Georgia Dome: Defining Moments Through the Years
Completed in 1992, the Georgia Dome is one of the largest state-funded construction projects in Georgia’s history and was the largest cable-supported dome stadium in the world at the time of its completion. Built as a new home for the NFL Atlanta Falcons, the Dome is the only venue in the world to host an Olympics, Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four tournament. Over the last two decades, the facility attracted world-class events and hosted many unforgettable victories:
- 1996 Summer Olympic Games: On the final day of the women’s team gymnastics, the competition came down to the final event of floor and vault exercises. After disappointing performances on the vault by USA, Russia was close to winning team gold. After injuring her ankle on her first vault, Kerri Shrug performed a second vault to secure the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team its first team gold medal.
- Super Bowl XXXIV: The St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans took to the Dome on Jan. 30, 2000 to determine the 2000 NFL Super Bowl Champion. Only the second Super Bowl appearance in the team’s history, the Rams secured their victory during the final six seconds of the game. Known as “The Tackle,” Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Tennessee wide receiver Kevin Dyson one yard short of the goal line to prevent a potential game-tying touchdown.
- 2008 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament: During the Friday night quarterfinal between Mississippi State and Alabama, an EF3 tornado tore through Downtown, tearing panels from the exterior of the Georgia Dome where the tournament was played, leaving at least two holes in the roof. The game had just gone into overtime five minutes before the tornado hit, and many credit the Dome for saving thousands of lives.
The Dome was constructed as a large multipurpose stadium not just for sports. Events from conferences to concerts have utilized the facility including Monster Jam, WrestleMania XXVII – the first to be held in Georgia – the Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and the Passion Conference.
As Atlanta continued to attract larger and greater events, the Dome accommodated each one, elevating the city’s reputation. When the facility’s time comes to an end in early 2017, it’s legacy will continue through Atlanta’s reputation as the sporting and entertainment capital of the Southeast.