Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, with the downtown Atlanta skyline in 2001. The Georgia Dome is planned for demolition after the Falcons move to the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in 2017.
Photo: File
Photo: File

Georgia Dome demolition planned in fall of 2017

Georgia Dome demolition planned for after opening of new Mercedes Benz Stadium in July 2017

Demolition of the Georgia Dome will be completed before college football’s national championship game comes to the new Falcons stadium next door in January 2018, according to a schedule outlined for a state board Tuesday.

Update Aug. 4, 2017: Georgia Dome demolition work begins

Leaders of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium construction team told the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board that they are close to choosing a demolition contractor for the Dome and expect to begin salvaging materials from the building in March and to implode it by the fall of 2017.

Video by Ryon Horne, edited by Erica A. Hernandez/AJC
Video: www.accessatlanta.com

“There’s a couple different approaches that are being considered … most likely looking at either a single implosion or multiple implosions,” said Wayne Wadsworth, principal in charge of Mercedes-Benz Stadium general contractor Holder Hunt Russell Moody.

» Photos: Georgia Dome through the years

“After we hire (the demolition) firm, we’re going to work through a number of months of engineering … to figure out what is the most optimum way … to bring the Georgia Dome down.”

Wadsworth said HHRM is in discussions with five finalist firms to serve as the demolition contractor. A choice is expected by next month.

Atlanta, Ga. -- Teams play at the Georgia Dome during the Corky Kell Classic Saturday, August 20, 2016 .SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado
Photo: Daniel Varnado

The GWCCA board passed a resolution that authorizes its executive director, Frank Poe, to approve or disapprove the choice of a demolition contractor and the start next March of readying the building for demolition.

Poe said the last event currently scheduled in the Dome is a Monster Jam motorsports event on March 10.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will open with an Atlanta United home match July 30, 2017. Construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium was supposed to be finished March 1. That date was pushed to June 1, and then to the summer because of delays related to the completion of the roof.

This artist’s rendering shows how Mercedes-Benz Stadium, slated to open in 2017, will look with the roof closed. The stadium is under construction next to the Georgia Dome, which will be demolished after the Falcons’ new home opens. (Rendering from Mercedes-Benz)

“We would not take down the Dome or even begin to shut down the Dome unless we were certain of the completion date,” Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay said in July. “We’re very confident of that (June 1 date) now. If something were to happen along the way before March, we could obviously leave the Dome up (longer). That is not anticipated.”

McKay said the goal is to have the Dome site available for parking and tailgating by the College Football Playoff championship game in the new stadium on Jan. 8, 2018.

“Our thought has been all along that the Dome could get down sometime in late summer or early fall (of 2017), and then you could get the site ready and prepared certainly by December of ‘17, which means it would be ready for the college football championship,” McKay said. “That is definitely the timeline we are on.”

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