The Omni Coliseum

The Omni overhead view The Knights played their home games at the Omni Coliseum . It stood for 25 years as the Atlanta area's primary indoor spectator sporting arena. The Omni was easily recognized by its square outline and its unusual steel-egg-carton designed roof. The roof design served to allow a larger building without need of internal roof supports. The Omni was demolished soon after the 1996-97 NBA season to make way for a new multipurpose coliseum -- Philips Arena.

Facts

Full Name
The Omni Coliseum
Owner
City of Atlanta
Location
100 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, GA, USA
Adjacent to CNN Center, Georgia Dome and World Congress Center
On current site of Philips Arena
Built
1968 - 1972
Builders
Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, Architects;
Prybylowski and Gravino, Structural Engineers
Dedicated
1972
Demolished
6:43 a.m. Saturday July 26, 1997
First Event
Atlanta Flames vs. Buffalo Sabres hockey, Oct. 14, 1972
Last Event
World Figure Skating Champions performance
First Concert
Cat Stevens, Oct. 30, 1972
Last Concert
Metallica, April 23, 1997
Sports Tenants
NHL Atlanta Flames (1972-1980)
NBA Atlanta Hawks (1972-1997)
IHL Atlanta Knights (1992-1996)
NASL Atlanta Chiefs (1979-1981)
AISA Atlanta Attack (1989-1990)
RHI Atlanta Fire Ants (1994)
1977 NCAA Basketball Tournament venue
1996 Olympic Volleyball venue
Significant Events
1988 Democratic National Convention (nominees: Michael Dukakis/Lloyd Bentsen)
1996 Olympic Volleyball Competition (men's winners: Netherlands; women's winners: Cuba)
Capacity (hockey)
15,278 (luxury boxes: 0)
Construction Cost
$17 million (1972)
Elvis Presley
Played the Omni on June 21, 1973, to a full house of 17,143; a commemorative plaque was placed in the Omni main atrium.
Other Events and Tenants
The Omni hosted the Democratic Party's 1988 national convention (which nominated Michael Dukakis for president); The Roller Hockey International League's Atlanta Fire Ants (owned by the Knights organization) also played home games here during that league's 1994 season.

The OmniThe Omni was an eyesore, to be sure, with its 1970s brown metal exterior and distinctive (but very ugly) egg-carton roof. It had no amenities to speak of -- no luxury boxes, no club seating, only one restaurant, no video or replay boards, a single, narrow concourse, limited parking, and inadequate restroom facilities. It had a number of quirks, such as "the Well" in the upper deck -- the walkway around the upper deck was between the first and second rows, separating the first row into its own level that overhung the lower deck. It was bug- and rat-infested and the office complexes in the building, designed for the teams that played there, were accessible only through an assortment of underground passages.

The Omni The Knights called the Omni home from their inception in 1992 to their final game in 1996. During that time, there were virtually no improvements made to the Omni's infrastructure, neighborhood, or amenities. Knights fans didn't care -- they were there for the hockey -- but the lords of the Atlanta Hawks were missing out on the lucrative luxury box, merchandising, and concessions income that would come from a lavish new arena. So, it was announced, after the 1996 Olympics, the Omni would be torn down and replaced with a new palace.

The Omni The main gondola scoreboard from the Omni now hangs in the Philips Arena entrance atrium on Techwood Drive near the CNN Center portals. A goal net from the Omni is displayed in the Philips Arena gift shop.

© 2019 - David R. Kendrick All Rights Reserved