New Atlanta Stadium
|Location||Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW
and Northside Dr NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
|Owner||Georgia World Congress Center Authority|
|Operator||Atlanta Falcons Football Club|
|Capacity||65,000 (expandable to 75,000)|
|Broke ground||May 19, 2014|
|Opened||March of 2017 (estimated)|
|Construction cost||$1.2 billion (estimated)|
Goode Van Slyke
Stanley Beaman & Sears
|Project manager||ICON Venue Group|
|Structural engineer||Buro Happold/Hoberman|
|General contractor||HHRM JV (Comprising Hunt Construction Group, Holder Construction, H. J. Russell & Co. & C. D. Moody Construction Co.)|
|Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (2017–) (estimated)
Atlanta MLS team (MLS) (2017–) (estimated)
New Atlanta Stadium is the working title for a proposed retractable-roof, multi-purpose stadium in Atlanta, Georgia that will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and the yet-to-be-named Atlanta expansion team of Major League Soccer. The idea of a new stadium for the team to replace the Georgia Dome, the team's home since 1992, was first reported in May 2010. News reports state that the stadium will likely open in time for the 2017 NFL season. The total cost is estimated to be as high as $1.2 billion.
In May 2010, it was reported by multiple news outlets that the Atlanta Falcons were interested in demolishing the Georgia Dome and replacing it with a newly constructed open-air stadium. The team was first pursuing a new stadium because of both the team's desire to play outdoors, and Falcons' team owner Arthur Blank's interest in hosting another Super Bowl. The stadium was also pursued as a possible bid for a venue of an upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous released comprehensive plans for the proposed stadium in February 2011. Populous' early cost estimate for the project was $700 million. According to the master plan, the stadium would have a maximum capacity of 65,000, but can expand to 75,000 for special events such as the Super Bowl. It will also feature multiple club levels, suites and exhibition area.
In April 2012, Populous released a new price estimate of $947.7 million, which was significantly higher than the previous proposal of $700 million. In April 2012, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that if a deal is reached, the new stadium's construction would be expected to begin in 2014, with the Falcons to begin regular-season play in 2017. The proposed location of the new stadium is a large parking lot in Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood, which is less than a mile north of the Georgia Dome's current location. Once construction is complete, the Georgia Dome would subsequently be demolished.
On August 24, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that an official deal could be reached on the construction of a new stadium by the end of 2012. They also reported on September 10 that Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said site improvements could likely bump the total cost to $1.2 billion; however, that does not increase the actual building cost, which still remains at an estimated $948 million.
On December 10, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority approved, in a unanimous decision, the blueprint and most of the agreement terms for the new stadium plans. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, the term sheet is non-binding and changes could be made at anytime in regards to the stadium's construction. Stadium location, however, is yet to be worked out; proposed locations being reported are both within walking distance of the Georgia Dome, with one site being located one-half mile north, and the other being one block directly south, at the one of the stadium's existing parking lots. The project made national headlines for the first time in 2012 on December 15, with team owner Arthur Blank stating in the New York Times that he would rather a new stadium be constructed than a "remodeling job" of the Georgia Dome.
During a January 10, 2013 press conference, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed expressed his optimism and confidence in the construction of the new stadium; he also mentioned the possibility of the new stadium helping the city compete for its first Major League Soccer team.
On March 7, 2013, the Atlanta Falcons and the city of Atlanta agreed to build the new downtown stadium. The maximum public contribution for the project is $200 million, coming from the hotel-motel tax in Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton County. The Atlanta City Council officially approved the stadium on March 19, 2013. The council voted 11-4 in favor of the use of city hotel-motel taxes to pay $200 million toward construction costs and potentially several times that toward costs of financing, maintaining and operating the stadium through 2050. On May 21, 2013, the NFL approved a $200 million loan to the Falcons organization for the purpose of building the stadium.
On June 18, 2013, it was announced that the Falcons have completed a full conceptual design of the proposed new stadium, and that they have secured the initial approval to proceed with the schematic design phase. According to Doug Farrar's Shutdown Corner, "The stadium will seat approximately 70,000 people, with 180 luxury suites and 7,500 club seats." The main agency involved will be 360 Architecture, partnered with three other architectural firms. The estimated cost of the facility is $1 billion.
Arthur Blank indicated the groundbreaking of the New Falcons stadium would be conducted the last week of March 2014. Just after Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive was closed permanently, the Mount Vernon Baptist Church held its last Sunday service on March 9 before the historic church was demolished. Due to legal issues surrounding the issuing of bonds, the stadium did not break ground in March 2014. Instead the ground was officially broken in a ceremony led by Mayor Kasim Reed. on May 19, 2014.
Architect Bill Johnson said the circular opening in the roof was inspired by the Roman Pantheon ("Pantheon" was also the working name for the building design). The roof was designed to be made of a clear, lightweight polymer material that can adjust its opacity to control light, and much of the exterior will be clear polymer or glass to allow views to the outside. The middle concourse and upper bowl were eliminated in the east end zone to allow for an unobstructed view of the Atlanta skyline.
Atlanta MLS team General Manager Jim Smith said the design had "soccer in mind from the very beginning", pointing to the retracting lower bowl seats to widen the field, and mechanized curtains that limits the capacity to about 29,000 and makes the stadium feel more intimate.
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- "WATCH: Video Shows How New Atlanta Stadium Will Transform into Home of 2017 Expansion Team". Major League Soccer. April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
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- Saporta, Maria (October 14, 2013). "Atlanta Falcons Owner Arthur Blank Said New $1 Billion Stadium Development Is ‘in a Geally Good Place’". Saporta Report. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
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- Tucker, Tim (May 19, 2014). "At stadium groundbreaking, Blank lobbies for a Super Bowl". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Newcomb, Tim (April 16, 2014). "MLS in Atlanta: The $1.2 Billion Stadium Blank’s New Team Will Share with the Falcons". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
- Straus, Brian (April 18, 2014). "Former Crew GM, Current Falcons VP Confident Blank, MLS Will Be Fruitful Combo". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 14, 2014.
|Home of the Atlanta Falcons
|Home of Atlanta MLS team