ATLANTA – After 25 years of service, the Georgia Dome will be demolished on Monday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 a.m. And what a spectacle it will be to see it come down.
If you’d like to watch live, please head over to our Facebook page to see it drop. What will you see? The whole building will come down in about 15 seconds. Here’s why…
- Pounds of explosives used: 4,800 total pounds
- Total feet of trigger wire used: 6 miles of detonating cord and 1 mile of electrical circuits/wire connections
- Furthest dust could fall from the spot of implosion: approximately 1,200 linear feet, pending weather conditions and wind direction
- Demolition construction man hours: over 10,000 man-hours dedicated for demolition preparation
- Length from start to finish: 12 seconds of explosive reports + 3 seconds for the east and west sides (end zone sections) to be grounded
- Cleanup time: 3 months to clear the site and grade it
- Yards of concrete: the dome has an estimated 250,000 cubic yards of concrete
- Recycling the concrete: the concrete will be crushed in place and graded over the footprint of the site to create the base for the Home Depot Backyard, and convention headquarter hotel to serve the adjacent Georgia World Congress Center
From the groundbreaking on Nov. 22, 1989 to its completion date of March 1, 1992, the Georgia Dome was built with the idea to entertain the city of Atlanta with quality events. It didn’t disappoint.
According to figures supplied by the Georgia Dome, from 1992-2017, 1,400 events were hosted with 39 million fans coming through the doors.
Let’s take a look at some of the firsts and then some facts, figures and memories from the last 25 years at the Georgia Dome.
The first event was “Roam the Dome” on Aug. 14-16 in 1992. It featured marching bands, parades and non-athletic competitions. More than 230,000 people attended.
- The first sporting event: An exhibition game between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 23, 1992. The Falcons won, to the delight of 66, 464 fans. The Falcons’ first official game was on Sept. 6, 1992 when Atlanta took down the New York Jets, 20-17.
- The first headlining concert: U2 during the mega-band’s Zoo TV Tour. There were 52, 318 people who saw U2 play on Sept. 25, 1992 with guests Big Audio Dynamite and Public Enemy.
- The first concert: “Olympic Flag Jam” on Sept. 17, 1992, featuring performances by multiple acts, including Whitney Houston, James Brown, Travis Tritt, Santana, TLC, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Greenwood, Alabama, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Gladys Knight.
- The first Super Bowl: The NFL’s biggest game has been played in the Georgia Dome twice. The first was on Jan. 30, 1994 in Super Bowl XXVIII when the Dallas Cowboys took down the Buffalo Bills, 30-13. Buffalo was ahead 13-6 at halftime before the Cowboys rattled off 24 unanswered points. This was the fourth consecutive loss in the Super Bowl for Buffalo, a feat that hasn’t been matched.
- The first soccer match: Mexico and Venezuela played in front of 51,115 fans on June 24, 2009. Mexico blanked Venezuela in this friendly, 4-0.
The Epitome of HUGE
The 1996 Olympics
In 1996, the Georgia Dome helped Atlanta host the XXVI Olympiad. A then-record 197 nations took part and number of major events took place inside the dome.
The Georgia Dome was cut in half by a large curtain that turned the massive facility into two separate locales. On one side, the Dream Team 2 won its gold medal. On the other, the women’s gymnastics team won its first team all-around gold medal.
- In addition to those landmark accomplishments, the Georgia Dome hosted gymnastics, men’s and women’s basketball, and team handball.
- Team USA also won the gold in women’s basketball.
- The men’s team all-around gold medal went to Russia.
- Denmark was the women’s gold medal winner in handball. Croatia too the men’s competition.
The Final Four
The men’s Final Four was played in the Georgia Dome three times to finish out the NCAA basketball tournament in 2002, 2007 and 2013.
- Maryland won its first NCAA title in its first title-game appearance with a Georgia Dome win over Indiana, 64-52. Those two dispatched 1-seed Kansas and 2-seed Oklahoma to advance to the final.
- In the Dome’s second Final Four, Florida won its second title by beating Ohio State, 84-75. Ohio State took down Georgetown and Florida beat UCLA for entrance into the championship. This Final Four matchup was the fourth time all four teams were previous champions, and in the year before, Florida beat UCLA in the title game, instead of the semifinals like in 2007.
- Louisville beat Michigan in the Georgia Dome’s third Final Four, 82-76, for the Cardinals third title. Louisville squeaked by 9-seed Wichita State by four points and Michigan beat Syracuse by 5 to make it into the title game. In this championship game, Rick Pitino became the first coach in NCAA history to win championships at two different schools.
The Atlanta Hawks had to play some games after the 1997 season (and before Philip Arena opened) in the Georgia Dome if extra capacity was needed from Georgia Tech’s Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
One of those nights was set aside for “His Airness” Michael Jordan.
Fans flocked to the Georgia Dome on March 27, 1998 to see Jordan, and the Chicago Bulls, face the Hawks.
Three Bulls reached double figures: Jordan (34), Scott Burrell (18) and Toni Kukoc (12) with Dennis Rodman pulling 15 rebounds down. Dikembe Mutombo only managed 10 rebounds, but also added 12 points. Christian Laettner led the Hawks with 13 points from the bench.
Chicago won, 89-74 with 62,046 fans watching, the largest crowd ever to see an NBA game. The Hawks own three of the top six games in history in terms of attendance from their two seasons playing in the Georgia Dome.
The Southeastern Conference has chosen to determine its champion in football for the past 23 seasons.
The Florida Gators won the first SEC championship inside the Georgia Dome, a 24-23 classic over Alabama on Dec. 3, 1994. Florida won the next two and then two of the next four titles.
But Alabama has had the most SEC title game success with seven championships (Florida won five inside the Dome and two others at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama). LSU comes in at No. 3 with four titles, with Auburn (3) and Georgia (2) and Tennessee (2) rounding out the top five.
Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt may be happy to move over to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. In 23 tries, they never made a Georgia Dome, title-game appearance.
There’s been a number of other college football events in the Georgia Dome:
- The Georgia Dome’s first college football game was on Sept. 4, 1992. Clark Atlanta University defeated Morris Brown College 28-20.
- The Dome hosted 151 more college games, capped off by the 2016 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal game.
- 11 season-opening Chick-fil-A Kickoff games.
- 44 Georgia State games
- 23 Atlanta Football Classics (1992-2014)
- 7 Heritage Bowls (1993-99 seasons)
- 2 Celebration Bowls (2015-16)
- The 2006 Sugar Bowl, after Hurricane Katrina’s devastation forced it out of New Orleans.
- The Atlanta Falcons have played 256 games at the Dome, won 116 regular season games, and five out of seven playoff games.
- The Falcons have played in two NFC Championship games in the Georgia Dome: a 28-24 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2012 NFC title game and a huge win over Green Bay in the 2016 NFC Championship to send the Falcons to Super Bowl 51 in Houston.
- Eric Weems of the Atlanta Falcons set the record for longest scoring play in NFL playoff history when he scored a 102-yard touchdown in a divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 15, 2011 at the Georgia Dome.