The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia

If you enjoy sports, and find yourself in the vicinity of Atlanta, Georgia, do yourself the ultimate favor and attend an event at the Georgia Dome. The Dome is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. Watching a Falcons game is more than enough reason to purchase football tickets, but there are other events held in the facility that will also catch your eye. The Georgia State University Panthers apply their football bumps and runs at the stadium in addition to a host of other football, basketball, soccer, and wrestling tournaments and championships. Also, don’t forget the annual December 31st Chick-fil-A-Bowl (formerly named the Peach Bowl), a well-known rivalry football game between the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Georgia Dome is located in downtown Atlanta, adjacent to the NW corner of downtown, next to the Georgia World Congress Center. Yes, you can drive to One Georgia Dome Drive, but the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) has made it convenient to get there with two stations near the Dome. Getting to the Dome: . The Dome offers ample parking (see additional options below), with the tailgate party crowd allowed a five hour head-start prior to Falcon games.

Did you know that the Dome has the honor of having the largest cable-supported fabric roof in the world? It utilizes a Teflon-coated Fiberglas fabric, stretched in diamond- and triangle-shaped patterns 29 stories high.

Foodies will never run out of delights as the options rival those of a thriving city. Scratching the surface finds a wide variety of venues offering burgers, steaks, BBQ, pizza, Mexican, chili, funnel cakes, pasta, and wine and specialty beers and cocktails, alongside tantalizing array of sweets. Bottomless Souvenir Popcorn, and Soda, are favorites not to overlook. Did I mention vegetarian and gluten free?

A current schedule of events can be found at . In the exciting realm of football, whether National Football League or college, this season will easily keep your interests piqued. The Atlanta Falcons already have an enticing lineup of foes to topple, as do the GSU Panthers. The December 7th Southeastern Conference (SEC) football championship will find the epitome of southeastern colleges pitted against one another.

If your intellect is teased by knowing additional details about places you visit, here are some of the highlights. The Georgia Dome opened in 1992. In 2002, it came under the ownership of Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank. Filled to the brim, you will find 71,250 fans. Premium seating include the penthouse, 8 super suites, 164 executive suites, and 4,600 club seats. In 1994, it hosted Super Bowl XXVIII, and in 2000 Super Bowl XXXIV—feathers in their cap supporting the Dome’s magic. On a side yet comforting, note, if you have memories of waiting in long restroom lines at other parks, know that the Dome has three times the number of required facilities.

The Atlanta Falcons? They have a solid bank of fans lining the bleachers (which, by the way, is key in a decision to build a new stadium—possibly called the New Falcons Stadium—just south of the Georgia Dome; groundbreaking due in 2014, with completion in 2017). They won division championships 1980, 1988, 2004, 2010, and 2012. Their claim to the Super Bowl took place in 1998′s Super Bowl XXXIII. Their spring training grounds are about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta, close to Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River by the city of Flowery Branch. If the rumor mill feeds your spirit, check out Chatsports.com at .

If you have an interest in touring the Dome, outside of watching an event, you will have the enjoyment of experiencing an inside view of the press box, observatory deck, suites (for presidents, CEOs, and celebrities), locker rooms, field, lower level, and Verizon Wireless Club Lounges. You will have a different experience when you subsequently watch events at the Dome (or any other large sporting venue for that matter). Tours for individuals occur most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., while group tours occur Monday through Saturday—$4 per person in either case. These tours are not available during events or during a small number of blocked-out dates. For additional details, check , or call 404-223-8687. While in the area, you can also take in a tour of the nearby CNN facility.

Ticket and parking prices? Let’s face it, the cost of going to a stadium game (any major sporting event, really) has gone up in recent decades, but the return-on-investment (Falcon tickets $55-180) does not seem to phase the sports enthusiast who can readily justify the expense. The entertainment value runs high. Parking can easily range from $20, with lower cost options if you don’t mind the walk—ParkWhiz.com and Parkme.com offer rates in the $8 and $10 range, give or take.

In short, spending the day at the stadium is always a memorable event. Smiles are evident in the memories of fans rooting for their favorites, of the delightful hot dog and popcorn aromas, the memorable gains and losses throughout the game. Don’t wait!