Passing the torch: From Georgia Dome to Mercedes-Benz Stadium

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2019/04/01
In November 2017, Georgia Dome bid Atlanta farewell as it was demolished by explosives, ending its 25-year-long run as the home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

Completed in 1992 as one of the largest cable-supported dome structures in the world, Georgia Dome had the seating capacity of up to 75,000 and was fitted with approximately 41,4000 square meters of PTFE glass fiber membrane roofing by Birdair Inc., of MakMax Group. According to the stadium’s official Twitter account, the Dome hosted more than 39 million fans at over 1,400 events, most notable examples are the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Super Bowl XXVII, and Super Bowl XXXIV.



Leading up to the demolishment of the Dome, fans and players shared and reminisced over their memories at the Dome, showing how the Dome held a special place in people’s hearts over the years. Only 25 meters away from the Georgia Dome is the newly completed Mercedes-Bens Stadium, which opened to the public in August 2017.

The new state-of-the-art facility features a retractable roof designed by HOK and TVS Design and supported by Birdair Inc., The stadium consists of a four-layered ETFE roof pillows on eight petals that retract, similar to a camera lens. Additionally, the façade features a single ETFE skin supported by a cable net system. The design required approximately 12,500 square meters of four-layered ETFE pillows and air inflation system and approximately 15,500 square meters of vertical single-layered ETFE film and cable net. The roof will create an outdoor feel, allowing in natural sunlight when the weather is pleasant and will protect players and fans during inclement weather. The material selected for this stadium is ETFE film, highly durable, transparent and lightweight material in comparison to traditional glass structures.

To protect the newly completed structure, a 5 story tall industrial strength curtain was placed between the two stadiums before demolishing. A surgically planned implosion was ignited, bringing down the Georgia Dome in 15 seconds.

Ever since its opening, the newly completed Mercedes Benz Stadium has hit the ground running, hosting numerous games and events. It most recently hosted the 53rd Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots.