SBD/December 13, 2012/Facilities

Falcons, GWCCA Release Document Outlining Details For New Falcons Stadium

Hopes are for the new stadium to have 1.8 million square feet of space
The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority this week issued a document that outlines “preliminary specifications” for a new stadium “to solicit applications from architects interested in designing" the proposed retractable-roof venue, according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The document said a new stadium should seat 80,000 people “for marquee events such as Super Bowls,” but should “feel right-sized” for smaller events, such as MLS games. It should have “fewer suites, more club seats and about 200,000 more square feet of space than the Georgia Dome.” The GWCCA and Falcons in the document said the downtown stadium should be “a distinctly iconic landmark for the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia.” GWCCA Project Procurement Dir Richard Sawyer said that the “goal is to hire an architectural firm within about 90 days.” The new stadium is “envisioned to have about 1.8 million square feet of space,” compared to the Georgia Dome’s 1.6 million on all levels.” The Georgia Dome has a capacity of 71,250, but the new venue should have “permanent seating for 66,000 to 72,000 spectators at NFL games but should be designed so that capacity can expand to 80,000 for mega-events.” The new facility is “envisioned to have about 10,000 club seats, up from the Dome’s current 5,174, and about 120 suites, down from the Dome’s 173.” The Georgia Dome’s inventory of suites “does not sell out annually, and a smaller number could drive demand and pricing power.” Some of the club seats and suites “might move from their traditional location in the middle bowl.” The document also said that field level suites "should be considered." The stadium project “moved forward Monday when the GWCCA board approved a nonbinding ‘term sheet,’” but “major hurdles” remain (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 12/13).
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