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Falcons open doors to new-look Georgia Dome

By TIM TUCKER

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/01/08

Some 3,500 gallons of paint have been applied, 61,700 new seats installed and 100,000 man hours worked.

Falcons fans can see the result Saturday: a new-look Georgia Dome.

The Falcons will hold a simulated game and open house in the Dome, beginning at noon, and fans might do a double-take at how much the place has changed since last season.

Gone: the teal and mauve color scheme that had adorned the building since its opening 16 years ago.

In its place: a red-and-black scheme that mirrors the Falcons' colors, the red painstakingly matched to that in the team's logo.

"It's a complete rebranding," said Dave Cohen, the Falcons' vice president of sales. The new look, he said, is designed to convey the message, "home of the Falcons."

It is not a subtle message.

The exterior of the Dome has been repainted in Falcons colors, and the interior — aside from the green field — has been soaked in Falcons red and black.

All of the familiar teal seats have been removed and replaced with red seats on the upper and lower levels and black seats on the mezzanine level behind the end zones. (And what happens to 61,700 used teal seats, you ask? The seating contractor allowed a credit for them and plans to re-use them in high school, college or minor-league stadiums.)

Complementing the Dome's new seats, thousands of gallons of paint have been applied — black on the walls at the top of the soaring stadium; black on the railings in the aisles; red on, among many other places, the bathroom stalls.

Other changes include concourses with new track lighting, new signage, new concessions kiosks and more than 350 new flat-screeen TVs.

Unexpected work also was required to repair damage from the tornado that hit the Dome during the SEC men's basketball tournament in March.

The Dome renovations are a joint project by the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which runs the state-owned facility. The latest changes represent Phase 2 of the project, which began last year with renovation of the suites and lounge areas, installation of new dark gray cushioned seats in the club sections and addition of LED video boards. A third phase is under discussion for next year.

Some $45 million has been spent so far — $25.5 million on Phase 1 ($24 million by the Falcons and $1.5 million by the Georgia World Congress Center) and $19.5 million on Phase 2 ($6 million by the Falcons and $13.5 million by the GWCC).

Despite the investments, aimed at updating a facility that opened in 1992, Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said the team will need a new stadium when its lease expires. The lease runs until the bonds that financed the Dome's construction are paid off, projected to be sometime between 2016 and 2020.

The latest round of renovations will be on display today when the Falcons host "Roam the Dome," an open-to-the-public event that will include a simulated game, autograph session, stadium tours, and on-field skills games in which fans can participate.

Admission is free, but the Falcons hope to use the occasion to sell season tickets. Available seats will be marked.

In the aftermath of a disastrous 2007, the Falcons saw a sharp drop in season-ticket renewals. The team says it has found new season-ticket buyers for more than 13,000 of the vacated seats and have "a few thousand" more to sell.

"We are hopeful that for most, if not all, of the games, the [TV] blackout will be lifted," Cohen said. Under NFL rules, sellouts are required for home games to be televised locally.

Cohen acknowledges a remodeled stadium alone doesn't sell tickets, but he hopes fans see the Dome renovations as part of a larger theme.

"This year is a brand new start," he said, "with a new coach, a new general manager, a new quarterback we drafted and a new Dome."

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Well I gotta love Arthur Blank's commitment to the city of Atlanta. I know our record under his ownership has not lived up to everyone's expectations, but he didn't build Home Depot over night. I am still very glad he is our owner, and thrilled that he keeps investing in the team.

Sooner or later a man with his drive will succeed. I have been waiting 28 years: I can wait some more.

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Looks ABSOLUTELY amazing, it's the Falcons' home now, instead of some gay soccer team lookin paint job.

Wow, that's intimidating, now if we can put a team on the field that will be as successful as the people who pumped out the work on this thing, we'll have a good season! Here's to hoping!

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There is psychology of color. Red is an impulse color.....Thats why it is prominant in Chinese, Italian and Mexican restaurants. Those are the places where we seem to at the most....It's no surprise because the red color schemes have an affect on our pschye. Expect the same starting this year with more aggressive play. I expect more fights too!

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There is psychology of color. Red is an impulse color.....Thats why it is prominant in Chinese, Italian and Mexican restaurants. Those are the places where we seem to at the most....It's no surprise because the red color schemes have an affect on our pschye. Expect the same starting this year with more aggressive play. I expect more fights too!

Then we should expect more eating too. Red psychologically promotes appetite which is why designers suggest it for dining rooms in homes.

Hope the concessions got a nice upgrade!!!!

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" And so, folks, today's final score - Denver 42 Atlanta 12. Comments, Bob?"

"This is the best looking Dome I've ever seen, Jim"

"Agreed."

[/smart a ss - off] <_<

Sorry, just poking a little fun. I love the changes to the Dome. My son and I used to talk about it every time we went to a Falcons' game. Finally, the GA Dome has taken on the Falcons' personality. And as to the fictional score, I look for ATL to surprise the critics. They may not even post a winning record in '08, but I believe they will show marked improvement as the year progresses. :D

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It looks good. But in the words of Tommy Boy, "Of course, I can get a **** of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull's ***, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it."

Which is my way of saying, the team has to look that good on the field or it won't make any difference to us fans.

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It looks good. But in the words of Tommy Boy, "Of course, I can get a **** of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull's ***, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it."

Which is my way of saying, the team has to look that good on the field or it won't make any difference to us fans.

The quote doesn't quite fit your point, but yeah.

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It looks good. But in the words of Tommy Boy, "Of course, I can get a **** of a good look at a T-Bone steak by sticking my head up a bull's ***, but I'd rather take the butcher's word for it."

Which is my way of saying, the team has to look that good on the field or it won't make any difference to us fans.

Sure you wouldnt like to quote a better football mind like Madden?"Boom"!

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