Groundbreaking Gives Glimpse into Future

A year ago Tuesday, the Falcons and the city of Atlanta came together for the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Atlanta stadium

Atlanta has known for a while that the new stadium coming in 2017 will be special. At Monday night's groundbreaking ceremony, with more than 500 guests in attendance, we found out just how special it will be. Until now, the new Atlanta stadium was just ideas that would someday come true, but as Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank said, Monday night represents a vision becoming a reality.

Opening the ceremony, NFL commisioner Roger Goodell commented that Monday's groundbreaking is vintage Arthur Blank.

"Leave it to Arthur Blank to have the first groundbreaking ceremony in primetime," Goodell said. [



For a project of this magnitude, primetime is only necessary. The new Atlanta stadium will serve as a benchmark for all sports stadiums in the years to come and the NFL, according to Blank, said recently that after viewing the plans for the stadium, they believe it will be the best football and soccer venue in the world.

Soccer will get first crack at the stadium in 2017 and Major League Soccer commisioner Don Garber shared one goal for MLS' new soccer addition based in Atlanta. The future club hopes to break the league's opening day attendance record and soon after the Falcons will open up the 2017 season. The addition of the stadium along with the other developments in downtown Atlanta will help make Atlanta America's football capital, mayor Kasim Reed said.

Following comments from Goodell, Garber and Blank among others, a 3D light show gave those in attendance a feel for the stadium's site just west of where the Georgia Dome currently stands. The conclusion of the show was met with applause and most likely goosebumps. The energy and excitement of the coming stadium was present and a fair indication of what could be to come on future game days.

The new stadium will be the city's largest construction project for the next three years and many of the ways the surrounding communities will be impacted were outlined. Everything from job opportunities to revitalization projects will be available in those communities during and after the construction of the stadium.The stadium won't just be the home to two sports franchises and numerous sporting events, it will also serve the community.

"Building the stadium is the easy part," Blank said. "The hard part is transforming the communities, and we're committed to doing that."

The ceremony concluded with a physical groundbreaking. Monday's ceremony took place at Falcons Landing between the Georgia Dome and Philips Arena instead of the final location due to preliminary construction already taking place.

Monday's groundbreaking gave everyone a glimpse into the future of the face of the city's sports. Everyone involved in imagining, creating and building the new stadium anticipates something completely unforgettable.

"(The stadium will be) iconic in every sense of the word," Blank said. "Our goal is for the bulding to be a landmark for the city and state."

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