Falcons don’t need a new stadium

dshirley@macon.comJanuary 25, 2013 

Sitting in the Georgia Dome on Sunday for the NFC championship game, it was hard to hear yourself, or any one else for that matter, speak.

It was the kind of home-field advantage any team in the NFL would want. And there aren’t many in the league that can match it. Seattle maybe?

But yet the Falcons’ ownership wants a new stadium? That just doesn’t make sense.

I’ve been in several NFL stadiums and even more large college football stadiums, and I’ve never heard a stadium louder than the Dome on Sunday. Granted, I’ve never been to LSU at night, and that is supposed to be an electric atmosphere, but it would be hard to top what the Atlanta Falcons enjoyed Sunday.

The Falcons weren’t able to take advantage of that and knock off San Francisco to earn their second trip to the Super Bowl, but that can’t be blamed on the home-field advantage. The shaky defense? Sure. But not the Dome, the fan base or the unbelievable atmosphere that surrounded an exciting game.

It’s somewhat understandable that Arthur Blank wants a new stadium. He sees other owners getting new arenas and all the bells and whistles that come along with them, and he wants those toys, as well.

But ask Dallas how that has worked out on the field. Sure, the Cowboys have a huge, shiny stadium to play in, but they pretty much have given away any home-field advantage they have. Bigger isn’t always better, and the Cowboys have learned that the hard way.

Blank also wants to host a Super Bowl, and the NFL has made it clear that won’t happen for Atlanta without a new stadium. If NFL commissioner Roger Goodell saw the NFC championship first-hand, he would change his mind about that.

Anyone would have been impressed with what took place at the Dome and realize that the stadium can, and should, be given another chance to host the Super Bowl. That’s especially true if you consider that New Orleans’ Superdome is hosting the game again this year.

If that stadium is good enough to host the Super Bowl, then the Georgia Dome certainly is. It showed again it can handle a big game Sunday with a dynamic setting for the game between the Falcons and 49ers.

It’s the kind of setting the Falcons need moving forward for every home game, and they don’t need a new stadium to do that.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com.

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