The Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia has a bit of everything for your entertainment pleasure because it is four different venues all in one location.
The first is the Hudgens Center for the Arts, an Art Gallery which hosts both shows and exhibits and also holds fine arts classes for adults and children. Next, is the Performing Arts Center, a 702 seat theater used for Broadway style shows and full orchestras complete with an orchestra shell for an authentic look and sound. The third is the Convention Center which at 50, 000 square feet can host up to 300 exhibitors at one time. Lastly, there is the centerpiece of it all, the Arena, which hosts larger events like hockey games and the hottest concerts.
I recently went to my first concert at the Gwinnett Arena and I fell in love with this facility. I have been to many venues to see shows in metro Atlanta but this one by far blew me away and had everything I could ask for and more.
The arena has a full capacity of 13, 000 with 36 corporate suites, club level seats, and 2 party suites. What I found most interesting about this arena is how versatile it is. The layout of the arena can be changed depending on the show you are there to see to give you the best experience possible for that performance.
The show I attended included the bands Daughtry, Lifehouse and Cavo. There were only 6, 000 tickets sold for the performance. To make the show more intimate, they cut the arena in half and placed the stage in the middle so there were no empty sections. I have to say, I don't think there was a bad seat in the house. For acts that are coming in the future like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, where they want to fill the arena to capacity, the stage will move to the far section of the arena. In addition, they also do shows in the round where the stage or even an ice rink is in the middle of the floor with the seats all around stadium style. On the Gwinnett Arena's website you can look up each event scheduled and see the seating layout they have planned before you buy your tickets.
The Arena was clean, with plenty of bathrooms available, which many venues seem to lack. There is a mall style food court on the upper level where you can get standard stadium foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, pizza, popcorn, pretzels and ice cream. They also have separate areas where you can get alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. Our tickets were on the lower level next to the stage and the only concession stand I saw down there was a place to get beverages. To avoid walking all the way back up to the top of the stadium, you might want to pick up some food before heading down if your seats are at floor level. There is also a large bathroom down there, so no worries about that.
The staff was plentiful and slightly older than I have seen at most venues. They were friendly, helpful, and quick to give out tips on where to stand for the best views and where and when to do things such as use the restrooms to avoid the crowds. I was there alone with my teenage daughter and I felt safe and secure both inside and outside the venue.
I really love that this venue is in a suburb of Atlanta and is easy to get to without having to deal with the hassles of going downtown and being caught in the traffic. You can also drive there and not have to deal with public transportation, like MARTA, because there is plenty of parking right outside. It's easy to get in and out of the parking lots and the best part is it's FREE.
I am happy to see more acts coming to The Gwinnett Center and I hope more and more decide to in the future because I would go there again in a heartbeat to see a show.