Falcons have initial approval to go forward with futuristic stadium design

The first drawings of the Atlanta Falcons' proposed new stadium put the team firmly in the forefront of facility design, to be sure. While most of the new stadiums in any outdoor sport go forward at reasonable" paces, the Falcons' idealized stadium looks like something out of the next century, and it's looking like it will happen.

According to the team's official site, the Falcons have completed a full conceptual design of the new stadium, which is estimated to be complete in time for the 2017 season. As you would expect from the designs, it will take a LOT of people to get this done. As the Falcons move forward on the actual schematic design stage, they announced that three different architectural firms will partner with the main agency, 360 Architecture.

“The conceptual design phase of the new stadium project has been a dynamic, interactive and collaborative process,” Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay said in a statement. “Our discussions and decisions have focused on creating an iconic asset for the city and state, a great game day experience for our fans and attendees of other events that will be held in the new stadium, and a connection with the surrounding communities. We look forward to moving into the more detailed design phase with our great partners at 360 Architecture and their recently-selected joint venture partners.”

The estimated cost for the facility is $1 billion, with public funding of $200 million, and the Falcons taking on all other costs. It will sit on the south side of the Georgia Dome, the Falcons' current home, which will be demolished when the new place is complete.

At a recent meeting with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s Stadium Development Committee, Bill Johnson of 360 Architecture talked about the concept of a more open stadium -- a "window on the world," so to speak. One challenge was the idea of a more open retractable roof, and Johnson said that the plan is to have “an open building that closes rather than a closed building that opens,” which may involve a glass-like material that can be transparent or opaque, depending on the weather.

There will be a team of general contractors -- Holder Construction Company, H.J. Russell & Company, and C.D. Moody Construction Company have worked together before, most recently and notably on the design for the International terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The stadium will seat approximately 70,000 people, with 180 luxury suites and 7,500 club seats. The Georgia Dome seats 71,228, has 162 suites, and 5,174 club seats.

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