Since 1992, the Georgia Dome was the Home of the Atlanta Falcons and is the world’s largest cable-supported stadium. Well, was, until it was closed in 2017. But before we get to that, let’s look at its history. Georgia Dome was built in 1992 at a cost of $214 million and went on to successfully host the 1996 Summer Olympics.
But just twenty years after hosting the all-important games, the Dome was reduced to rubble. An earthquake? Terrorism? Arson? Bite your tongue! It was in fact, a planned implosion, which took a hefty 5,000 pounds of explosives to execute! Unlike its ill-fated brother and sister stadiums, Georgia Dome, after its demolition, found a successor: Mercedes-Benz Stadium which it is now known by has since taken its place, and is the new home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.
Old Wembley Stadium (London, England)
Pele, the world’s greatest soccer player, once said that “Wembley is the cathedral of football. It is the capital of football and it is the heart of football.” Now that is high praise. The site of the 1923 stadium, which occupies the new Wembley Stadium, was demolished back in 2003 – to the great disappointment of millions of football fans. When its famous Twin Towers were demolished, people were rife!
Recognized as the world’s best-known football stadium, the old Wembley hosted the 1948 Summer Olympics, rugby league’s Challenge Cup final and the 1992 and 1995 Rugby League World Cup Finals. Did you know it also hosted the 1985 Live Aid charity concert, where Queen famously turned the volume way UP (if you’ve seen the biopic, titled Bohemian Rhapsody, you’ll have been able to relive that iconic moment!)? Pretty cool! Between 1923 and 2000, Wembley was home ground for the English National Team. But the stadium was outdated and needed a makeover – so the team sought a new stadium. The old stadium sat vacant for two years before finally being taken down in 2002. RIP Wembley, you served Queen and Country well (literally).
Fisht Olympic Stadium— (Fisht, Russia)
Initially, the Olympic Venues which hosted the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia were meant to be repurposed. You’d think that with a total cost of $51 BILLION (yes, billion, you read correct!), that sort of money wouldn’t just go down the drain for one event. Sure, the event put Russia back on the map, and was the most costly Winter Games in history. But in Mother Russia, it seems that there were more pressing issues which dwarfed even the size and cost of these huge structures.
The city faced imminent social unrest after the games came and went, which put the repurposing plan on the backburner. Dubbed the “Museum of Corruption”, Russia hasn’t recovered the costs of Sochi, whilst the holding companies of the venues tiptoe bankruptcy. You can see from the aerial shot of one of the stadiums below, that these venues were absolutely massive! Sadly, since the Winter Games, these stadiums and venues have remained vacant, with no hope for the future. We’ll just have to see if Sochi joins Athens in abandoning its stadiums.
Dongdaemun Stadium (Seoul, South Korea)
What once hosted the 1988 Seoul Olympics in South Korea, has since been demolished. But we’re flying the flame (not the Olympic Torch!), and reminding everyone that it did exist and was important. (So wholesome, we know). The former sports complex and multi-purpose stadium was located near the Great East Gate. Adjacent to the stadium was the Dongdaemun market, which sold mostly athletic goods. But just 20 years later, it was demolished, making way for the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park.
The 1988 Olympics however, held much significance – they were in fact, the last games for the Soviet Union and East Germany (you’ll remember that a year later, the Berlin Wall came down!). Due to it being their last year competing, the Soviets dominated – trying to prove a point? Probs.Since the 1988 Games, South Korea didn’t waste any time (we can’t say any really were abandoned as such), and realized that if Olympic venues weren’t used efficiently, they would be repurposed. However, Dongdaemun stands out, as since being opened in 1925, it lasted a lot longer in its unused state, before finally being destroyed in 2008.
Estadi de Sarrià (Barcelona, Spain)
Standing its ground between 1923 and 1997, next on our list is Estadi de Sarrià, a football stadium in Barcelona, Spain. The stadium, which lay on the road which connected the Sarrià district to Barcelona, was constructed for 170,000 pesetas. The home of Barcelona’s little-known team (well, to the world anyway), RCD Espanyol, it was the second team which Barcelona had entered in La Liga! The glitzy F.C. Barcelona, which grew to great fame over its star Lionel Messi, was one-half of Barcelona’s footballing pursuits.
The other team was RCD Espanyol, the slightly neglected younger brother. Diehards would disagree, but it seems that really, anyone outside of Spain would be scratching their heads. Hey, you just learned something new today! Since 1997, whence it was demolished, RCD moved around before settling in at RCDE Stadium in 2009. Fun fact: the stadium hosted the 1982 FIFA World Cup, as well as five football matches during the 1992 Summer Olympics!