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Georgia Dome
Georgia Dome.svg

Georgia Dome Eagles at Falcons September 18, 2011
Location 1 Georgia Dome Drive Northwest
Atlanta, Georgia 30313-1591
Broke ground November 22, 1989
Opened September 6, 1992
Closed June 9, 2017
Demolished November 20, 2017
Owner Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Operator Georgia World Congress Center Authority
Surface Astroturf 1992–2002
FieldTurf 2003–2017
Construction cost US$214 million
($NaN in 2019 dollars[1])
Architect Heery International; Rosser FABRAP International; and Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (TVS)
Project Manager Barton-Malow[2]
Structural engineer Weidlinger Associates[2]
General Contractor Beers/Georgia Dome Team[2]
Tenants Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (1992–2016)
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1997–1999)
Georgia State Panthers (NCAA) (2010–2016)
Chick-fil-A Bowl (NCAA) (1992–2016)</span>
Capacity Football: 74,228
Georgia State football: 28,155[3]
Basketball: 71,000[4]
Total Capacity: 80,000[5]

The Georgia Dome was a domed stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia, between downtown to the east and Vine City to the west. It is owned and operated by the State of Georgia as part of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. It was primarily the home stadium for the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the NCAA's Georgia State Panthers football team. The Dome has also hosted several soccer matches since 2009 that have drawn over 50,000 fans.

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

The Georgia Dome was the largest domed structure in the world when it opened, but it has since been surpassed by the Millennium Dome in London (1999) and the Docklands Stadium in Melbourne, Australia (2000).

HistoryEdit

ConstructionEdit

The Georgia Dome was completed in 1992 at a cost of $214 million (US), which came from the Georgia General Assembly, making it one of the largest state-funded construction projects in state history. It seats 74,228 for football, and can hold approximately: 80,000 for concerts, 71,000 for basketball when the dome is fully open and 40,000 for basketball and gymnastics when the dome is sectioned off (one half closed off by a large curtain). For most Georgia State football games, the dome is configured with 28,155 seats, with only the bulk of the lower level plus the club-level seats available for sale.[3][6] The record for overall attendance at the Georgia Dome is 80,892 for the 2008 SEC Championship Game in football.[7]

The structure is located on 9.19 acres (3.72 ha) of land; the dome has a height of 270.67 feet (82.5 m), a structure length of 745.75 feet (227.3m), a structure width of 606.96 feet (185.0m), and a total floor area of 102,149.51 square feet (9,490 m2). The dome is the largest cable-supported dome in the world. Its roof is made of teflon-coated fiberglass fabric and has an area of 374,584.08 square feet (34,800 m2). From its completion until the December 31, 1999 opening of the Template:Convert/acre Millennium Dome in London, it was the largest hooked domed structure of any type in the world, but still remains the largest indoor sporting facility in the United States.

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 new state-of-the-art FieldTurf artificial surface system.[8]

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.[9] In 2008, the exterior of the stadium was repainted from its original teal and maroon color scheme to a red, black, and silver color scheme to match the Falcons' team colors, and the stadium's original teal seats were replaced with red seats in the 100 and 300 levels and black seats in the Verizon Wireless Club Level (200 Level). The entrance gates and concourses were also renovated and updated before the 2008 football season.[10][11] Additionally, in 2009 the two video screens in both endzones were relocated to a new exterior monument sign on Northside Drive. The interior endzones each received a new and considerably wider High Definition replacement video screen that significantly enhances views of replays and provides for state-of-the-art graphics and digital presentations. That year also saw the installation of a completely new sound system, replacing the previous one that was nearly twenty 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 up 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.[12][13]

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 Alabama–Mississippi State quarterfinal game, which delayed the game for one hour and three minutes. The quarterfinal game to follow between the Kentucky Wildcats and Georgia Bulldogs was postponed to the following day.[13] The resulting damage forced the rest of the tournament to be moved to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech.[14]

Closure and replacementEdit

It was announced in 2010 that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the stadium's operator, is pursuing a new stadium with a retractable roof. In 2014, ground was broken for the new stadium, which was named Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2015. The Falcons' final game in the Georgia Dome occurred on January 22, 2017 with the 2016 NFC Championship game, with a 44-21 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The stadium's final public event is scheduled for March 4 and 5, 2017 with back-to-back Monster Jam shows. The GWCCA plans to have the Dome's demolition completed prior to the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. After the Dome's demolition, the GWCCA plans to use the Georgia Dome site as parking for Mercedes-Benz Stadium; a high rise convention center hotel is also planned for the northern portion of the site.

Events hostedEdit

VT Hokies Marching Virginians

The Georgia Dome prior to the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl

FootballEdit

The Dome was home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, the NCAA Division I Georgia State Panthers of Georgia State University, the annual host (since 1998) to FCS Classic football game between Florida A&M University and another HBCU opponent (Southern in 2011 and Tennessee State University in prior years), and the annual host to the Southeastern Conference Football Championship Game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl (formerly known as The Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl and The Peach Bowl) post-season college football games. The stadium also hosted Super Bowl XXVIII in 1994 and Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000.

The Georgia Dome also annually hosted the Georgia High School Association football semi-finals until 2007 and hosted the GHSA state championship games for all classifications from 2008 to 2016.[15]

As a result of damage done to the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, the Sugar Bowl game between the West Virginia Mountaineers and 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 that started with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between LSU and Miami (FL) and an NFL game between the Falcons and the Carolina Panthers two days later. The Georgia Dome was the alternative site for the Sugar Bowl in future cases where the Superdome cannot host due to weather or other reasons.[16]

BasketballEdit

The Georgia Dome has hosted the NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball National Championship in 2002, 2007 and 2013, along with regional semifinals and finals in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2012 and NCAA Women's Final Four in 2003. It was also one of two homes, along with Alexander Memorial Coliseum, for the NBA's Atlanta Hawks during the construction of Philips Arena from 1997 to 1999, as well as hosting basketball.[17] 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. The SEC Men's Basketball Tournament has been held at the Georgia Dome during ten seasons, most recently in 2011 and is set to return to the Dome in 2014.

Additional eventsEdit

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 as well as team handball (men's final) .[18][19]

SoccerEdit

The dome has 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.[20] On February 9, 2011, Mexico and Bosnia played a friendly match in front of 50,507 fans.[21][22] On July 20, 2013, the Dome hosted two quarterfinal matchups of the 2013 Gold Cup -- Panama vs. Cuba and Mexico vs. Trinidad & Tobago -- in front of a record 54,229 fans.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25][26]

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 over the United States to host the tournament.[27]

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

WrestlingEdit

Wrestlemania XXVII Stage

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

The Dome has been host to many WCW Monday Nitro and WWE Raw live events, including the memorable championship bout between Goldberg and Hulk Hogan on July 6, 1998. The Georgia Dome also hosted WWE's WrestleMania XXVII on April 3, 2011, which featured the return of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to WrestleMania for the first time since WrestleMania XX.

Other eventsEdit

The Professional Bull Riders' premier bull riding tour, the Built Ford Tough Series, visited the Georgia Dome from 2003–2005, and again in 2007 and 2012.

The USHRA Monster Jam series comes to the Georgia Dome every January for their winter season kickoff show. It's known as the "Super Bowl of Motorsports" and it has become one of the biggest stops Monster Jam makes in North America.

From 2004–10, the Georgia Dome played host to the World Championship of the FIRST Robotics Competition. Over 300 teams from around the world qualify annually to compete in the championship held in mid-April. The FIRST LEGO League World Festival and FIRST Tech Challenge Championship also occurred at the same time, in different areas of the Dome. The Championship has moved to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri for the 2011 competition season.

It is also the site of the Drum Corps International Southeastern Championship each summer, and in the fall, the Music for All Bands of America Southeastern Super Regional.

The Georgia Dome also hosts the Honda Battle of the Bands in January.

In January 2012, the Georgia Dome hosted the Passion conference, drawing in 44,000+ Christian college students and young adults from across the United States and the world. Passion previously held conferences simultaneously in Philips Arena and the Georgia World Congress Center in 2010 and 2011. The 2013 conference was also held at the Georgia Dome and, according to Louie Giglio (Leader of Passion Movement), drew in 60,000+ Christian college aged students.

Georgia Dome 2008-08-30 2

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


FacilitiesEdit

In 2008, the Georgia Dome started showing safety videos before games, presented by Deltalina, flight attendant "mascot" of Delta Air Lines. The videos were a takeoff on Delta's massively popular "Deltalina" inflight safety videos. The videos' theme was "Delta Safety First".[28][29]

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2008. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Cable Top Football Columbia University
  3. 3.0 3.1 Georgia Dome. Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved on October 19, 2011.
  4. 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
  5. Tucker, Tim (April 1, 2013). Georgia Dome has a new look for Final Four. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on April 7, 2013.
  6. Georgia Dome Seating Chart (PDF). Georgia State Athletics. Retrieved on October 19, 2011.
  7. http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=2&url_article_id=11911&change_well_id=2
  8. Chick-fil-A Bowl Event Guide: Georgia Dome Information
  9. AlantaFalcons.com: Striking changes usher in new era for Dome
  10. AlantaFalcons.com: Dome, Falcons announce new renovations
  11. AlantaFalcons.com: Dome Renovations Photo Album
  12. Georgia Dome Is Damaged (1995)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Storm hits Georgia Dome, interrupts SEC play
  14. Tornado Kills, 2 Pummels Downtown by Tim Eberly and Paul Shea for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
  15. Georgia High School Association Constitution and By-Laws 2008–2009, pg. 70
  16. Sugar Bowl
  17. The Palm Beach Post, Gators view Georgia Dome as someplace like home
  18. 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 540.
  19. 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. pp. 451, 456.
  20. Georgia Dome converting to grass….for soccer
  21. Mexico will play a soccer match at Georgia Dome Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  22. "Bosnia vs. Mexico Ends with Mexico Win", CBS News, February 9, 2011. 
  23. FOXXoccerTrax, http://inagist.com/all/358737387804823553/
  24. Daniel Marquez heads winner for Club America Soccer Net
  25. 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/
  26. http://www.gadome.com/events/2010_aisc_soccer.html
  27. United States Soccer Federation (April 23, 2009). The Official Site of U.S. Soccer – Federation Services. Retrieved on May 9, 2009.
  28. "DELTALINA WAGS HER FINGER AT THE DOME", "Peach Buzz", Access Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), September 24, 2008
  29. "Delta, Official Airline of the Atlanta Falcons", Delta Air Lines, September 26, 2008

External linksEdit

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