It seems like it was just yesterday the Georgia Dome was saying goodbye...
... and then it was crumbling, and then that MARTA bus hilariously blocked the feed of the implosion, and then all that was left was a bunch of thick dust everywhere, and everyone lamented the end of the Dome.
Now the Home Depot Backyard is materializing in its place next to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Expected to open in time for this football season, the 11-acre flexible greenspace will be used for events such as tailgating, youth soccer and farmers markets.
So will everyone forget about what once stood on the massive property? Perhaps not, a recent media tour of the site revealed.
Here are three subtle ways the Dome will be present on its old site:
1. A Dome memorial marker will be erected
The structure sitting atop an overlook plaza might look like the kind of traditional, cast iron marker you see honoring soldiers on the side of the road, but it’ll actually be a nod to the lifespan of the Dome. True, there’s a similar memorial inside the stadium, but due to the proximity of this one to the original edifice... you might want to bring some tissues.
2. People will tailgate on top of the Dome’s remains
After the Dome fell, the steel was picked out and the concrete was crushed into a finer stone, said Matt Dale, vice president for project managers Darden and Company. That, combined with layers of sand and gravel, creates an irrigation system beneath the turf that makes up much of the Backyard’s surface. How’s that for an icebreaker?
3. The Dome’s old loading docks still stand
The Dome was recognizable; its loading docks, not so much. Still, you’ll take what you can get. And what you can get is a slight amount of comfort by knowing that the forthcoming hotel — which will be owned by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and sit on the Backyard’s outskirts — will connect to a relatively small part of the Dome that wasn’t demolished.