Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86
Gas South Arena 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy Duluth, GA 30097
Year Opened: 2003 Capacity: 11,500
Atlanta’s Gladiators Return To Their Coliseum
The Atlanta Gladiators have returned to their home ice at the Gas South Arena after going on hiatus during the 2020-2021 season during the pandemic. They are anxious to regain their status as one of the top teams in the ECHL’s South Division of the Eastern Conference. They have been successful, where their predecessors, the Flames and the Thrashers, failed…. at the box office. Gas South Arena seats 13,000 for hockey and the team often sells out its games. In addition to the lower bowl, the arena offers 30 corporate suites, two party suites, and a separate, more upscale set of concessionaires on the club level.
Founded in 2003, the Gladiators have sent more than 20 players on to play in the NHL.
Food & Beverage 5
The Gas South Arena offers a wide variety of food concessions at reasonable prices. The concessions stands are arranged in a food court format, allowing fans to eat at tables before returning to their seats.
Una Fettina offers pizzas ($6 per slice), and subs ($6 for a meatball or Italian sausage) at its stand. Arena Dogs and Deli serves regular ($6) and specialty dogs ($8) at its stand, along with BBQ nachos ($6). The Georgian Grille serves everything grilled. This includes hamburgers ($15), chicken sandwiches ($9), and chicken tenders ($10).
Sides and snacks include popcorn ($6), peanuts ($5), pretzels ($4), and candy ($4). The concession areas sell Coca-Cola brand products, including bottled water ($5), and Coca-Cola brand sodas ($5).
Alcoholic drinks are sold at the Terrapin Tap Room and the Slow Pour stands. Terrapin carries the following IPA: Hopsecutioner, Los Bravos High, and Hazy for $11. Imports and drafts include Blue Moon, Dos Equis, Heineken, and Luau Krunckles for $9. Slow Pours features the following IPA: Nostalgia, Southernality, Queen Lotus Hazy Cocktail Royale and You Are My Density for $11.
Gladiator games are decidedly family-friendly affairs. Many of the games take place on Fridays or weekends, with several matinee games. A typical weeknight game starts at 7 pm to ensure it will not cut into the sleep time for children.
This plan comes from a concerted effort by the Gladiators to reach families and youth. Youth hockey is extremely popular in the metro Atlanta area, and it is not unusual to see a large group sitting together in their respective team jerseys. The team also does a great deal of charity work and outreach in conjunction with the local school system, which is the largest in the state. Every game honors a school in the system and the parents, teachers, and students from that school turn out in force. They are thrilled when Maximus the Lion, the team’s mascot, comes into the stands to have his picture taken with the group.
The team also attracts fans with its theme games with the Gladiators donning special jerseys. Examples of this are Star Wars Night, Halloween, Movie Nights, etc. Fans are encouraged to dress similarly. After the games, the player’s jerseys are auctioned off with proceeds going to charity.
The Gas South Arena is the anchor facility for the Gas South District, Gwinnett County’s primary convention/sports and theatre complex. The complex includes the Gas South Arena, a Performing Arts Center, a special events center, and an exhibition hall.
The Gas South District is in Duluth, GA. The District has a wide range of restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls to choose from before or after a game. They are listed in our links section.
The Gladiators fan base consists of fans who followed Atlanta’s two failed NHL franchises, the Flames, and the Thrashers. These fans are savvy about the intricacies of the game and are the most hardcore and loyal fans the team has. They make up a significant percentage of the season ticket base, as they never miss a game. Many of the fans are transplants from the North who either grew up playing hockey or watching the game.
Gas South Arena is located just a few short blocks off exit 108 from I-85 in Duluth, GA, a northeastern suburb of Atlanta. It is hard to miss the exit, as the Gas District has a massive electronic message board along the expressway advertising its upcoming events.
Parking at the arena is spacious and plentiful, but there are only two main entrances and exits out of the lots, so after the games, the traffic can back up. If you arrive early, try to get a spot near the exits. There is no public transportation servicing the Gas South District.
Return on Investment 4
The Gladiators provide a high-quality product on the ice that is very affordable for the family. Tickets range from $25 – $35, depending on seat location, with discounts given for season tickets or four-game packages. General Admission seating is available to groups at the ends of the rink for $11. Food and beverage items are priced to fit family budgets. Parking at the Gas South Arena is $5 per car. If you are coming in from out of town there are restaurants and lodging options at all price points within a three-mile radius of the Gas South District.
Over time, the Gladiators have been affiliated with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Phoenix Coyotes, and the Boston Bruins. They are currently an affiliate of the Ottawa Senators.
The Gas South Arena also serves as the home of the Georgia Swarm of the National Lacrosse League
The nearby Sugarloaf Mills Outlet Mall is the largest outlet center in Georgia. It includes a Bass Pro Shop, a Medieval Times Dinner Theatre, and outlet versions of Nieman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Eddie Bauer.
Hockey fans are happy to see the Gladiators return after their pandemic hiatus. The stands are starting to fill up again as we enter the busy holiday season. A night out with the Gladiators is great entertainment at a reasonable price.