This Day in Georgia History
July 27, 1997
Over 3,000 explosives were used to implode the 25-year-old Omni Coliseum, located several blocks west of the center of downtown Atlanta. Twenty-thousand tons of structure were leveled in seconds. The Omni had opened in October 1972 as the home of the Atlanta Hawks professional basketball team and the Atlanta Flames professional hockey team. It served as the venue for countless rock concerts (including a number by Elvis and almost every popular music greats that played in Atlanta), as well as a host of other events. The most televised event to be held in the Omni was the National Democratic Convention in 1988. That event pointed out the Omni’s greatest shortcoming - its 16,400 seating capacity - and led to the decision that Atlanta needed a larger sports and entertainment venue. The result was the building of the nearby George Dome in 1992 as an indoor stadium for the Atlanta Falcons and other large events (with a seating capacity up to 75,000). The second new venue was Phillips Arena, constructed in 1999 as home court for the Atlanta Hawks, with a seating capacity of 21,000 for concert and other entertainment events.