The Omni in 1977
|Location||100 Techwood Drive
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
|Broke ground||March 30, 1971|
|Opened||October 14, 1972|
|Closed||May 11, 1997|
|Demolished||July 26, 1997|
|Owner||City of Atlanta|
|Operator||City of Atlanta|
|Construction cost||$17 million
($93.3 million in 2013 dollars)
|Architect||Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates|
|Structural engineer||Prybylowski and Gravino, Inc.|
|General contractor||Ira H. Hardin Company|
|Atlanta Hawks (NBA) (1972–1997)
Atlanta Flames (NHL) (1972–1980)
Atlanta Chiefs (NASL Indoors) (1979–1981)
Democratic National Convention (1988)
Atlanta Attack (AISA/NPSL) (1989–1991)
Atlanta Knights (IHL) (1992–1996)
Atlanta Fire Ants (RHI) (1994)
1977 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament
1996 Summer Olympics (indoor volleyball venue)
The Omni Coliseum, usually called The Omni, from the Latin for "all," or "every", was an indoor arena located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. Completed in 1972, the arena seated 16,378 for basketball and 15,278 for hockey. It was part of the Omni Complex, now known as the CNN Center.
Demolished in 1997, the only remaining reminder is the scoreboard from the Omni that now hangs in the pavilion of the Philips Arena.
This arena was considered an architectural marvel when first constructed, combining innovative design for the roof, seating, and the structure itself. The logo is based on the unique seating arrangement. The exterior was composed of Cor-Ten weathering steel, which was supposed to seal itself by continuing to rust, making a solid steel structure that would last for decades. The Omni was noted for its distinctive space frame roof, often joked about as looking like an egg crate or a rusty waffle iron. Designed by the firm of Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates with structural engineering work by the firm of Prybylowski and Gravino, the roof was technically described as an ortho-quad truss system. Elvis Presley performed twelve times in the Omni and a plaque was placed on an interior wall to that effect after his death. Other notable concerts held at the arena included shows by Van Halen, Bon Jovi, U2, Def Leppard, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, Garth Brooks, R.E.M., Phish, Rod Stewart, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Phish, and many, many others. Parts of Def Leppard's live home video "In The Round, In Your Face" were filmed at the Omni in October 1988 and the REM concert film 'Road Movie' was filmed at the Omni over three nights in November 1995. The Prince video for "Take Me With U" was also filmed there. In addition, Journey filmed the live music video for "I'll be Alright Without You" at the Omni in November 1986.
Professional Wrestling 
The Omni was a hotbed for professional wrestling throughout its existence. It was considered the home base for the NWA's Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions in the late 80's, and WCW. Many major and historic wrestling events were held there, including Starrcade 85, Starrcade 86, Starrcade 89, and many other PPV shows. The WWE also held shows at the Omni many times when they were known as the WWF.
Basketball and hockey 
The Omni was home to the NBA Atlanta Hawks from 1972–1997, the NHL Atlanta Flames from 1972–1980 (now the Calgary Flames), and the IHL Atlanta Knights (1992–1996). The Knights were the only pro team to win a championship in the building by winning the Turner Cup in 1994. The arena also hosted the 1977 NCAA Final Four, won by Marquette University over North Carolina in what was Warriors' (their nickname at the time, now known as the Golden Eagles) coach Al McGuire's last game, one SEC and three ACC men's basketball tournaments, the 1978 NBA All-Star Game, the 1993 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four, and the indoor volleyball matches for the 1996 Summer Olympics. The Flames were replaced by the Atlanta Thrashers (now the Winnipeg Jets), who began play in 1999 after the Omni was demolished and Philips Arena was built.
Indoor soccer 
Notable concerts 
- Elvis Presley performed at Omni Coliseum a total of twelve times in three years between 1973 and 1976. He had five shows from the same tour in 1973 on 21, 29, and 30 June (two shows) and another on 3 July. He then had 3 shows in 1975 on 30 April, 1 and 2 May and then four shows in 1976 on 4, 5 and 6 June and his final show at this venue on 30 December 1976.
- The Police recorded two concerts on November 2–3, 1983, at The Omni in the wake of the Synchronicity album. The 1983 shows were also featured in the 1984 Synchronicity Concert VHS and the 2005 DVD release.
- Pop star Whitney Houston performed at the Omni Coliseum on August 8, 1987, during her Moment of Truth World Tour.
- Pop superstar Michael Jackson performed three concerts at Omni Coliseum on April 13, 14 and 15, 1988, during his Bad Tour.
- Rock band R.E.M performed a three night stand here on November 18, 19 and 21st, 1995, and the shows were filmed for their second concert film Road Movie
- Vermont jam band Phish recorded one of its "musical costume" shows Oct. 31, 1996, covering the entirety of Talking Heads' Remain in Light, which was later released as Live Phish Vol. 15.
Among the major non-sports events hosted at the Omni was the 1988 Democratic National Convention, which nominated Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen for President and Vice President of the United States, respectively. The Republican ticket of George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle won the election.
One of the problems with the building was that some of the innovations were not successful. The Cor-Ten steel failed to seal itself and instead corroded to the point where there were large holes in the outer structure. Chain link fences were installed in a number of locations to keep people from crawling though the wall to see events. Despite fairly good sight lines, the structure had the outward appearance of looking dated by the early-1990s (although the arena was only 20 years old).
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a growing number of NBA and NHL teams started constructing new arenas with better amenities for their high-end customers, such as luxury boxes, club-level seating, and massive club concourses, in order to increase their revenue streams. Some of these new arenas had as many as 200 luxury boxes. By comparison, the Omni had only 16 luxury boxes and no club level at all. It also became a disadvantage to the city of Atlanta; until the Georgia Dome was finished in 1992, the Omni served as its largest indoor facility in terms of seating capacity.
Built on a former railroad yard, after construction, the Omni settled more than its designers expected. There were unanticipated stresses in the space frame roof, which often leaked water.
Although the Omni hosted many events, it lost more than its share due to the smaller seating capacity and lack of amenities when compared to newer buildings in other cities. By the start of the 1990s, a collective effort began to build a replacement. This also stemmed from the desire of Ted Turner to own an NHL franchise; the Flames had been sold to Canadian businessmen and relocated to Calgary, Alberta a decade earlier. However, the only way the league would approve an expansion team to him would be with the guarantee of a brand-new arena. On July 26, 1997, the Omni was demolished, and Philips Arena, which was constructed on the former site of the Omni, opened on September 18, 1999.
- "Georgia News Briefs". Rome News-Tribune. March 30, 1971. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- Staff. Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2012. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 543.
- 1996 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 3. p. 465.
|Events and tenants|
Alexander Memorial Coliseum
|Home of the
1972 – 1997
Georgia Dome &
Alexander Memorial Coliseum
|Home of the
1972 – 1980
|NCAA Men's Division I
|Host of the
NBA All-Star Game