I’ll be honest, I’ve only seen 2 live games in the Georgia Dome. One in 2000 vs. the Bucs, in which 30,000 Bucs fans showed up and Chandler was kicked in the head by Warren Sapp, and the 2nd being last year’s loss against New England.
I’m a little tentative about going to a 3rd game in the near future due to my 0-2 record. But I’m also a little tentative because although I really like the atmosphere of the Georgia Dome, there is a part of me that doesn’t really enjoy the experience.
Nothing against the fans, but every time I’ve seen an indoor football game, I’ve gotten a massive headache by game’s end. It’s not just the GA Dome, but it also occurred at Ford Field this past February when I was at the Super Bowl. I’m guessing it has something to do with the acoustics.
So with Blank continuing his quest to get a new stadium in Atlanta in the near future, my vote is for an open-air stadium.
It’s my understanding, but the draw of the dome (or otherwise indoor stadium) is for two reasons: 1) environmental protection and 2) increase oppportunity for secondary venues.
Well considering it’s Atlanta, the environment is relatively pristine. I know December and January in Atlanta isn’t exactly warm, and it’s not quite Florida, but for most of the football season in a typical year you are going to get temperatures above 60 degrees.
And I’m not sure about the secondary venues issues. My assumption is that the city of Atlanta has plenty of other arenas that can support the various concerts, events, etc. that the city plays host to (if you haven’t figured out by now, I don’t live in Atlanta). But I guess the question becomes is this money that Arthur Blank is willing to give up or have taken out of his pocket.
Then you think of the competitive advantages the dome offers on the field. Obviously, dome teams tend to be oriented towards speed. With Michael Vick it makes a lot of sense now. But come 2015, Vick will be 35, and I don’t think having a fast surface is going to be that important.
Who knows what the team will be shaped like 9 years from now. One would guess that nobody currently on this team would be around come ’15, perhaps maybe 1 or 2 guys. The front office will probably be under new management. We may have gone through 2 different coaches by then as well.
So in my mind, if the Falcons start making plans for a stadium that probably won’t be open to play until 9-10 years from now, I would assume Blank would plan for the most versatile option: a stadium with a retractable roof. Currently I believe there are only two retractable-roof stadiums (Houston & Arizona). Within the next few years, I know the Cowboys (2009) and Colts (2008) will be getting theirs. The Saints had earlier discussions about building one pre-Katrina. But we know by the time that the Falcons complete their new stadium, there will be at least 4.
It seems that is the new fad, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Blank go with one. I wouldn’t have a problem with that. I’d just have to plan my future visits to Atlanta around games that would be played when it is likely that the roof would be retracted.