|Location||1 Georgia Dome Drive Northwest
Atlanta, Georgia 30313-1591
|Broke ground||November 22, 1989|
|Opened||September 6, 1992|
|Owner||State of Georgia|
|Operator||Georgia World Congress Center Authority|
|Construction cost||US$214 million
($356 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||Heery International; Rosser FABRAP International; and Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (TVS)|
|Structural engineer||Weidlinger Associates|
|General contractor||Beers/Georgia Dome Team|
Georgia State football: 28,155
Total Capacity: 80,000
|Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (1992–present)
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1997–1999)
Georgia State Panthers (NCAA) (2010–present)
Chick-fil-A Bowl (NCAA) (1992–present)
The Georgia Dome is a domed stadium located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 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 is 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 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).
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. The record for overall attendance at the Georgia Dome is 80,892 for the 2008 SEC Championship Game in football.
The structure is located on 9.19 acres (3.72 ha) of land; the dome has 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 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 (34,800.000 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, but still remains the largest indoor sporting facility in the United States.
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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. The resulting damage forced the rest of the tournament to be moved to the Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech.
New Falcons stadium
It was announced in 2010 that the Georgia World Congress Center, the stadium's operator, is pursuing a new stadium with a retractable roof. If a deal is reached, the Georgia Dome would then be demolished.
The Dome is 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.
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 (Florida) and an NFL game between the Falcons and the Carolina Panthers two days later. The Georgia Dome is now the alternative site for the Sugar Bowl in future cases where the Superdome cannot host due to weather or other reasons.
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. 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.
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) .
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. On February 9, 2011, Mexico and Bosnia played a friendly match in front of 50,507 fans. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2013. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- Cable Top Football Columbia University
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- 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
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- Tornado Kills, 2 Pummels Downtown by Tim Eberly and Paul Shea for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 15, 2008.
- Georgia High School Association Constitution and By-Laws 2008–2009, pg. 70
- Sugar Bowl
- The Palm Beach Post, Gators view Georgia Dome as someplace like home
- 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 540.
- 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. pp. 451, 456.
- Georgia Dome converting to grass….for soccer
- Mexico will play a soccer match at Georgia Dome Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- "Bosnia vs. Mexico Ends with Mexico Win". CBS News. February 9, 2011.
- FOXXoccerTrax, http://inagist.com/all/358737387804823553/
- Daniel Marquez heads winner for Club America Soccer Net
- 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/
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- "DELTALINA WAGS HER FINGER AT THE DOME", "Peach Buzz", Access Atlanta (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), September 24, 2008
- "Delta, Official Airline of the Atlanta Falcons", Delta Air Lines, September 26, 2008
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