What should be done with Georgia Dome?

The future of the Georgia Dome — and whether the Atlanta Falcons continue to nest there — is up in the air, so to speak.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the state organization that oversees the football arena, agreed Tuesday to pay the Kansas City architecture firm, Populous, $145,000 to propose a master plan for the Dome, reports AJC staffer Leon Stafford.

Dan Graveline, executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center, said the Populous study would look at the merits of renovating the current Dome or building a new stadium.

The study will take into consideration building a new dome, an open-air arena or having a retractable roof, Stafford writes. It also will look at the cost of gutting the current building and starting over.

The decision could affect whether Falcons owner Arthur Blank decides to keep the team downtown or look to the burbs.

What do you think should happen to the Dome? How much public money should be spent?

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97 comments Add your comment

Steve From Dalton

October 28th, 2009
8:20 am

Why should the Falcons agree to a new stadium when they won’t get any suite revenue?

CarpetBagger

October 28th, 2009
8:39 am

The Roman Colosseum lasted over 400 years. The Georgia Dome less than twenty? I say “Shermanize” the whole area and do it right the first time. But that might be asking too much from southerners.

Ed

October 28th, 2009
10:03 am

I am sick of the taxpayers anywhere building stadiums for professional teams. Our tax dollars should be used for infrastucture work only. If the Falcons want a new stadium, let them build it.

Save Us Obama !

October 28th, 2009
10:15 am

The US Military needs to obliterate everything (breathing or otherwise) inside I-285 and have the US Army Corp of Engineers clear the rubble and start EVERYTHING from scratch.

The Dome is already outdated, and the “progressive” neighborhood around it is a hybrid cesspool/war zone.

Also, Georgia’s next great industry should be the EXPORT of rude, condescending, know-it-all, foul-mouthed, loud-talking yankees & carpetbaggers.

Burn in The Eternal Lake of Fire, New Yorkers !

Atlanta_Tiger_Fan

October 28th, 2009
11:05 am

New stadium with retractable roof!! Also get the bums out of Atlanta or a new facility won’t matter one bit for attracting people to it. If the city can’t stop the panhandlers, build the new stadium north of 285.

Just Groovy

October 28th, 2009
11:08 am

Let’s win a Super Bowl first and then talk about building a new facility. Let’s get real here!

Tomhere

October 28th, 2009
11:15 am

Let the Falcons pay for the new one.
How many NFL games have actually been played in the Dome?

Villa Rica DAWG

October 28th, 2009
11:17 am

I say they wait until around 2 am and bomb everything inside I-285. Then make it a huge lake for GA’s own water source.

zdawg8

October 28th, 2009
11:20 am

Build a new retractable roof stadium where the existing dome sits. It is in a good location because of the new college football hall of fame and various other tourist attractions. That way the stadium and the attractions help each other out as far as bringing people to the area.

brian

October 28th, 2009
11:20 am

how about we leave EVERYTHING exactly the way it is and try to spend money on salaries of players and the surrounding community. With all the problems in the economy, we shouldn’t be wasting money on frivoulous ventures (like the 145K we’ve spent to study the problem).

Andrew

October 28th, 2009
11:21 am

If you live in georgia an you have seen the dome inside an out this year they have already put ALOT of money into putting new seats in, changing the whole color layout of the dome all together, Why in the world would they want to build another one an spend all that money!??! It wouldnt hurt to clean up that area a little bit so fans would feel a little safer coming to games but other than that, Just leave it as it is!

clear it out- the streets and the dome

October 28th, 2009
11:22 am

If we could clean up the bums – then it would be worth it to update the stadium. Ever been to Tampa? A loser team but a sweet stadium in a nice part of town. It could happen!
- The eternal optimist, a.k.a Dreamweaver.

coachx

October 28th, 2009
11:22 am

As a Falcons season ticket holder I would be open to gutting the current building and starting over in about 5-8 years. I am not a fan of moving out to the burbs (even though I live out there).

I love the Dome’s current location and believe that the current eye soar (ghetto of Northside Drive) is under a revitilization. If developers see that a stadium will be there for the next 25-30 years then the area will see a major resurgence and the ol an vacant projects, that are for sale, will be redeveloped.

I would love to gut the current Dome and transition it into a retractable roof stadium

I believe that an outdoor, only stadium, would be awful for Atlanta. Georgians hate the cold and the Falcons games in Nov and Dec would be half empty.
The Chick Fila Bowl would have no chance of every joining the BCS without a Dome top.

Kudzu

October 28th, 2009
11:23 am

What is wrong with the current stadium? Nothing.

clear it out- the streets and the dome

October 28th, 2009
11:24 am

Kudzu- it’s terrible. And what’s with the magenta color?

joey

October 28th, 2009
11:24 am

Let the undefeated GEORGIA STATE FOOTBALL program use it, along with Tech. Continue to rent it out for events. Let the Falcons continue using it as well until THEY figure out what to do next.
Pretty much leave it as is until a better solution comes up, one that doesn’t overtax the citizens.
RUN OFF ALL THE BUMS from down town. Look at what GIULIANI did in NYC and model a program after that one.

LydiasDad

October 28th, 2009
11:25 am

Why change? It’s not that old. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a great stadium. Other buildings can last for decades. Why do we need a new stadium after only a decade or two?

Juan Diego Raul Sanchez

October 28th, 2009
11:26 am

Nothing should be done at the expense of tax payers…if Arthur wants to move them to the burbs let him – it would be way safer than having to navigate the myriad of skinnies with their hands out…plus it won’t smell like pee

Jimbo Jones

October 28th, 2009
11:26 am

If Arthur Blank wants a new stadium let him have it. He can build it with his own money though. Nothing is wrong with the dome, stop trying to waste tax payer money on pointless sh!+.

A tax payer

October 28th, 2009
11:28 am

Keep the Dome and get a New Football team.

coachx

October 28th, 2009
11:29 am

Agree that the main problem are the high number of thugs and bums in down town Atlanta and not the building.

Carlos

October 28th, 2009
11:34 am

The Georgia was just renovated last year, they spent millions of dollars renovating the club level and luxury suites. They replaced all the seats. New 1080 i HD screens were placed. The Dome was reainted inside and out. It is a beautiful facility. There is nothing wrong with the Dome! Now they are talking about building a new dome, which could cost 1.3 billion dollars? In our current economy? Please get real! Stop being so wasteful!!! Realize that only 8 Falcons regular games are played each year..

Bob

October 28th, 2009
11:39 am

“Bums” and “thugs”…blah, blah, blah. You dumb rednecks need to see those “bums” and “thugs” otherwise your ego would only be as long as your trailer. Stay in the sticks and watch the game on TV.

Aloha Gator

October 28th, 2009
11:39 am

The Dome was a hunk of junk the day it opened. As a professional Sound and Lighting engineer who has worked dozens of events in that facility nothing would make me happier than to see it torn down and re-built correctly, hopefully somewhere else.

First, the roof is a tent-tarp JOKE.

Second, logistically the place is a nightmare. The dock is way too far from the field and there’s no good way to get stuff in. Even if the GWCC allows crews to drive their trucks inside it’s still a major pain.

Third, this is the south ya’all… We have a nice climate here. Not having a retractable roof is STUPID!

Fourth, the location stinks. Parking is almost impossible.

Fifth, the facility is run by government. Enough said.

Sixth, the installed sound and lighting and video is pathetic.

Seventh, the acoustics for concerts is beyond bad. If there was a retractable roof things would improve by lightyears.

Atlanta will NEVER see another Superbowl here until that facility is gone. The last time we hosted the Superbowl the NFL almost had to postpone the game because of concerns the roof would collapse on the crowd and field… Remember the ice storm? That would have been nice. Can you imagine canceling the Superbowl? How would the world have reacted?

Apparently some wingnuts think the Doraville GM site is not a good idea for a new stadium. Respectfully, they are wrong. It’s the perfect size. It’s located at Spaghetti Junction so getting there is easy from anywhere in GA. It’s close enough to MARTA. It would eliminate the hassle of trying to get into downtown on game day and it would get the GWCC creeps out of management.

Tear it down. Start over.

Yes, it’s expensive to have a retractable roof but that’s the price you gotta pay to be on top with the big dogs. That stadium in Dallas is damn near perfect. Copy that design. Build a winner not a guaranteed loser.

ATL livin' in NYC

October 28th, 2009
11:39 am

I think building a new dome with a retractable roof would be great but I dont know if it is really necessary. I understand people are concerned having to pay for it but just think of the opportunities that will come with a new dome. Atlanta is one of the possible locations to host the World Cup and it would bring $80 Million to the city (http://www.ajc.com/business/world-cup-could-bring-175332.html). The new Cowboys Stadium is hosting the NBA All Star Game this year. Just consider the opportunities…

ClemsonDude

October 28th, 2009
11:40 am

Clean up and revamp downtown Atlanta FIRST then maybe we can talk about a new dome. Atlanta MUST clamp down on crime and the low life thuds that walks the streets of this once great city. I really do not have a problem building a new dome but without taxpayers money!

Spike

October 28th, 2009
11:40 am

Let the rich pay for their own playgrounds. No public money…ever. Re-elect no one…ever.

coachx

October 28th, 2009
11:41 am

What is the world is wrong with the football team ?

Mark

October 28th, 2009
11:42 am

I have to agree with you Ed. The city is strapped for cash but we are gonna take tax payers money to pay for a new dome. That’s ridiculous!!!

Joseph

October 28th, 2009
11:43 am

As a Falcons season ticket holder for several years, I say keep the Dome. It’s currently only 17 years old which is not old for a stadium at all. I love the recent changes (seats, video boards, etc) and think they should use the money to keep the Dome updated. Plus a new stadium would probably mean PSL’s for season ticket holders and I’m not a fan of PSL’s at all! It’s a great facility that hosts more than just Falcons games. It hosts college games, concerts, monster trucks, supercross, and many other events on a yearly basis.

Outside ATL...and glad of it

October 28th, 2009
11:46 am

If I remember correctly the dome was pushed through to help with the Olympic bid. Guess shortsightedness led to a crappy stadium. I also seem to remember that a large chunk of the revenue put towards building the stadium was raised by those not living in Atlanta but by raising taxes on hotel rates. Seems ridiculous that a less than 20 year old structure would need to be torn down, but I have been rolling my eyes at what goes on up there in the “heart” of Georgia for years. Tear it down, leave it up….who cares.

Big Daddy

October 28th, 2009
11:49 am

If the dome is good enough for the SEC Championship, Chick-Fil-A Bowl FKA the Peach Bowl, basketball tournaments and Superbowls, then it is good enough for the “sometimes we win” Falcons. The City of Birmingham, AL is constructing a dome. Maybe the Falcons should move there.

John

October 28th, 2009
11:53 am

I waited 15 minutes for the police to respond to a 911 call.What is more important paying a great salary to those who protect us or upgrading The Dome? Let’s get our priorities straight.

Dawg Foot

October 28th, 2009
11:53 am

The only way I would say keeping the DOME down town would be to clean up the CRIME down there. I am sick of the thugs and gangsters controlling the streets.

JAMES

October 28th, 2009
11:53 am

Henry I hope you weren’t expecting a serious reponse. How dissapointed you must be if you were. maybe you just wanted a good laugh. And if some of you are serious please seek psych help because your violent suggestions are serious brain flaws. And to the Yankee with the holy attitude remember where you came from they don’t like you either.

All I'm Saying Is...

October 28th, 2009
12:00 pm

We have the opportunity to develop a grandiose vision that would

a) incorporate the flexibility of a retractable roof (i.e. could have real grass if we wanted to),

b) enable the GWCC to stay competitive with other cities like Orlando & Chicago through a more effective facility as the core GWCC exhibition hall is out of expansion space due to it running up against the heavy rail line in the area,

c) expands the playing field size to more comfortably accommodate World Cup soccer giving us a chance to field an MSL team,

d) offers the pro football team an opportunity to grow its revenues (and remain competitive) by having more corporate suites,

and

e) include a smaller performance venue (jazz club type or Center Stage sized space) for local performing arts groups as well as touring artists who find Philips too huge and the Tabernacle not big or flexible enough.

If we think big, we could also expand the footprint to eliminate some of the blight in the surrounding Vine City community by redirecting Northside Drive in a creative manner and/or having the overall complex abut the Vine City MARTA stop as well. And we could replant numerous trees and do all of the above in an eco-friendly manner.

To make all this happen, I suggest we have the Falcons contribute 50% (in return they keep all the parking and suite revenue tied to their games), the state contributes 40% (they get to use the new facility as part of the GWCC complex the remainder of the year) and the city contributes 10% (local and convention folks spending time and money in town is a good thing).

COME ON ATLANTA, THINK BIG, DREAM A LITTLE, AND IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!

Bob

October 28th, 2009
12:00 pm

Let our crack Dekalb county commissioners decide on what to do with it, they are always right, just look at Dekalb!

P Renee

October 28th, 2009
12:02 pm

You must first eliminate the racial inequality at the Georgia Dome.

P Renee

October 28th, 2009
12:02 pm

You must first eliminate the racial inequality at the Georgia Dome.

Ken

October 28th, 2009
12:03 pm

Get it out of downtown and the thugs! 80% of the people that go are from Buckhead and north of there anyway.

Shiri

October 28th, 2009
12:03 pm

Why don’t the Falcons move to Macon and be the, “Macon Mistakes” ..

Safe in the suburbs

October 28th, 2009
12:04 pm

They need 2 move the stadium near the mall of Georgia where is it safe. My family went 2 a flacons game a few years ago and I did not like the way the blacks looked at my wife and daughter. Move it to where they wont come and bother us and I wil buy tix for a game or 2

Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville

October 28th, 2009
12:05 pm

I think they should move the Stadium next to Turner Field and run Marta directly between them. Having 2 stadiums in an area would allow businesses to stay open year round and help develop the surrounding area. The parking’s already there and the neighborhoods could use the help. You also have access to the busiest corridor of highways in the southeast.

the real Old Gold

October 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

Carpet Bagger… how’s the economy back home?

Mike

October 28th, 2009
12:07 pm

I do not see what is so wrong with the Georgia Dome. I’ve been to two NFL Stadiums in my day- The Georgia Dome and the Superdome. The Superdome seats are terrible, and too close together. The interior walk ways and concession areas in the Superdome are extremely unappealing.

The Georgia Dome has great seating, it has great home field advantage- its very noisy. I’m bothered by the fact that we feel so set on renovating or rebuilding.

If its bringing in 10x that hole of debt from the convention center, then what is the problem? Fans are not complaining about the Georgia Dome. It is a completely fine and useable facility…and attracts many prestigous events.

Steve From Dalton

October 28th, 2009
12:08 pm

All those folks complaining about the use of taxpayer dollars, the economic impact of JUST the Chick-fil-A Bowl generates $30-35 million for metro Atlanta. That does not count the many other events. What happens if the new stadium is out of the metro area?

KM

October 28th, 2009
12:20 pm

I am opposed to building a new stadium just to keep up with other cities and to say that this is the biggest, most advanced stadium as of today. For those of you that have responded and consistently go to events at the Georgia Dome, you can’t deny that it is a pretty good multi-purpose stadium. The Dome was not built just for the Falcons so the idea that it MUST have a retractable roof holds no weight in my opinion. The Dome is used throughout the year from 10 weekends for the Falcons games, baskestball, college football, high school football, monster trucks, motorbikes, etc.

And for the people complaining about the “thugs and bums”, what do you propose to do to get rid of those individuals? I know, build a stadium in Alpharetta but there is one small problem. Most stadiums are built in areas where land is cheap, and if it is built where land is cheap then it must also mean that it is a place where most people would prefer not to live.

Keep the Dome and stop WASTING money just to say that we have the newest, biggest, tallest stadium. That is until someone else comes along and out do us and then we start this process all over again.

Falconsforlife

October 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

Summerhill, thats not a bad idea if they run a rail stop there. Currently getting to Turner via Marta is a gigantic pain. Unfortunately I don’t see Marta, or the city, ponying up the cash to expand the rail to that area.

As much as I’d love the new Falcons stadium to be on the northside, keeping it in the area of the current dome would be fine. I don’t see how they’d gut it and build on site, but if that is possible it wouldn’t be a bad idea. They really need to crack down on the crime in the area though, and keeping the stadium and the Falcons where they are would go a long way to help that area keep moving forward.

Steve

October 28th, 2009
12:23 pm

I would be very happy if those outside the perimeter would stay out there. You need those same old tired cheaply built subdivisions, where all the houses look alike, horribly inefficient cul-de-sacs, big-box, ugly strip shopping centers, hulking SUV’s, stifling traffic homogeneous attitudes. Those of us who live inthe city, and enjoy it, will be just fine.

Personally, I like walking to the drug store and to Publix and to the museums (a museum in the suburbs-laughable). With the current housing market, those horribly overpriced, poorly constructed “homes” are all upside down in value anyway.

As far as the stadium goes, it’s fine; leave as it is.

Atlanta

October 28th, 2009
12:27 pm

Gotta love that some people who obviously don’t live inside 285 have no qualms about joking about BOMBING everything inside of 285, shame on you for thinking it’s funny to kill your fellow man.