Blank to Buckhead Rotary: new stadium could feature ‘mock naval battles’

‘Prepare for carnage’


Remember learning about the Romans and the spectacles they staged in the Coliseum? Gladiators fighting lions? Chariot races? Mock naval battles?

Well, you might be able to experience the latter if the new Atlanta Falcons stadium becomes a reality.

Team owner Arthur Blank told the Buckhead Rotary at Saturday’s Eggs for Elliot, an annual Easter mixer aimed at raising awareness about tendinitis, that the stadium floor will be designed to accommodate massive flooding and large ships.

“I want to show Atlanta the horrors of naval warfare, similar to what Gaius Duilius might have seen during the Battle of Mylae,” the Falcons owner and Home Depot co-founder told the seersucker-clad crowd at the Atlanta History Center. “Or re-create the Battle of Aboukir Bay. Prepare for carnage, folks.”

A Blank spokesman stressed that the athletic facility’s design is still in the early stages. He said architects are trying to see if the stadium could feature a “pit” underneath the floor, which could be filled with hundreds of thousands of gallons of water that would be pumped into the arena. Rainwater collected in cisterns would also be used.

Blank told the Rotarians that the flooded stadium could also be used by local police departments and the U.S. Coast Guard for training. “That’s part of the public benefits package we’re proposing,” he said.