New Atlanta Stadium

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New Atlanta Stadium
(working title)
New Atlanta Falcons stadium logo.png
Location Martin Luther King Jr Dr SW
and Northside Dr NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
(actual)
Coordinates 33°45′19.30″N 84°24′4.29″W / 33.7553611°N 84.4011917°W / 33.7553611; -84.4011917Coordinates: 33°45′19.30″N 84°24′4.29″W / 33.7553611°N 84.4011917°W / 33.7553611; -84.4011917
Owner Georgia World Congress Center Authority[1]
Operator Atlanta Falcons Football Club[1]
Capacity 65,000 (expandable to 75,000)
Surface Turf[2]
Construction
Broke ground May 19, 2014[3][4]
Opened March of 2017 (estimated)
Construction cost $1.2 billion (estimated)
Architect 360 Architecture[5]
tvsdesign[6]
Goode Van Slyke[6]
Stanley Beaman & Sears[6]
Project manager ICON Venue Group[7]
Structural engineer Buro Happold/Hoberman[8]
Services engineer WSP[8]
General contractor HHRM JV (Comprising Hunt Construction Group, Holder Construction, H. J. Russell & Co. & C. D. Moody Construction Co.)[6]
Tenants
Atlanta Falcons (NFL) (2017–) (estimated)
Atlanta MLS team (MLS) (2017–) (estimated)
Website
NewAtlantaStadium.com

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.[9]

Proposal timeline[edit]

2010[edit]

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.[10][11][12] 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.[11] The stadium was also pursued as a possible bid for a venue of an upcoming FIFA World Cup.[13]

2011[edit]

Kansas City-based architectural firm Populous released comprehensive plans for the proposed stadium in February 2011.[14] Populous' early cost estimate for the project was $700 million.[15] 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.[14]

2012[edit]

In April 2012, Populous released a new price estimate of $947.7 million, which was significantly higher than the previous proposal of $700 million.[16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19] Once construction is complete, the Georgia Dome would subsequently be demolished.[18]

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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

2013[edit]

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.[24]

The new stadium will be built in the area in front of where Georgia Dome currently stands.

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.[25] On May 21, 2013, the NFL approved a $200 million loan to the Falcons organization for the purpose of building the stadium.[9]

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.[26]

2014[edit]

Arthur Blank indicated the groundbreaking of the New Falcons stadium would be conducted the last week of March 2014.[27][28][29] 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.[30] Instead the ground was officially broken in a ceremony led by Mayor Kasim Reed. on May 19, 2014.[31]

Design[edit]

The pinwheel-shaped roof can open and close based on weather conditions.

The winning design, submitted by 360 Architecture, featured an eight-panel retractable roof that resembles a pinwheel, and a glass wall that opens with the roof, to allow in fresh air.[32]

The mechanical curtains close off the upper bowl from the rest of the stadium.

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.[32]

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.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tucker, Tim (November 14, 2013). "Comparing Braves, Falcons Stadium Deals". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ Tucker, Tim (May 15, 2014). "Falcons Set Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Monday". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ Tucker, Tim (May 19, 2014). "At Stadium Groundbreaking, Blank Lobbies for a Super Bowl". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  5. ^ Hanzus, Dan (April 30, 2013). "Atlanta Falcons' Stadium Concepts a Peek Into Future". National Football League. Retrieved April 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Atlanta Falcons Move to Next Stages of Stadium Design Project" (Press release). Atlanta Falcons. June 18, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  7. ^ "New Atlanta Stadium". ICON Venue Group. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Saporta, Maria (April 29, 2013). "GWCCA Committee Approves 360 Architecture for Stadium Design". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Wilner, Barry (May 21, 2013). "Falcons Get $200 Million NFL Loan for Stadium". CBS News. Associated Press. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  10. ^ "McKay: Hope New Stadium by 2015". ESPN. May 21, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Ledbetter, D. Orlando; Stafford, Leon (May 19, 2010). "Falcons Prefer New Open-Air Stadium, Downtown". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ Trubey, J. Scott; Saporta, Maria, Maria (May 19, 2010). "Falcons Want Open Air Stadium North of GWCC". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Roger Goodell: Atlanta Needs New Stadium to Host Super Bowl Again". USA Today. Associated Press. November 11, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Master Plan Phase III – New Open Air NFL Stadium". Populous. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ Stafford, Leon; Ledbetter, D. Orlando; McWilliams, Jeremiah (February 22, 2011). "Falcons' Push for Open-Air Stadium Gets Lift". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ Stafford, Leon; Tucker, Tim (April 27, 2012). "New Falcons Stadium Cost Could Exceed $1 billion". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ Stafford, Leon; Tucker, Tim (April 25, 2012). "New Stadium Plan: Retractable Roof, Demolish Dome". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b "Atlanta Falcons seeking $1 billion retractable-roof stadium". Fox News (NewsCorp). April 26, 2012. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ Stafford, Leon (May 26, 2012). "Neighbors of Potential New Stadium Seek Voice". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  20. ^ Stafford, Leon; Tucker, Tim (August 24, 2012). "Stadium Deal Could Be Done by End of Year". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ McWilliams, Jeremiah; Tucker, Tim (September 10, 2012). "Reed: Work Around New Falcons Stadium Could Boost Cost to $1.2 Billion". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ Stafford, Leon (December 10, 2012). "GWCCA Approves Falcons Stadium Blueprint". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  23. ^ Tierney, Mike (December 15, 2012). "Falcons Seek New Dome, Not Atlanta Fixer-Upper". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  24. ^ McWilliams, Jeremiah (January 10, 2013). "Mayor Reed confident Atlanta will get new stadium". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  25. ^ Suggs, Ernie; Tucker, Tim (March 19, 2013). "Atlanta council clears stadium plan". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  26. ^ Farrar, Doug (June 18, 2013). "Falcons have initial approval to go forward with futuristic stadium design". Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports). Retrieved November 23, 2013. 
  27. ^ 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. 
  28. ^ Caldwell, Carla (October 14, 2013). "Blank: Falcons Stadium Groundbreaking Week of March 31". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Blank: Falcons Stadium Groundbreaking Week of March 31". Atlanta Falcons. October 16, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  30. ^ Shapiro, Jonathan (April 10, 2014). "Judge Hears Arguments In Legal Challenge Of Falcons Stadium Financing". WABE (Atlanta). Retrieved May 14, 2014. 
  31. ^ Tucker, Tim (May 19, 2014). "At stadium groundbreaking, Blank lobbies for a Super Bowl". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  32. ^ a b 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. 
  33. ^ Straus, Brian (April 18, 2014). "Former Crew GM, Current Falcons VP Confident Blank, MLS Will Be Fruitful Combo". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 14, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Georgia Dome
1992–present
Home of the Atlanta Falcons
2017–future
(estimated)
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
First stadium
Home of Atlanta MLS team
2017–future
(estimated)
Succeeded by
none