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More digital signs could be heading to Downtown Atlanta

July 26,2017

Source: Jennifer Bellamy, WXIA

Bright lights go hand and hand with the city, but could digital signs be the key to turning up the atmosphere in Downtown Atlanta?

"More restaurants, more venues, more things to do," said Jennifer Ball, with Central Atlanta Progress. "It really evolved and sparked from conversations about activating downtown particularly at night."

Ball says the idea has been in the works for about two years.

Atlanta's City Council has approved a plan to permit the signs, with the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District regulating the new additions and others already in the city.

The process will allow for the boards that are currently in place to be upgraded to meet the new standards approved by council.

Some of the money generated by advertisements will go back into the district to help support efforts to bring digital downtown and showcase content that appeals to visitors.

"Particularly around Mercedes-Benz stadium, Philips arena the redevelopment of underground, all of these places are seen as, not just event venues, destinations and sort of catalysts for activities in downtown," Ball said.

The signs would go in what's called the Atlanta Arts and Entertainment District. The area is bounded by Courtland Street to the east, Ivan Allan Jr. Boulevard to the north, Northside Drive to the west and Trinity Avenue to the south.

Political signs would be prohibited, and the district could ask for some signs to be "cleaned" for large major events, allowing for the selling of sign inventory during the events.

Don't expect downtown to turn into Times Square, Atlanta is looking at examples like the entertainment district in Denver, Colorado, where signs are used for more than just advertisements.

"When we do have a large event we can leverage it collectively to help make the experience of someone being here for a Super Bowl or the national championship football game more engaging." 

Ball says we could see more of the new signs going up in about a year.