The Atlanta Falcons are getting a retractable stadium in 2017 to replace the Georgia Dome, which is younger than Jennifer Lawrence. The team has secured finances ($200 million or so from city tourism taxes, with the team on the hook for about all the rest, including overages) and selected an architect, 360 Architecture of Kansas City, which has presented a pair of design ideas. These are mere concepts, and the final design could be two years away, but fans of ludicrous things should like where we're headed.
One, the Solarium, is not very insane: it looks like Lucas Oil Stadium and Qwest Field combined and is a perfectly tasteful take on the modern football venue:
The other, the Pantheon, is completely warped. I love it. It opens and closes like a Canon camera or a portal to a hell where the Falcons still play Godsmack at football games:
This is the true Stankonia Dome. Randy Quaid will fly a biplane into it during a Panthers game before all is said and done. As a lifelong Atlanta resident and Falcons fan ... oh how I want the Stankonia Dome to happen.
But here are the 10 wildest features of the Stankonia Dome, ranked from most likely to least likely to happen:
10. The 100-yard bar.
You've already spoken the 100-yard bar into existence. There's no shoving that horse back into that bar or barn. The people don't care if you deliver a football stadium or not, but if you can't deliver the 100-yard bar? Don't show your face in this state ever again.
9. The Stankonia Dome surviving until the year 2042.
I'm confident the Stankonia Dome will stand for 25 years, yes. After that?
Let's just say Stankonia Dome II will open and close in a manner so evocative that Falcons games will be aired on HBO.
8. An exciting array of local eateries.
This project could indeed involve cool chefs being empowered by renowned masters of local cuisine.
But it could also involve some city council member's brother and a cousin of the mayor splitting the consulting contract, then drowning Fulton County in a red-tape feud the likes of which you have never fathomed.
However, at least one floor will just alternate Chick-fil-As and Taco Macs, right?
7. This thing not breaking.
This is the city of Atlanta, where a county reelected a sheriff facing 37 counts of federal indictment. That sheriff is pretty much in charge of law and order at our international airport. Of course the Stankonia Dome will break.
One night, during the Sunday Night Football intro, the entire roof will suck its teeth at you and demand to be brought a buffalo wrap from Philips Arena.
The process will eventually be jimmy-rigged by a good ole boy with a F-750 demanding all of $50 to tow it open or shut before every Falcons home game. This man's name is Luther, he is a Clemson fan, he's never heard of the NFL, and he really just likes you to know what his F-750 is capable of doing.
6. The rotating video halo of mercy and fear, protecting us, judging us.
This could happen, but only if Arthur Blank is truly gangster.
Are you gangster enough to deprive Jerry Jones of owning the world's most ostentatious television, Mr. Blank?
Right now the most gangster thing with your name on it is the gorilla exhibit at Zoo Atlanta.
Are you ready to step up to the big leagues of gangster? Are you ready to join the ring of things orbiting above the people of Atlanta, which at the moment include a brittle disc of pollen and the sock truck man and Trinidad James' mindstate?
I think you are.
5. A World Cup final in Atlanta.
Soccer in Atlanta will happen. The MLS variety, though. Blank and company have been pushing for soccer for years, with scads of soccer references throughout the RFP and an expectation that the building's likely secondary tenant will be a MLS team.
But the World Cup final? Son.
I'm not saying it can't happen, especially since Atlanta is a growing and diverse metropolis with ridiculous weather (I estimate the low temperature this winter to have been 57 degrees, but feel free to correct me) and ONE HELL OF AN AIRPORT and would have the country's most absurd soccer venue if this whole thing went down. But still. The World Cup final? Son.
4. Anything in Atlanta being sponsored by one corporation.
one sponsor ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
3. The NCAA existing in the year 2017.
2. The whole f-----g thing. Just look at the f-----g thing.
Skip the first 40 seconds, because the Solarium pitch is not where it's at. The Pantheon is what it's all about.
SOME MEN JUST WANT TO WATCH THE WORLD TURN.
1. The Rumble Pak seats.
Completely not possible.
The NFL is trying to make people think less about brain injury, not more. It would rather not make you think about brain injury every time you sit down in the league's most noteworthy (for a few seasons, at least) stadium. Also, this being Atlanta, the things will both catch fire and be stolen en masse for use as strip club props.
However, if the RUMBLE PAK functionality is not deployed during game action* and is instead used during other events, such as to supplement the finishing move of a brawl in the 300 level stands or to amplify the low notes during OutKast's reunion at halftime of the 2017 Super Bowl, the one the Falcons will win? That would be fine.
* How would that even work -- would someone's full-time job be waiting to push the RUMBLE PAK button? What if you get an antsy finger on that button and the whole crowd has to endure RUMBLE PAK after a roughing the kicker? Will there be RUMBLE PAK the next time Mike Smith hauls off and socks DeAngelo Hall right in the chest? Did anybody like RUMBLE PAK, or did you take it out of your Nintendo 64 controller hours after getting it in your Christmas stocking?