The Atlanta Falcons are a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The team was founded in 1965 by Rankin M. Smith, a notable businessman. Falcons hold the distinction of being the first NFL team established in the Deep South. Their inaugural home was the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, a major sports venue built in the same year the Falcons were founded.

Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium was home to the Atlanta Falcons from the team’s inception in 1966 until 1991. The red arrow marks the location, next to Center Parc Stadium.

Construction of the stadium was completed in 1965, marking the advent of a new era in Atlanta’s sporting culture. The Falcons played their inaugural game in the stadium on September 11, 1966, against the Los Angeles Rams. Despite the support of a 57,724-strong home crowd, the Falcons couldn’t pull off a win, losing 19-14 to the Rams.

Demolition of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1997.

Throughout its history, the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium played host to numerous significant sporting events. Although it did not host a Super Bowl, it was the site of many memorable Falcons games. Additionally, in the realm of baseball, it was the home of the Atlanta Braves and witnessed Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run. The stadium also served as one of the venues for the 1996 Summer Olympics, hosting baseball events.

1997 view of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Final Falcons Game

The final NFL game at the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on December 15, 1991, against the Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons won the game with a score of 26-13. The stadium was eventually closed and demolished in 1997. By that time, the Falcons had already relocated to the Georgia Dome, which opened its doors in 1992, marking a new chapter in the franchise’s history.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium implosion.

Location History

The location is in Summerhill, one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods. It was established in 1865 and the earliest inhabitants were freed slaves and Jewish immigrants. Before the rise of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, aerial imagery reveals that the area was once densely populated with suburban homes.

Aerial View of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, 4 years before being demolished.
The same view in 2005 was taken during a baseball game in what was then Turner Field.

The transformation of the landscape began in the early 1960s with the construction of Interstate 85. The stadium itself, built in 1965, further altered the fabric of the neighborhood, marking a significant shift in the use of the space. Today, the echoes of the past are silent, with the land now serving a more utilitarian role as a parking lot for Center Parc Stadium.

The same view in 2013 showing what looks like a traveling carnival.
2022 Street View of the site.
Doug Richards