With Super Bowl LIII in the rearview mirror, Atlanta may have finally exorcised the ghost of Ray Lewis. Atlanta’s coming out party to the world was the 1996 Summer Olympics, which might be best remembered for the bombing that killed one person and injured hundreds more, not to mention the yearslong search for the bomber. In 2000, the last time the city hosted a Super Bowl, two men were stabbed to death in the early morning outside of a popular Buckhead night club, and up-and-coming NFL star Ray Lewis’ trial for his involvement in the incident dominated headlines for months. “I think everyone woke up [Monday] morning relieved and pleasantly surprised that everything worked, and everyone had a pleasant time,” said A.J. Robinson, the president of the Downtown Atlanta business advocacy organization Central Atlanta Progress. “Our history has usually spoken differently.”
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