The Falcons are talking about wanting a new place to play, as Friday team president Rich McKay said the club wants a new stadium within seven years. In response to asking for a new home, Frank Poe, the executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center which manages the Georgia Dome, told The Associated Press on Friday that the current home of the birds may be renovated but it won’t be torn down.
Poe said a new open-air stadium for the Falcons would complement, not replace, the Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992.
“If there is a second stadium we still have to keep the Georgia Dome in operation,” Poe said.
He said the Georgia Dome must be kept to draw such events as the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Southeastern Conference football championship game and SEC basketball tournaments in 2011 and 2014. The Georgia Dome has been home to two Super Bowls and will host its third Final Four in 2013.
The Georgia Dome also hosts an annual matchup of SEC and Atlantic Coast Conference teams on the first week of the college football season. Beginning this year it will serve as the home for Georgia State in its inaugural football season.
“We can’t lose our positioning for those types of events beyond the Falcons, which have value as well,” Poe said. “The football championships, the bowl games, the other entertainment still serve our mission as an economic driver and bringing in visitors to the city.”