Does a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome make sense?

Would putting a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome solve the Falcons' revenue problems?  (POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com)

Would putting a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome solve the Falcons' revenue problems? (POUYA DIANAT / pdianat@ajc.com)

BIRDLAND – It’s been kind of quiet on the stadium front.

But today, AJC staff writer Leon Stafford reports on the  possibility of a retractable roof being placed on the Georgia Dome.

There’s some political bigwig meeting tonight where the bigwigs will discuss a recently completed study. The study doesn’t tell how much it would cost to put a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome, nearly triple the parking spaces and have enough space for a practice facility.

Architect's rendering of what renovated Georgia Dome could look like. (Populous)

Architect's rendering of what renovated Georgia Dome could look like. (Populous)

Ofcourse, last month the Falcons said that they prefer a new open-air stadium and that they want to stay downtown in a public-private partnership type deal.

Check out the story. Does a retractable roof on the Georgia Dome make sense to you all? How about selling the naming rights? Coca-Cola Dome? Home Depot Dome? Georgia-Pacific Dome? UPS Dome?

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115 comments Add your comment

Falcons Fan

June 29th, 2010
1:28 pm

Yes, a retractable roof makes sense for us. It’s important to keep the Dome in town for economical reasons for the city of Atlanta. There are so many other events that rely on the Dome. No need to tear down this building for a completely new one. A major renovation would be fine.

Sure, great idea to sell the naming rights. Coca Cola field at the Georgia Dome, sounds great to me. We’re not talking storied Lambeau here – it’s the dome that we’ve been playing in since the early 90’s.

matt r

June 29th, 2010
1:37 pm

Has any other facility done this – putting a retract. roof on an existing indoor stadium?

Poppa Falcon

June 29th, 2010
1:44 pm

I like the idea. It’ll provide the open-air accommendations that certain Falcon brass are looking for, and it’s also cost friendly to the tax payers who are burdened with the current economic situation. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; but u CAN STILL make it better.

Dawgs2010

June 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

Too late for a retractable roof for the Georgia Dome. Why bother? The building is out-dated and there is a lack of nostalgia.

The building is boring and it is in the worst part of town.

A new open air stadium would be great.It would allow more light and space as opposed to a big hole in the ceiling like a big sunroof.

It is time to move on for the Falcons. As for the Dome doing this for the Dome, then who is going to pay for it?

Go Falcons!

mountain_jim

June 29th, 2010
1:46 pm

To keep the Dome’s commitments and revenue stream going, it would have to be built outside of the existing roof, which would be torn down later when the outer roof was ready.

Don’t see this as cost-realistic, and the result would not be the fancy new digs Arthur has in mind.

D Money

June 29th, 2010
1:48 pm

If it’s going to increase the ticket prices tremendously, no thank you. Who would the practice facility be for by the way? We’re fine at Flowery Branch.

jroc

June 29th, 2010
1:49 pm

Wow a retractable roof….nothing but a ploy to get more of tax payers money…i would rather wear a bowtie every sunday then see the falcons play in a retractable roof dome on sunday…besides if you want a retractable roof you should have built an open air stadium in the first place. Keep the dome as it is.Even if you change it you still couldn’t get the Super Bowl hear again.

headmofo

June 29th, 2010
1:50 pm

The ultimate goal is to host the Super Bowl (at some point in the future) her in Atlanta.

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waynester

June 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

Whatever the case, it needs to be a truly iconic structure–something unique that will help to continue to build a new image for the franchise, city of ATL, the region and the New South. Maybe a replica of Stone Mountain but instead of Confederate Generals, “engravings” of enshrinees to the Falcon’s hall of Fame. Something that connects to the region or at least is emblematic of the team’s Raptor motif. Perhaps something resembling an enormous egg standing on end when closed and which is surrounded by trees, giving the appearance of a “nest” from overhead aerial coverage on gameday or night. It would retract from the top, narrower end of the “egg”, leaving a jagged, “broken eggshell” top of a huge, round, brightly lit stadium stuffed with carnivorous “hatchlings” ready to be fed weekly on Saint, Buc and Panther meat. No more run-of-the-mill cookie-cutter facilities that don’t help build the type of mystique I think we want our franchise to posess going forward this century in an increasingly lucrative international sports environment. An iconic structure that people worldwide would immediately associate with the Team and the city, that tourists passing through town would just have to stop and take their picture in front of– that’s the type of structure I’m talking about. If you’re going to spend THAT much dough on a stadium, spend a little more to make it an investment for the ages– not just a hole with seats in it filled (but only when the team is hot) with ho-hum lackluster fans, as we can all well remember. We’re trying to create a new, winning culture with a fiercely loyal fanbase, and a unique gathering-place for those fanatical fans is a desperately needed first step toward building the sell-out-every-game mentality this franchise has lacked for so long. All these ideas copyright waynester 2010…..go Falcons!

jroc

June 29th, 2010
1:58 pm

The only way Atlanta will get the Super Bowl again is if it builds a new dome with a retractable roof outside of the 285 belt-way.

Peachtree Pete

June 29th, 2010
1:59 pm

I haven’t really enjoyed a Falcons game since they left the old stadium. Anything to open up the field and let the sunshine in (and dampen the music) will be appreciated.

Falcon Fanatic

June 29th, 2010
2:05 pm

I don’t see anything wrong with exploring all possibilities. A retractable dome would not be as nice as an open air stadium on a 70 degree sunny afternoon, but if it is 40 degrees and raining the roof would be a blessing. The additional parking would be awesome, but why would we need a practice facility here with a state of the are facility already at Flowery Branch?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:13 pm

Falcon Fanatic — It seems like the GWCC people are not listening to what the Falcons want/need.

Jroc — They want to stay downtown. Outside of downtown didn’t work in Detroit. They are back downtown. It didn’t work in a lot of other places, too. (Cavs –downtown-to Richfield-back to downtown.)

jroc

June 29th, 2010
2:16 pm

DLed it works in Dallas and Arizona isn’t the city of Atl more comparable to Phoenix and Dallas than Cleveland and Detroit?

jroc

June 29th, 2010
2:20 pm

All the practice facilities are outside of the city doesn’t that give a message where ownership really want to be? Deep down they want out of the city, but are worried how it would go over with players and fans.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:25 pm

jroc — They are outside of the city because they got a cheap deal from Hall County. What’s wrong with downtown and playing in a real city?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:28 pm

What about the WAFFLE HOUSE DOME?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:33 pm

jroc — good point on DALLAS and Phoenix. Where would you want it? Doralville? Decatur? Union City? Cumming? Cherokee County? Peachtree City?

jroc

June 29th, 2010
2:40 pm

Dled Don’t get me wrong Atl has the one of the best downtowns in the U.S. behind New York and Chicago but i don’t think Atl would ever get the super bowl again because of the Ray Lewis incident and how players view Atl as a party town.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:43 pm

jroc — I remember changing a flat tire on the rental car during the ice storm during that Super Bowl weekend!!!

Hamp

June 29th, 2010
2:46 pm

If you could provide the retractable roof and increase or upgrade boxes and parking this is a great idea. Especially if the city would have to pay for it.

jroc

June 29th, 2010
2:47 pm

Dled i want it downtown where its at.

Mike V.

June 29th, 2010
2:49 pm

Should work well and will compliment our retractable fans

Infamous

June 29th, 2010
2:50 pm

I like Waffle House Dome. But it will probably end up being the Home Depot, Delta, or Chic-fil-a Dome. I hope not Chic-fil-a because too many jokes could be made with us being the falcons and all.

jroc

June 29th, 2010
2:51 pm

DLed do you feel like this will be the Falcons year?

D. Orlando Ledbetter

June 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

jroc — I do think the administration feels that they finally have the players in place for a big season. It’s like a new paint job. It looks good after you first apply it. Now, how will it hold up under stress and pressure. Should be a fun season to write about.

joe

June 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

shudda done that to begin with…would be cool watching falcons on a nice sunny warm fall day with roof open. Zero chance of that now with current roof…

jroc

June 29th, 2010
3:13 pm

DLed i got my popcorn ready!

bruce

June 29th, 2010
3:14 pm

what about the soon-to-be-closed fort macpherson area? it does have a golf course (= parking and practice facility), marta access, and an area where land is super cheap. Plus, it would help revitalize the area.

florida falcon

June 29th, 2010
3:15 pm

It’s the best scenario. A win win for all parties involved.

Matt

June 29th, 2010
3:16 pm

I like the idea. The fall in Atlanta is too pretty to be cooped up inside. However, keep the ATLANTA Falcons in Atlanta. Football games are played on Sunday in the early afternoon usually… no reason to move them out to the burbs.

Blanket Statements

June 29th, 2010
3:20 pm

Best spots to build outdoor stadium:

Doraville Plant
Legacy/Fox Creek golf courses in Smyrna.
Key Road (near McNair HS)
Lakewood

SirReal

June 29th, 2010
3:20 pm

D Led. As long as it doesnt cost the tax payers anything. Im so sick of these owners, etc trying to get the people to fund their projects. There are so many more issues facing the downtrodden in this city. So, if Blank and Co. fork over the money themselves, I’m cool with it. If they think we’re gonna pay for it, I have a big problem with that. I’d much rather help the people than the powers that be….

Blanket Statements

June 29th, 2010
3:22 pm

Also Fort Macpherson

Let's do it

June 29th, 2010
3:23 pm

I like the idea but they need to open up the corners too and give it even more of an outdoor feel, rather than just being a box without a roof. They could do this by taking out corner seats and making the walls of the corners retractable as well (would be nice if those walls are glass too).

The Braves & MARTA must not get along

June 29th, 2010
3:26 pm

This is off the subject but why the hell don’t they create an offshoot of the MARTA line that goes to Turner Field? The Braves would be wise to pay for at least a good bit of it.

R Morgan

June 29th, 2010
3:29 pm

The answer to the question, should a huge price tag be paid in tax dollars to improve an already nice facility, is not no, but He__ NO! Spend your own private dollars, have fun and make the economics work for you as you determine, but keep the tax dollars out of this boondoggle. If this proposal is not DOA, then someone is paying someone off and an investigation of kickbacks or other fraudulent activity should be instituted. That is what I think and I really like Arthur Blank and what he has and continues to do for Atlanta. This is just the wrong idea at the wrong time.

Erik

June 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

SirReal,

I agree. I like this idea but the Falcons should fork over some of the cost (if not all of it). They’re the ones who want it. The GWCC Authority and the city of Atlanta don’t need it.

Atlantan1001

June 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

The dome seriously needs to be rebuilt away from the crime riddled neighborhood it currently resides in. Have you seen the neighborhood on the west side of the dome? Its like a third world country. If the Falcons want more fans they need to move to somewhere where the fans feel safe walking to the their cars.

Horace Brown

June 29th, 2010
3:32 pm

Can you please post the renderings of the proposed renovation?

KD

June 29th, 2010
3:34 pm

You ask what’s wrong with a real city, you mean the one that you get ROBBED,STABBED,RAPED,CAR HIGH JACKED,& NO PARKING, nothing !

john

June 29th, 2010
3:37 pm

The Dome is outdated . No places to tail gate , you take your life in your hands when you leave . It is in one of the worst ares in the city .Move it outside the perimeter and maybe more people would enjoy the game day excitement . Look at the Patriots facility !!

jechapman

June 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

Please do not throw more good money after bad. The Ga Dome has always been the ugliest football stadium in the US, like a big inflated balloon… Atlanta and the falcons deserve a state of the art iconic home-place, that everyone will immediately identify as Atlanta. Atlanta has a beautiful downtown and we give the Falcons a tent that leaks to play in. To remodel the Ga dome will cost every bit as much as a new one. You know the estimates, regardless of what they are, will run higher. Don’t cheap out like we did when we built the present Ga dome. Let’s bring the super bowl and the world to Atlanta and be proud of it. Ticket prices will still increase, even if we leave it as it is.

The Proposal

June 29th, 2010
3:41 pm

Would it work if the GWCC Authority handed over a portion of the operating rights (i.e. money) in exchange for having the Falcons foot some or all of the bill for the renovation? The motivation to do that from the GWCC and city of ATL perspective would be that they ensure the facility lives on for a long time and keeps money flowing in (without the Falcons, the Dome may not be able to sustain itself).

John

June 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

I prefer an open air stadium, we live in Atlanta GA for pete’s sake. Why can’t the Falcons and the Dome authority go separate ways. If the city wants to host the Super Dome, thats fine, however the Falcons should not be tied into playing in a facility designed to host a game every 10 years if ever. I believe Blank wants to build a stadium designed for the Falcons and their fans. Let the city follow it’s own path.

Do it right

June 29th, 2010
3:43 pm

If they do this, they better make it state of the art and not something that will just be old again in 10-15 years.

john

June 29th, 2010
3:44 pm

JROC… Have you ever been to New York or Chicago ? How can you possibly say Atlanta has the best downtown after these two fine cities ? There is no downtown Atlanta .Where can you walk and feel safe ? Where is the shopping ? Miracle Mile ,Broadway .where are the comparables in Atlanta ? Boston , Washington ,DC , San Francisco , ALL surpass Atlanta in downtown living . Atlanta could have been one of those cities but the powers that be want to promote Sweet Auburn , Underground Atlanta ,Centennial Park as a great downtown …PLEEEEEASE give me a break !!!

j rev

June 29th, 2010
3:49 pm

Blanket Statements

Not on Key Road! It’s the only intown 4-wheeling site.