Downtown’s hybrid community park and tailgating lot, expected to open within two months in the shadow of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, couldn’t be more literally rising from the ashes of the Georgia Dome.
Beneath a specialized Bermuda grass developed by the University of Georgia—designed to buck the ravages of heat, drought, and cold—lies six inches of sand and 19 inches of gravel, similar to a golf course substrate, and beneath that is several feet of the crushed old Dome, reduced from an Atlanta icon to an irrigation accelerant.
“There’s a pretty robust drainage and irrigation system that allows us to, even in a heavy rain, activate and not worry about rutting, pooling, ponding,” explained Matt Dale, vice president for project managers Darden and Company, during a media tour of the site this morning. “Obviously, we have a lot of events all year, and we don’t want weather to ever inhibit that.”
Beyond compelling factoids, the tour shed light on the forthcoming Home Depot Backyard’s functionality—and what project leaders call exceptional versatility and programming inclusiveness.
On days without games and matches, the green space will be open to Atlantans like any public park. On typical event days, the space can host 525 vehicles (season-ticket holders get preference) with prices for Falcons games ranging from $80 per vehicle to $350 for hospitality tents.
Totaling 11 acres, the project is scheduled to be finished in time for pigskin brouhaha in early September. Here’s what to expect:
Explore the mocked-up finished project, in various configurations, via these renderings: