: Arnovitz: Understanding Atlanta and Its Fans
Kevin Arnovitz offers a native-Atlantan perspective on local fandom: