News last week was that, by 2017, the Atlanta Falcons will have a new home and the Georgia Dome, losing its chief tenant, is set to be demolished. The future location of other events to which the Georgia Dome plays host, including the Georgia high school football championships, the SEC football championship, and, this year, the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four, is unknown. While I’ve always thought it looked a little dark in the dome when I saw it on tv, it isn’t like it’s raining in there like it was during the Silverdome’s end days.
While many of the details remain yet to be decided or announced, one thing seems certain: the Falcons’ new home will bear the name of a corporate sponsor. Currently, ten of the league’s thirty-one stadiums do not have a named corporate sponsor. If nothing else, these names are cumbersome to say, and while local residents likely would prefer putting up with these sterile tongue-twisters in exchange for having to commit public funds to the venues’ construction and maintenance, most fans probably bristle at the concept from some old, undefined corner of the fan gut. Sometimes a stomachable compromise is available; in this case, the “Coca Cola Coliseum ” the “Delta Dome,” or the “Georgia Pacific Arena” each might keep things feeling local, but a move to a title corporate sponsor will always feel like something has been lost.