Source: Maria Saporta, Saporta Report
What a way to say good-bye to the Georgia Dome.
The Atlanta Falcons decisively beat the Green Bay Packers – winning the NFC and a trip to Houston to play in the Super Bowl.
For Arthur Blank, who has owned the Falcons for 15 years, it was a moment to savor. It was the realization of one of his greatest dreams – to have the Falcons play in the Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5.
“I’m very excited for our family – not only my immediate family – but my family of Atlanta,” Blank said at the press briefing after the game. “I’m very happy. This is a special moment for me.”
The Atlanta Falcons led the entire game – leading 24-0 at half-time – and finally beating the Packers by 44 to 21.
It is the second time the Falcons will play in the Super Bowl. The last time was in 1999 in Miami – losing that game to the Denver Broncos. A couple of years later Blank ended up buying the team from the family of the late Rankin Smith.
In addition to building the team, Blank has been focused on building a new football-soccer stadium to replace the Georgia Dome, which is only 25 years old. The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is scheduled to open later this year.
“That’s important to me symbolically,” Blank said of playing this game in the Georgia Dome.
But he sounded even prouder of the team.
“You name a Falcons player that you think has a lot of talent, and he is a young player,” Blank said. But Blank also added that his goal is not to just win the division, get a ring and win the Super Bowl. His ultimate goal is to build a team that will be competitive year after year. “We are well positioned to do that while coming into a new stadium.”
The excitement of winning the game was combined with the farewell to the Georgia Dome.
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