Are you Falcons fans ready to head back outdoors?

080730 ATLANTA: The replacement of the questionable mauve and teal exterior at the Georgia Dome with new red and black exterior definitively makse the Dome the home of the Falcons. A peek at the modified Georgia Dome. Wednesday, July 30, 2008. POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com

080730 ATLANTA: The replacement of the questionable mauve and teal exterior at the Georgia Dome with new red and black exterior definitively gave the Dome a Falcons flavor. Wednesday, July 30, 2008. POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com

Birdland – It’s real simple today, folks.

Are you ready to go back outside?

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Are you guys and gals ready to head back outside for some NFL football?

Here’s a snapshot of the stadium situation.

Here’s a look  at the modified Georgia Dome after its 2008 refurbishments.

A lot of work has already been done on this project and they usually take almost a decade to complete, so expect more

The Buc's pirate ship. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

The Buc's pirate ship. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/AJC)

twists and turns along the way.

Fortunately, this isn’t our first Stadium Rodeo (worked on the Lambeau Field refurbishment and the building of Miller Park and their retractable roof that never seemed to work in the early stages.)

Falcons president Rich McKay was a key figure in the Tampa stadium build up and they have that cool Pirate Ship in the end zone.

Just check in and let us know where you stand on an outdoor, downtown stadium that could possibly host World Cup games in 2018 or 2022.

204 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darryl Ledbetter, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Are you Falcons fans ready to head back outdoors? http://bit.ly/daIgQD [...]

WAYNE P

May 20th, 2010
7:12 am

John

May 20th, 2010
7:23 am

That would mean there would be THREE large football stadiums INSIDE I-285. Ridiculous to build yet another one. If anything, tear down the Ga Dome and go ahead and build one with a retractable roof like Cowboys Stadium….just not as grand, the Falcons haven’t done anything to deserve such a palace. But on a serious note, why should the taxpayers be on the hook for a new stadium with a perfectly good one a few feet away on the GWCC campus?

There has to be a way to retrofit the Ga Dome to include a retractable roof.

shaggy

May 20th, 2010
7:29 am

Pro Football outside again, on grass? YEAH BABY!

The Insider

May 20th, 2010
7:30 am

I don’t care where the Falcons choose to play-as long as they pay for every bit of the new stadium. It is not the taxpayers’ duty to fund playgrounds for billionaires and their millionaire employees.

PMC

May 20th, 2010
7:31 am

Absolutely. I have less of a problem with the dome than some people but domes really don’t do anything for the city landscape. Open stadiums when well done can be beautiful and excellent when outside. If the Dome ends up remaining there I wonder if the Falcons would build a bit smaller facility. 60K or even 70K seats would be a gracious plenty. Hopefully there will be some possible tailgating areas in regards to parking but that’s going to be tough.

Where's my stimulus check

May 20th, 2010
7:39 am

Outdoors would be great.

Maybe we will get a new helmet color about the same time.

The current Black always reminds me of Jerry Glanville

Bobby Dobbins

May 20th, 2010
7:40 am

I LOVE the Dome. So many times I’m headed to the game either where it’s freezing cold, rainy, or hot as junk outside and I’m so glad that we play in a dome. Plus we can get that place pretty loud, which would be harder in an outdoor stadium. Either way, if we build a new stadium, I think the Dome needs to stay too so that ATL can keep the SEC championship, basketball tournaments, etc. I agree that a new stadium should be 60-70K seats so that it’s easier to sell out.

DJ

May 20th, 2010
7:41 am

Outside – YES! But we’re not going to get real grass; the field turf is cheaper in the long run.

Mr. McKay appears opposed to the expensive retractable roof; perhaps he is also against the $20,000 PSL the other clubs have pocketed with their new stadiums here lately. (Do that math – that is how you build a $1Bn stadium).

I would like to hear Mr. Blank’s current opinion on PSL. If he tries to feed you the garbage of how a PSL is an investment, run away and hide your wallet.

SimpleDawg

May 20th, 2010
7:44 am

I like the Dome. You don’t have to sit in the rain while your beer gets diluted……you don’t freeze your ass off when it’s 20 degrees outside with a 10 mph wind…..and you don’t have to sweat in the sweltering heat in September and early October.

It just makes for a more comfortable atmosphere for the fans, and your offense isn’t at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Dave

May 20th, 2010
7:45 am

About time they decided to return to playing outdoors, but it a shame that they insist on staying downtown. Move outside the city, where attending the games would not be a logistical nightmare, and they could provide adequate space for parking and tailgating. I was excited when they floated that plan about using the area where the GM plant is, but it looks as if that will not be happening now.

If I owned one of the sports teams here, I would flee downtown as if it was on fire.

Chief Wiggum

May 20th, 2010
7:47 am

Time to take it outdoors. This isn’t somewhere exceedingly hot or cold. Places like south Florida and Wisconsin seem to do fine with open stadiums. Most of the new stadiums built recently are either outdoor, or at least have retractable roofs. Detroit’s stadium is permanently enclosed (I think), but it also lets a LOT of natural light in. Playing in a big, dark room that needs to be artificially lit whenever used is completely out of fashion.

Not that I care about the SEC…but if there wasn’t a Dome, where else could they practically play that IS a dome? Only option is New Orleans, right?

Falcon Dave

May 20th, 2010
7:47 am

DOL, Your survey needs another option. Retractable Dome! I love football in the south in the fall but if you have ever been to a game in late August or early September the humility is murder! Not only on the fans but what about the players? Good ole Rich says it to expensive, why does he care? It looks like the tax payers are footing the bill so build a 1st class stadium with a retractable dome. Keep the SEC Champion Game! Final Four (maybe another Super Bowl one day) and all the other high profile events in Atlanta.
Have the best of both worlds!

FootballFan

May 20th, 2010
7:47 am

Retractable roof is the only way to go. You get the best of both worlds and still leaves the city in a position to host major events like Super Bowls and Final Fours.

TMoney

May 20th, 2010
7:51 am

I’d love the option to play outdoors or indoors. Easiest solution: Retractable Dome. Satisfies the needs of other events by letting the roof be closed while giving the Falcons the option to open the roof on nice days.

DJ

May 20th, 2010
7:55 am

OK so all of you guy’s are chiming in for a retractable dome and the 20K PSL. As a holdover from Fulton County Stadium I can state for a fact that the season ticket holders paid not a single dime in PSLs for the past 18 years.

And now you want to finance a brand new building on our backs? Why, so you can feel secure knowing you are going to be dry and comfortable for the one game a decade you show up for?

Cmon man!

Season TicketHolder

May 20th, 2010
7:56 am

I would not purchase season tickets if I had to sit outside for a football game. The heat, the rain, the wind, the ice…..Oh no count me out.

Ideasbobby

May 20th, 2010
7:56 am

First of all most of the people who write on these blogs do not even attend a game. Second of all I think the SEASON TICKET HOLDERS should have the majority of the input on this plan. If McKay and Blank want to ignore our opinions, then they will have to live with the lack of revenue because even after 30 years, I will not renew in an open air stadium. My three seats may not mean much to them but I am sure I have other season ticket holders who feel the same. I for one will not renew and sit in cold and snow and hot and rain as I used to do at the old Atlanta Stadium. I love the indoors and it is a great atmosphere for football. Mr. Blank can sit in his warm VIP box but I am out in the stands and want to be comfortable as my living room. I will not pay thousands of dollars to sit in the cold, rain or sweat in the hot weather when I can just watch on TV. I love the atmosphere and loud noise for football in a dome. You cannot have that outside, I know I have been there for many years. For all you people who want the outdoor stadiums, go to a Braves game as baseball should be outdoors. But football and the noise lends itself to being indoors.

scott

May 20th, 2010
7:59 am

retractable roof only …not building another dome would be the death of economic depressed atlanta..and big time events… its too humid here in the fall..and too cold here with harsh wind chills here in the winter..a dome is the only way to go..

Jim

May 20th, 2010
7:59 am

Whatever they build it probably won`t be good enough to host a Super Bowl again in the No Fun League`s eyes.

Ideasbobby

May 20th, 2010
8:05 am

Hey Chief Wiggum it is obvious you have never been in the Georgia Dome with your dark artifical light comment. The roof of the Dome is Teflon coated fabric which allows light in similar to a piece of paper held up to the sunlight. It is bright in the daytime and dark at night, just like the outdoors would be. The lights are for TV and safety of the fans. I have been in the Dome for another event during the day without lights and it was just as bright as when the lights are on in the Ga World Congress Center.

Dookie

May 20th, 2010
8:07 am

The only sensible solution is the rectractable dome. This allows for the outdoor Falcon game, while also briing in Super Bowls, Finals Fours, SEC Championships, etc. that bring in so much money for the ciuty.

Personnally, I think McKay agrees, and is just seeing if he can get the state to cover the expenses of getting that feature added in on their dime.

SimpleDawg

May 20th, 2010
8:10 am

I could roll with a retractable roof stadium, but no to an outdoor only stadium.

I am a season ticket holder.

bo

May 20th, 2010
8:10 am

if outdoor stadia are so unbearable due to weather, how come all these southern colleges sell out 90k all season long? But actually, the retractable roof isn’t a bad idea…

Roy Hobbs crackpipe

May 20th, 2010
8:15 am

Yes! and lets ditch the silly uniforms too. go back to the red helmets.

P Rose

May 20th, 2010
8:20 am

Build a new outdoor stadium downtown.

blord

May 20th, 2010
8:21 am

My main concern is location. I don’t like the downtown area because of traffic and the current parking is frustrating. I would love to see a retractable roof and would absolutely love the stadium on the North side of town.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

May 20th, 2010
8:23 am

bo

May 20th, 2010
8:25 am

i’d much rather it remain downtown. somehow, a stadium in the middle of 100’s of acres parking in the middle of suburbia doesn’t sound real appealing to me

J

May 20th, 2010
8:26 am

You are in the South. Hot, Humid.. etc. Stay indoors. Its better for ticket sales

blord

May 20th, 2010
8:29 am

I hear ya bo. My main reason for wanting it on the North side is selfish I admit. By the time I get out of church on Sunday’s it is hard to make a 4:00 kickoff and impossible to make it to a 1:00.

Chip

May 20th, 2010
8:30 am

I lived in Nashville when the Titans came to town and the PSL option worked great. Plus LP is an outdoor and works great. Much louder than any crowd I have seen at the Dome.

murray county mystic

May 20th, 2010
8:31 am

build it on the north side (575 around Canton, 75 near Acworth); get it out of downtown (panhandlers, crime, no room for tail gating, MARTA?!?!). ANd move Philips out there with it, so the Thrashers have a chance to survive…

DP

May 20th, 2010
8:34 am

What exactly is supposedly so bad about the Georgia Dome that it must already be replaced? The idea of replacing a facility that is less than 20 years old in the midst of an economy that is terrible and likely will continue to be so for years strikes me as the height of lunacy. Not one nickel from the taxpayers of Atlanta or the state of Georgia should go toward a replacement. Let Arthur Blank pay for it.

Dun

May 20th, 2010
8:36 am

The reason I don’t go to the falcons’ games is because the venue is located in downtown, commute and parking is a nightmare, and don’t even think about taking the MARTA after the game, it is packed like a ’sardin can’. Move the stadium to suburb or rural area with wide open parking spaces and easy access to highways, more people will come to the games.

Kuykendall

May 20th, 2010
8:37 am

Outdoor stadium – no roof (cheaper) – located out at least 50 miles from the ATL Hood – that way people can enjoy themselves tailgating – maybe go south closer to Macon or north closer to Flowery Branch. The artificial lighting and grass makes it hard to focus at times in person and on TV.

Infamous

May 20th, 2010
8:37 am

I am a Falcons Season Ticket owner, but I do not like the idea of playing outdoors. However, I have been to the Seattle Seahawks stadium, which is VERY nice. Although it is an open roof stadium, the majority of the seats are covered by a sort of “ledge” that circles the edge of the roof. If we have to have an open roof stadium, then that would be key. We all know how crazy Atlanta weather can be from year to year and we know how the typical Atlanta fans are. Normal Atlanta fans prob wouldn’t care to show up if there was bad weather and would sell their tickets to opposing teams. Then, we would no longer have a real home field advantage for a lot of games.

I think it is a bad idea overall considering the crazy weather and typical ATL fans. What do you think DOL?

Jaques Strappe

May 20th, 2010
8:37 am

I have been a STH since the 70’s, so I remember playing in Fulton Co stadium. If you like the open air option, you probably can’t relate to suffering in the September humidity, freezing your crystal when it’s cold, or cussing the umbrellas that keep you from seeing when it’s raining. Yes, I loved open air football on a nice balmy fall day too, but that’s not the norm and it is not worth the mostly bad times. If we get open air, I will be watching on TV. I agree with others that STHs should have a strong influence on the decision as they are the fans there for every game, not those who buy a single ticket only when the sun shines. I expect the Falcons could find a way for the STHs to help share the extra cost of a retractable. Maybe someone could answer the question: what is wrong with the current stadium (other than the crappy sound system, and a new stadium seems mandatory to get a superbowl in ATL)?

Jeff

May 20th, 2010
8:38 am

They need a retractable roof. End of story. That satisfies all needs that are being questioned by demolition of the dome. We could host basketball, SEC championships, world cup, etc. Seems like you would easily make up the cost to install a retractable roof. I’ll pitch in 5 bucks if it’ll help.

David

May 20th, 2010
8:39 am

Ok everyone, them bringing up this idea is plain and simple….THE WORLD CUP. Period. Yes, falcons want all this etc..but last year FIFA came to the GA dome and loved the city and loved what we did with the two (sold out) games that were held…i imagine this move if it is done is for us to get the Host site of the WC maybe not 2018..thats probably going to England..but 2022 is def ours for the taking..

Now as a falcon fan, I want an outdoor stadium…we act like we live up in minnesota or something..ya the heat is bad..but…big deal…college kids deal with it..i think a professional..can deal with it as well.

Alan

May 20th, 2010
8:39 am

Simply put-If we get an open air stadium, I’m dropping my season tickets. Too many times walking up to the Dome it has been a pleasure going inside when it was raining or hot as hell. Let people up north look like idiots in the snow and rain.

David

May 20th, 2010
8:39 am

Blank can build his own stadium by going to his local Home Depot, but Lowes has a better selection. The only thing wrong with the Dome is the lower end zone seats are not steep enough to see the other end of the field. Remodel the GA Dome and stop ask for tax money that is not there.

Karl

May 20th, 2010
8:44 am

Retractable roof would be ideal. But McKay says it costs too much. But why build a new place at all if you’re going to do it on the cheap. Better to stick with the dome.

Infamous

May 20th, 2010
8:46 am

And a MUCH bigger issue that needs to be addressed is the horrible parking situation that the current GA Dome has. Parking is absolutely ridiculous. In Seattle, it was very convenient to have large parking structures connected directly to the stadium and a large entrance ramp directly onto the highway. These deserve major consideration as well. The GA Dome is like someone built this huge building in the midst of DT and did not care that there really is no where to park.

One of the reasons people do not want to have another SB here was because of the parking situation, there is nothing to do around the stadium, and the crazy weather that can appear out of no where.

The Real Falcon

May 20th, 2010
8:48 am

I have had season tickets since 1985 so I’ve been inside and outside. I remember the cold Sunday’s at Atlanta Stadium (that was the original name). I don’t want that back. I spend enough time outside when I tailgate for 3 hours.

Old time Dog

May 20th, 2010
8:51 am

It is all about money. The suites sell better if you have an out door stadium. To bad taxpayers take the hit. But somebody has to lose and it’s not going to be the big money.

Frank

May 20th, 2010
8:56 am

An outdoor stadium would be fantastic. BUT I agree with other posters. I do not want to pay a dime for it. I don’;t subscribe to theory that stadiums only last 20 years. The Falcons made a mistake with the dome, and now we all have to live with it.

deegee

May 20th, 2010
8:56 am

If you are for smaller government then you are for letting Arthur Blank figure out how he is going to pay for a new stadium.

“Discussions about the team’s digs intensified over the past few months as the Georgia legislature passed a bill extending the hotel-motel tax for the Dome until 2045.

Money for a new stadium would come from the tax and a contribution by the Falcons. The amount from each is to be negotiated, as is the division of revenue from concessions, parking and other sources.”

David

May 20th, 2010
9:00 am

I didn’t know we had a bunch of weather pansies in GA…geez..

Chris

May 20th, 2010
9:08 am

I am a Falcons fan, and will watch them in a dome, outdoors, high school stadium, or a dirt field. I don’t care where we are as I cheer for my team, I just hope for a great game by my team, and hopefully we get the win!!!!