Location: Macon, Georgia
Capacity: More than 120 guests
Nearby Accommodations: Macon Marriott City Center
Every year, more than 250 athletes across the state of Georgia are nominated for induction into the prestigious Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, but only seven will be awarded the honor. Fortunately, gaining entrance into the 43,000-square-foot museum is not quite as competitive for sports fans or meeting attendees.
Now the largest state sports museum in the country, the institution got its start in 1956 as the Georgia Prep Sports Hall of Fame, expanding in 1963 to include prep, college, amateur and professional sports under one roof. It wasn’t until 1999 that the museum found its permanent home in Macon, where it resides inside a custom building designed to resemble a turn-of-the-20th-century ballpark. A green roof sits above the red-brick facade, where old-style ticket booths and a grand rotunda welcome visitors to this celebrated museum.
Inside, visitors are encouraged to explore the exhibits, more than 3,000 artifacts — Bill Elliott’s race car, Olympic medals, the Nike statue, etc. — a NASCAR simulator, a full-size basketball court, interactive sports games and the Hall of Fame corridor, where more than 400 inductees are featured. The museum exists to inspire and celebrate the athletic prowess in the state of Georgia, striving to make a difference in the lives of youth by honoring the struggle, perseverance and achievement of Georgia’s best teams, athletes and coaches.
Group tours are available, and meeting groups can take advantage of the museum’s multiple meeting spaces on-site, including a 205-seat theater and a 1,500-square-foot multipurpose room for business meetings, receptions, reunions and more. The spaces were recently remodeled, and the design details give a nod to the state’s athletic history, like the exposed steel trellises in the theater that were modeled after trellises at the Ponce de Leon Park in Atlanta.
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame’s meetings and events team has decades of experience knocking it out of the park with its keen attention to detail and competitive pricing.
The meeting spaces at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame vary from a full-service theater to an open-air rotunda with room for a band and a DJ. The Georgia Room spans 1,500 square feet and can seat up to 120 guests. The Club Room extends 30 feet by 30 feet and can host up to 60 guests. The Theater features a 16-by-16-foot screen with sound that is compatible with flash drives and compact discs and can seat up to 205 guests. The open-air rotunda includes 1,800 square feet of space for groups of up to 80 guests.
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame has a full-service, 400-square-foot catering kitchen with four sinks, two burner plates, a microwave oven, a convection oven, a large refrigerator, an ice machine and work tables, allowing groups to either cater events themselves or bring in outside caterers to prepare meals on-site. The meeting and events team can provide a suggested catering list for interested parties, but groups can pick whomever they wish to cater their events. Alcohol is allowed with proof of a current liquor license.
Projectors, wireless internet, microphones, portable screens, podiums and sound systems, as well as chairs and tables, are available for groups that book any of the meeting rooms at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Parking is free for all event guests, and the meetings and events team can provide extras such as scavenger hunts for kids and a red carpet to roll out for your attendees. The museum is handicapped-accessible, with an elevator to bring guests to the second floor, and nighttime rentals are all-inclusive of the entire museum and Hall of Fame.
Access to the museum and Hall of Fame is included for all meeting and event guests at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, where guests can get behind the wheel in a NASCAR simulator, throw a football, play a game of cornhole or shoot hoops at the indoor basketball court. A favorite for many guests is visiting the Nike of Samothrace statue on the second level. Nike, the Goddess of Victory, represents beauty, grace and strength, and is the only statue of its kind in the United States. The statue is an impressive backdrop for photos, weighing in at a whopping 1,763 pounds.