Skip to main content

Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium has incredible retractable roof, high-tech amenities

In architecture, if you’re looking to make a statement and contribute to a city’s design conversation, you need to go bold. And that’s what’s happening in Atlanta. Slated to be completed in 2017, the $1.2-billion New Atlanta Stadium in Georgia won’t just be another sports and entertainment venue for the Atlanta Falcons, a future Major League Soccer team, and other events, but a high-tech structure that showcases what the stadium of the future looks like.

Anticipated to replace the Georgia Dome – the current home for the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons – the New Atlanta Stadium’s (the working name until an official name or corporate sponsor is picked) architectural highlight is the retractable roof. Inspired by the oculus of the ancient Rome Pantheon, the roof uses a system of eight “petals” that slide open, in less than 8 minutes; imagine something like a camera shutter opening and closing. Once it’s open, the stadium’s roof looks like a giant flower.

Related Videos

While the unique retractable roof channels the past, inside it’s all futuristic. First of its kind, beneath the roof is a 360-degree high-definition video board, dubbed the “halo board.” The largest video board in any stadium, the five-story-tall display gives every fan additional camera views and digital content. For the football fan who’s also a techie, the stadium will house an area called the Technology Lounge, where fans can track their fantasy football teams and other digital media, while watching the real game.

The stadium may be geared for sporting events, but seating capacity can be adjusted. For example, using a mechanized curtaining system, the giant stadium – which can accommodate major events like the Super Bowl – can reduce the number of seats to create a more intimate setting for family shows and smaller concerts. To give some soul to the building, the northeast corner of the stadium will have massive floor-to-ceiling windows that provide natural light and a view of the Atlanta skyline. There will be plenty of open space for fans to mingle, while outside, a 61,000-square-foot fan plaza will be available for related activities.

Modern architecture factors environment and sustainability into building design, and the New Atlanta Stadium is no exception. Its developers are seeking the highest LEED certification possible, so that means making zero-waste and water conservation some of the top priorities. To create renewable energy, solar panels will be installed next to the building. And the retractable roof and natural light from the windows help to lower energy use during sunny days. Stadium developers will also encourage fans to use public or alternative transportation; bike lanes and electric car charging stations will be created.

Construction is already underway, but new photos and a fly-through virtual tour have just been made available. Despite the high price tag, if the New Atlanta Stadium is built on budget, it actually costs less than the new MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, which doesn’t even have a roof.

(Images via New Atlanta Stadium.)

Editors' Recommendations

Win three pairs of blue light–blocking glasses from Baxter Blue
baxter blue eyeglasses giveaway eyewear glasses 2021

Between working on computers, texting on our mobile devices, and watching movies and TV shows for entertainment, it should come as no surprise that most of us spend a good portion of our days staring at one screen or another. It's estimated that most Americans spend 7.5 hours each day looking at a digital screen. As such, it's also not surprising that many people have experienced eye strain as a result of such prolonged exposure to digital light; more than 60% of Americans have experienced digital eye strain symptoms like dry eyes, headaches, blurry vision, and eye fatigue.

The cause of these ailments is the blue light and screen glare emitted by our digital devices. Artificial blue light can also affect our sleep by disrupting our circadian rhythms and the natural release of melatonin (the hormone that tells your mind and body when it’s time to sleep and wake up). Baxter Blue has made it their mission to reduce eye strain and blue light exposure with its line of fashionable eyewear. The brand also believes in social responsibility and so for every pair of glasses that they sell, they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in need. And right now you can use the promo code BaxterBlue15 to receive 15% off your order.

Read more
The Future of Sports: How biometric data and A.I. will revolutionize athletics
Real time biometric info during sports match

A live feed from an Australian rugby match shows not performance stats, but real-time biometric information from the athletes on the field. It's a harbinger of the big changes coming to sports. Catapult Sports

Technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives. Once a week in The Future of series, we examine innovations in important fields, from farming to transportation, and what they will mean in the years and decades to come. 

Read more
Garmin Enduro GPS Watch boasts an incredible 65 days of battery life
garmin enduro watch 65 day battery life img 5502

Think about your average smartwatch. What kind of battery life does it have? If you're an Apple Watch user, you likely have to plug in your watch when you go to bed at night -- or at the very least, every other night. The new Garmin Enduro GPS Watch is designed to blow all other battery life out of the water with its 65-day capacity.

The Enduro GPS Watch is designed for ultra-endurance and high-performance in even the most extreme conditions, but it is specifically tailored for endurance athletes. Ultrarunners and long-distance cyclists can go for days at a time knowing their watch will keep up with them. The Enduro does this not through tremendous battery capacity, but by using a Power Glass solar charging lens to extend the battery life for up to two months through the power of the sun.

Read more