Atlanta, Ga., September 6, 2018 – Atlanta’s iconic Georgia Dome today became the newest member of the Georgia Historical Society’s Business History Initiative (BHI) with the addition of a historical marker at the former site of the Georgia Dome, now The Home Depot Back Yard at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
“GHS is excited to highlight the huge role that the Georgia Dome played in shaping not only the physical landscape of Atlanta, but also the cultural and economic landscape of the city and the state of Georgia,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “From its beginnings as an architectural marvel, to its role as a host site during the 1996 Olympic Games and the home of the Atlanta Falcons for 25 seasons, the Georgia Dome’s legacy will be ensured for future generations through this new historical marker.”
Each year the Georgia Historical Society selects iconic companies and institutions as honorees of the prestigious Georgia Business History Initiative. Through the Business History Initiative, GHS seeks to teach Georgia students, citizens and tourists alike about the pivotal role of Georgia’s leading businesses in the economic, cultural and social development of Georgia and the United States.
“The Georgia Dome forever changed the multi-purpose venue landscape and brought Atlanta the recognition it deserved; proving that no other city executed back-to-back-to-back nationally prominent sporting events like Atlanta,” said Frank Poe, Executive Director of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. “Likewise, it changed the state of Georgia’s cultural, architectural and economic landscape. This marker will serve as a reminder of the Dome’s profound impact, and we are honored to pay tribute to her legacy.”
“My first conversation about what would become the Georgia Dome took place in 1984 with at that time, Mayor Andrew Young and former mayor Maynard Jackson,” said Calvin Smyre, Georgia State Representative. “There were many discussions about a home for the Atlanta Falcons and it took five years of work to make it a reality, but I saw the Georgia Dome as something that was transformational for the people of Atlanta and for the State of Georgia. I consider myself lucky to have played a part in bringing the Georgia Dome to life.”
Other speakers included Carl Adkins, Executive Director of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and Georgia Dome General Manager, 2002-2016; and Walter M. “Sonny” Deriso, Chairman, GHS Board of Curators.
The marker reads:
Completed in three years, the $214 million, 71,996-seat Georgia Dome opened in August 1992 as the world’s largest cable-supported domed stadium, serving as the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons for 25 seasons. The stadium hosted some of the world’s most prestigious sporting and entertainment events, welcoming more than 37 million guests and generating an economic impact of $7 billion dollars. More than 1,400 events took place here, including two Super Bowls (1994, 2000), Olympic events (1996), NCAA Men’s Final Four (2002, 2007, 2013), NCAA Women’s Final Four (2003), 23 SEC college football championships, the annual Chick-fil-A Bowl, and two seasons as home court for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks (1997-99). In 2012, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the Falcons agreed to build Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which opened in 2017. The Dome was demolished on November 20, 2017.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority
This is the second location governed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to join the Business History Initiative. A historical marker for the 1996 Olympic Games was dedicated in 2016.
For more information about the Business History Initiative please contact Patricia Meagher, GHS Director of Communications at [email protected] or by phone at 912-651-2125, ext. 153 or Jaleesa Fears, GWCCA Senior Communications Specialist at [email protected], telephone 404-223-4013.