"If the team is doing well, it can be loud and energetic. More often, though, the team is out of it early, and so are the fans." "It can be loud and fun, but there definitely is too much negativity about the franchise due to its losing history." Playing in "a big transplant city" doesn't help foster team spirit "as many people who live here have moved in" "from out of town" "and remain fans of their previous home teams." "When popular teams from other cities [Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Dallas, etc.] visit, there tend to be as many, if not more, fans of the visiting team as there are of the home team." And since "the team has been bad for so long, there isn't a solid fan base."
4 out of 10
FOOD & SOUVENIRS
Soda (32 oz.)
Beer (16 oz.)
Expected Meal Cost
"The Varsity is the only worthwhile place to eat in the dome, and that's not a bad thing," write some fans of the infamous Atlanta burger joint. But that discounts the likes of "Hooters' chicken tenders and the not-so-healthy Tex-Mex." OK, so maybe fans of The Varsity have a point. Still, a "gourmet beer stand in the end zone concourse has a variety of foreign and domestic beers and all the peanuts you can eat." "Unless you sit on the club level," which has "places to get prime rib," there seems to be "no distinguishing food selections to set the Georgia Dome apart from a high school stadium."
5 out of 10
"Traffic in Atlanta is always horrible; on game days it is 10 times worse." Though the Dome "is situated in the city -- so expressway access is superb" -- "with so many people trying to get off it feels like everybody just got off work on a Friday afternoon." "If you know your way around town," of course, "it is an easy commute." Parking at the stadium is "limited," but "scattered parking garages are within walking distance of the dome." Since "most of the roads are bumper-to-bumper leaving the game," "taking MARTA [Atlanta's subway train system] saves massive headaches." The trains "get very crowded," but with "two stops right outside the Dome" "it's easy to avoid traffic."
6 out of 10
It's "pretty difficult to tailgate at a stadium without a large parking lot close by." "Most folks tailgate in vacant lots up to a quarter mile from the stadium," so "if you want to pull out a few chairs, drinks and eat out of a picnic basket, that's pretty easy. If you want to grill and really spread out, that's not easy at all." "An abandoned rail station across from the stadium known as 'the Gulch' is the place to be. "But many find the location" under a highway overpass "not very inviting." The alternatives are "spread out over many parking lots," "are small and hard to get to." That doesn't stop some motivated souls from "deep-frying a turkey" or serving up "soul food mixed with ribs and barbecue."
5 out of 10
Jerious Norwood :: Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI
Record through Week 9
Players Worth Watching
Jerious Norwood (RB), DeAngelo Hall (WCB)
2 out of 10
"The décor is rather bland," but "the Georgia Dome is a modern structure that covers all of your basic needs. It's big and clean, but there is nothing special about the place." "The colors are pink and mint green -- hardly the red and black of the Falcons." "Plus the seats are teal green." They are also "incredibly small" and "way too spread out." "far too many seats seem like they're a mile from the field." Maybe that feeling is borne of having to walk "up seemingly endless ramps that leave you disoriented, and unsure of which side of the stadium you are on." All of those are minor annoyances considering some feel "some minor touch-ups would keep the Dome going strong for years." That is, of course, if you don't feel it's "unnatural" for Atlanta to have a Dome at all. "If football; can be played outside in Green Bay, it can be played outside in Georgia." Some feel a game at the dome is "like watching a football game in a mall," while others argue that after "having been fried to a crisp during September games and weathering cold, rainy December games in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the Georgia Dome is a joy."
6 out of 10
The stadium is at "the far south end of downtown" "just outside of the Atlanta business district." "It isn't exactly the high-rent area. If one stays with the crowd, however, safety should not be a concern." "It looks pretty rough and is generally a low-income neighborhood." However, the area is in the middle of a "slow" "gentrification effort," "with new condos and restaurants." "Down the road" are "lots of attractions other than football -- CNN Center, Phillips Arena, the aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-Cola, etc."
4 out of 10
After the offseason Falcons fans had to suffer through, they may appreciate the reliability and the safety of the Georgia Dome. Will the bland interior make anyone forget the promise of Michael Vick? Of course not. But it will deliver what it promises -- a football game in climate-controlled comfort, and it will do so with nary a surprise. That may not grow the season-ticket base, but it won't break any hearts either.