We end 2017 with a countdown of the 10 biggest stories of the year on Football Stadium Digest, as chosen by editors and partially based on page views. Today, #10: The closing of the Georgia Dome, former home of the Atlanta Falcons.
Before Mercedes-Benz Stadium, there was the Georgia Dome. While the last year of NFL action will be remembered, in part, for the debut of the new home of the Atlanta Falcons, 2017 was also marked by a memorable finale for the team’s former venue.
Opening in 1992, the Georgia Dome was home to the Falcons continuously through the 2016 season. Over the years, the stadium would host a wide array of events—from two Super Bowls, to three NCAA men’s basketball Final Fours—but the stadium’s history included an impressive stretch by the Falcons that ended with their run to the Super Bowl during its final season.
The Falcons hosted two postseason games in January 2017, starting with their 36-20 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the divisional round. That set up their NFC Championship matchup with the Green Bay Packers, who had knocked out the number-one seed Dallas Cowboys the previous week.
Regardless of its outcome, the NFC Championship was to go down as the Falcons’ final game at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons ultimately made their finale a memorable one, decisively defeating the Packers 44-21 to advance to Super Bowl LI. While that Super Bowl proved to be a heartbreaker for the Falcons—who blew a 28-3 lead, and lost 34-28 in overtime to the New England Patriots—their Georgia Dome sendoff was nonetheless memorable.
Following a Monster Jam event in March, the Georgia Dome closed. With Mercedes-Benz Stadium taking shape for the 2017 NFL season, the Georgia Dome was slated to be demolished sooner rather than later. That plan came to fruition in the fall, a much of the Georgia Dome was imploded early in the morning of November 20.
Down the road, a part of the stadium’s site will be occupied by The Home Depot Backyard, an area that can be used for tailgating for Mercedes-Benz Stadium events, while also serving as a gathering space and park on a year-round basis. In addition, there are plans to construct a hotel on a portion of the site.
It did not take long for the Georgia Dome to disappear from the downtown Atlanta landscape, as it was demolished less than a year after its final NFL game. Before its time came to an end, however, the Falcons give it a fitting farewell with a playoff victory that created one final fond memory of their home for 25 seasons.
Image courtesy Georgia Dome.