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The Georgia Dome is a recently retired domed stadium in the southeastern United States, currently under demolition. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, between downtown to the east and Vine City to the west, it was owned and operated by the State of Georgia as part of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. Its successor, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, was built adjacent to the south and opened in August 2017.

Georgia Dome
Georgia Dome.svg
Georgia Dome Eagles at Falcons September 18, 2011.jpg
September 2011
Address 1 Georgia Dome Drive Northwest
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Coordinates 33°45′29″N 84°24′04″W / 33.758°N 84.401°W / 33.758; -84.401Coordinates: 33°45′29″N 84°24′04″W / 33.758°N 84.401°W / 33.758; -84.401
Public transit Dome / GWCC / Philips Arena / CNN Center (MARTA station)
Vine City (MARTA station)
Owner Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Operator Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Capacity Football: 74,228
Georgia State football: 28,155[1]
Basketball: 71,000[2]
Total Capacity: 80,000[3]
Surface FieldTurf (2003–2017)
AstroTurf (1992–2002)
Construction
Broke ground November 22, 1989
Opened September 6, 1992
Closed June 9, 2017[6]
Construction cost $214 million
($365 million in 2016 dollars[4])
Architect Heery International; Rosser FABRAP International; and tvsdesign
Project manager Barton-Malow[5]
Structural engineer Weidlinger Associates[5]
General contractor Beers/Georgia Dome Team[5]
Tenants
Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (19922016)
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (19971999)
Peach Bowl (NCAA) (19932016)
Georgia State Panthers (NCAA) (20102016)
Celebration Bowl (NCAA) (20152016)
Atlanta is located in the US
Atlanta
Atlanta
Location in the United States
Atlanta is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Atlanta
Atlanta
Location in Georgia

The Georgia Dome was the home stadium for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and the Georgia State University Panthers football team. It hosted 25 editions of the Peach Bowl (January 1993 through December 2006) and 23 SEC Championship Games (19942016). In addition, the Georgia Dome also hosted several soccer matches since 2009 with attendances over 50,000.

At its debut in 1992, the Georgia Dome was the largest covered stadium in the world by capacity; it has since been surpassed by AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

The Dome was accessible by rail via MARTA's Blue and Green lines, which service the nearby Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center and Vine City stations.

Contents

HistoryEdit

ConstructionEdit

The Georgia Dome was completed in 1992 at a cost of $214 million, which came from the Georgia General Assembly, making it one of the largest state-funded construction projects in Georgia history. The stadium seated 74,228 for football, approximately 80,000 for concerts, and 71,000 for basketball when the dome was fully open, and 40,000 for basketball and gymnastics when the dome was sectioned off (one half closed off by a large curtain). For most Georgia State football games, the dome was configured with 28,155 seats, with tickets for only the bulk of the lower level and the club-level seats on sale.[1][7] The record for overall attendance at the Georgia Dome came during a college football game, with 80,892 at the SEC Championship Game in 2008.[citation needed][8]

The structure was located on 9.19 acres (3.72 ha) of land; the dome had a height of 270.67 feet (82.50 m), a structure length of 745.75 feet (227.30 m), a structure width of 606.96 feet (185.00 m), and a total floor area of 102,149.51 square feet (9,490.000 m2). The dome was the largest cable-supported dome in the world. Its roof was made of teflon-coated fiberglass fabric and had an area of 374,584.08 square feet (34,800.000 m2). From its completion until the December 31, 1999 opening of the 20-acre (8.1 ha) Millennium Dome in London, it was the largest hooked domed structure of any type in the world.

SurfaceEdit

The Georgia Dome originally used AstroTurf artificial surface for its football events. In 2003, Arthur Blank, the new owner of Atlanta Falcons, funded the installation of the new infilled FieldTurf artificial surface system.[9]

RenovationsEdit

In 2006, the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority announced a $300 million renovation to the Georgia Dome. The project was separated into two stages. The first stage, which took place before the 2007 NFL season, focused on updating the premium seating areas, including the creation of eight 'super-suites' as well as an owners' club.[10] In 2008, the exterior of the stadium was repainted, replacing the original teal and maroon color scheme with a red, black, and silver theme to match the Falcons' team colors; the stadium's original teal seats were replaced with red seats in the lower and upper levels and black seats in the middle level. The entrance gates and concourses were also renovated and updated before the 2008 football season.[11][12] In 2009, the video screens in both end zones were relocated to a new exterior monument sign on Northside Drive. The interior end zones each received a new and considerably wider High Definition video screen that significantly enhances views of replays, as well as graphics and digital presentations. A new sound system was installed in the same year, replacing the previous system that was nearly 20 years old.

Major weather-related issuesEdit

Three years after the completion of the Dome, the integrity of its roof became an issue. During a Falcons pre-season game in August 1995, a severe rainstorm caused water to pool on the fabric, tearing part of the material, and causing a section of the roof to fall into the stadium. The storm was intense enough that the roof panels could be seen moving during the game, and the water and roof material later fell with enough force to smash seats in the upper decks and knock holes in concrete floors. The collapse occurred after fans left the stadium, and no one was injured during the incident. The roof was eventually repaired in a way that prevented similar incidents from occurring in the future.[13][14]

In the 2008 Atlanta tornado outbreak on March 14, 2008, during the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, a tornado ripped two holes in the dome during the AlabamaMississippi State quarterfinal game, delaying the game for about an hour. The quarterfinal game to follow between the Kentucky Wildcats and Georgia Bulldogs was postponed until the following day.[14] The resulting damage forced the rest of the tournament to be moved to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum, now known as Hank McCamish Pavilion, at Georgia Tech.[15]

ReplacementEdit

In 2010, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority announced plans for a new stadium with a retractable roof just south of the Georgia Dome, with the new stadium receiving approval from the city of Atlanta, Fulton County, and Georgia state governments in 2013 and broke ground and commenced construction in 2014. The Falcons' final game in the Dome was the 2016 NFC Championship Game on January 22, 2017, with a 44–21 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The stadium's final public event took place on March 4 and 5, 2017 with back-to-back Monster Jam shows.[16] Demolition of the Georgia Dome was to begin shortly after the stadium's final event; however, due to construction delays caused by the complexity of Mercedes-Benz Stadium's eight-panel retractable roof, demolition of the Georgia Dome was postponed until the new stadium's certificate of occupancy could be issued. GWCCA officials stated that the Georgia Dome would remain nominally operational until Mercedes-Benz Stadium is ready; however, the Dome's artificial turf had been removed prior to the announcement of the new stadium's delay.[17] The Georgia Dome site will become greenspace for tailgating at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and other community events; a 600-car parking garage and a high rise convention center hotel are also planned for the site.[18] On April 21, 2017, GWCCA officials announced that The Home Depot acquired the naming rights to the 13-acre park to be built on part of the Georgia Dome site.[19] On June 9, 2017, Steve Cannon, CEO of the Falcons' parent company AMB Group, stated that construction officials were confident that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be ready in time for the Falcons' preseason games, and the process of decommissioning the Georgia Dome had resumed, with the Dome scheduled for implosion on November 20, 2017 at 7:30 am.[6]

In July 2017, GWCCA officials removed equipment they intend to reuse either at Mercedes-Benz Stadium or elsewhere on the GWCC campus while other equipment was liquidated. The Dome's utilities were shut off, and most of the seats in the lower and middle bowls had been removed, with bulk seats sold to schools and pairs sold to fans, while the upper deck seats will be recycled. Demolition of the lower bowl and loading docks is expected to completed by the end of August. After the Dome's implosion, the site will be graded and a retaining wall built to accommodate the construction of the Home Depot Backyard.[20]

Events hostedEdit

FootballEdit

The Dome was home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, the annual host (since 1998) to FCS Classic football game between Florida A&M Rattlers and another HBCU opponent (Southern Jaguars in 2011 and Tennessee State Tigers in prior years), and the annual host to the Southeastern Conference Football Championship Game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (also known as the Peach Bowl) post-season college football games. The stadium also hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000. From the program's inception in 2010 until 2016, the stadium was home of the NCAA Division I Georgia State Panthers of Georgia State University; the university acquired the Atlanta Braves' former home of Turner Field with plans to renovate the former baseball park for football. The new incarnation of Turner Field is now known as Georgia State Stadium. From 2015 to 2016, the Dome hosted the Celebration Bowl, the annual post-season bowl match up between the MEAC and SWAC.

The Georgia Dome also annually hosted the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) football semi-finals until 2007 and hosted the football championships from 2008 to 2016.[21]

As a result of damage done to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, the Sugar Bowl game in which the West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs was played at the Georgia Dome on January 2, 2006, the first time "the South's Biggest Bowl Game" was ever played outside the state of Louisiana. The Sugar Bowl finished a string of three football games in four days at the Georgia Dome that started with the 2005 Peach Bowl between LSU and Miami (Florida) and an NFL game between the Falcons and the Carolina Panthers two days later.

BasketballEdit

The Georgia Dome hosted the NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball National Championship in 2002, 2007, and 2013, along with regional semi-finals and finals in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2012 and NCAA Women's Final Four in 2003. The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament has been held at the Georgia Dome during 10 seasons, most recently in 2014. The ACC Men's Basketball Tournament has been held at the Georgia Dome on two occasions, in 2001 and 2009.

It was also one of two homes, along with the facility then known as Alexander Memorial Coliseum, for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks during the construction of Philips Arena from 1997 to 1999 on the footprint of the former Omni arena.[22] While playing at the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998, the Atlanta Hawks set a then-NBA single-game attendance record with 62,046 fans.

OlympicsEdit

For the 1996 Summer Olympics, one half of the arena hosted the basketball competitions (including final) while the other half hosted the artistic gymnastics events and team handball (men's final).[23][24]

SoccerEdit

The Georgia Dome held a number of international soccer matches. On June 24, 2009, the Dome hosted its first ever soccer match between Mexico and Venezuela in front of 51,115 fans, with grass laid over the FieldTurf.[25] On February 9, 2011, Mexico and Bosnia and Herzegovina played a friendly match in front of 50,507 fans.[26][27] On July 20, 2013, the Dome hosted two quarter-final match-ups of the 2013 Gold Cup—Panama vs. Cuba and Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago—in front of 54,229 fans.[28] In March 2014, the Dome hosted a 0-0 draw between Mexico and Nigeria in front of 68,212 fans, the largest ever crowd for a soccer match in Atlanta.[29]

The Dome has also hosted a number of exhibition matches between club teams. On July 22, 2009, the Dome hosted a match between A.C. Milan of Italian Serie A league and Club América of Mexican Primera División before 50,306 fans.[30] On July 28, 2010, Club América revisited the Dome in a friendly against Manchester City from the English Premier League in front of 33,000 fans.[31][32]

The stadium was an official candidate venue for hosting matches as part of the United States' bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but Qatar was selected to host the tournament.[33]

The stadium held an international women's friendly between United States and Russia on February 12, 2014.

On April 16, 2014 it was announced by Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, that he had secured the rights to a new Major League Soccer franchise that ultimately began play in 2017. The new team, later unveiled as Atlanta United FC, along with the Atlanta Falcons, will become the primary tenants of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2017 NFL season.[34]

WrestlingEdit

 
Attendance record 71,617 fans at WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome.

During the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990s both WWF Raw Is War and WCW Monday Nitro were held in the Georgia Dome with the July 6, 1998 episode of Nitro being one of the most watched and attended professional wrestling broadcasts with over 40,000 attending the show. It was on this night that former Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle turned professional wrestler Goldberg defeated Hollywood Hogan for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

In September 2009, it was reported that the city of Atlanta was seeking to host WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome.[35] A press conference was held on February 1, 2010 at the Georgia Dome to formally announce the event for Atlanta.[36] According to WWE's senior vice president of special events, John Saboor, Atlanta was ultimately chosen for, among other reasons, "their track record of success with large events, rich in its tradition with the WWE, great infrastructure."[37] The event marked the first time WrestleMania has been held in the state of Georgia.[36]

On April 3, 2011, the Georgia Dome hosted WWE's 27th annual flagship event, WrestleMania XXVII, which featured the return of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to host WrestleMania in his first appearance at the event since WrestleMania XX seven years prior. The event was attended by a record 71,617 fans which (as of January 2017) stands as the 11th largest attendance in WrestleMania history.

OtherEdit

The Georgia Dome hosted rounds of the AMA Supercross Championship and Monster Jam from 1993 to 2017.

FacilitiesEdit

In 2008, the Georgia Dome started showing safety videos before games, presented by Deltalina, flight attendant "mascot" of Delta Air Lines. The videos satirize Delta's massively popular "Deltalina" inflight safety videos. The videos' theme was "Delta Safety First".[38][39]

The interior of the Georgia Dome prior to the 2008 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Georgia Dome". Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Archived 2008-02-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Tucker, Tim (April 1, 2013). "Georgia Dome has a new look for Final Four". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Cable Top Football Columbia University
  6. ^ a b Tucker, Tim. "Georgia Dome implosion date set". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "Georgia Dome Seating Chart" (PDF). Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved October 19, 2011. 
  8. ^ http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=2&url_article_id=11911&change_well_id=2 Archived December 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Chick-fil-A Bowl Event Guide: Georgia Dome Information
  10. ^ AlantaFalcons.com: Striking changes usher in new era for Dome Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ AlantaFalcons.com: Dome, Falcons announce new renovations Archived 2008-05-16 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ AlantaFalcons.com: Dome Renovations Photo Album
  13. ^ Georgia Dome Is Damaged (1995)
  14. ^ a b Storm hits Georgia Dome, interrupts SEC play
  15. ^ Tornado Kills, 2 Pummels Downtown by Tim Eberly and Paul Shea for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  16. ^ "Falcons vs. Monster Trucks. Falcons win.". WXIA-TV. Retrieved 2 January 2017. 
  17. ^ Tucker, Tim. "Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening is pushed back again". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Tucker, Tim (21 January 2017). "What happens to Georgia Dome after NFC title game?". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 5 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Stafford, Leon (21 April 2017). "Georgia Dome site to become park after demolition". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  20. ^ Tucker, Tim. "Inside the Georgia Dome: a shell of its former self". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  21. ^ Georgia High School Association Constitution and By-Laws 2008–2009, pg. 70 Archived 2008-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ The Palm Beach Post, Gators view Georgia Dome as someplace like home
  23. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 540.
  24. ^ 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. pp. 451, 456.
  25. ^ Georgia Dome converting to grass….for soccer
  26. ^ Mexico will play a soccer match at Georgia Dome Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  27. ^ "Bosnia vs. Mexico Ends with Mexico Win". CBS News. February 9, 2011. 
  28. ^ FOXXoccerTrax, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  29. ^ USA Today, Mexico, Nigeria soccer teams play to 0-0 tie in Atlanta, March 6, 2014, https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/world/2014/03/06/mexico-nigeria-soccer-friendly-atlanta-world-cup/6107317/
  30. ^ Daniel Marquez heads winner for Club America Soccer Net
  31. ^ Score Atlanta, AISC: Georgia Dome continues to impress as soccer venue, July 29, 2010, http://www.scoreatl.com/stories/aisc-georgia-dome-continue-to-impress-as-soccer-venue/
  32. ^ http://www.gadome.com/events/2010_aisc_soccer.html Archived July 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ United States Soccer Federation (April 23, 2009). "The Official Site of U.S. Soccer – Federation Services". Archived from the original on April 26, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  34. ^ Leslie, Jennifer (April 16, 2014). "It's official: MLS team coming to Atlanta". 11alive.com. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  35. ^ Schoolcraft, Lisa R. (2009-09-25). "Atlanta is bidding for WrestleMania". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  36. ^ a b "Atlanta to host WrestleMania XXVII". WWE. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  37. ^ Rupani, Meena (2010-05-20). "Miami-Dade Sports Commission chair 'relentless' in wrestling showcase bid". Miami Today. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  38. ^ "DELTALINA WAGS HER FINGER AT THE DOME", "Peach Buzz", Access Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), September 24, 2008 Archived January 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ "Delta, Official Airline of the Atlanta Falcons", Delta Air Lines, September 26, 2008 Archived March 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Home of the
Atlanta Falcons

1992 – 2017
Succeeded by
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Preceded by
Omni Coliseum
Home of the
Atlanta Hawks

1997 – 1999
Succeeded by
Philips Arena
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of the
Georgia State Panthers football team

2010 – 2016
Succeeded by
Georgia State Stadium
Preceded by
Legion Field
Home of the
SEC Championship Game

1994 – 2016
Succeeded by
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Preceded by
Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium
Home of the
Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

1993 – 2016
Succeeded by
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Preceded by
Louisiana Superdome
Home of the
Sugar Bowl

2006
Succeeded by
Louisiana Superdome
Preceded by


H.H.H. Metrodome
RCA Dome
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals Venue

2002
2007
2013
Succeeded by


Louisiana Superdome
Alamodome
AT&T Stadium
Preceded by
Rose Bowl
Pro Player Stadium
Host of the Super Bowl
XXVIII 1994
XXXIV 2000
Succeeded by
Joe Robbie Stadium
Raymond James Stadium
Preceded by
University of Phoenix Stadium
Host of WrestleMania XXVII
2011
Succeeded by
Sun Life Stadium
Preceded by
Candlestick Park
Bank of America Stadium
Host of NFC Championship Game
2013
2017
Succeeded by
CenturyLink Field
TBD
Preceded by
Reliant Park
Host of FIRST Robotics World Championship
2004–2010
Succeeded by
Edward Jones Dome