The Atlanta Falcons don’t exactly have a strong history of Super Bowl performances. The team has only played in a single Super Bowl since they first joined the NFL in 1966, losing Super Bowl XXXIII to the John Elway and Denver Broncos back in 1998.
Now that the Falcons have made it back to promised land for Super Bowl LI (being played in Houston, Texas), there was speculation that the team would host their own viewing party — a fairly large one, at that, considering the proposed venue was the 74,000+ seat Georgia Dome, which is set to be demolished soon and be replaced by the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Unfortunately, NFL rules apparently prevent the massive viewing party from happening. A statement from the Georgia Dome management, printed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, blames the league and suggests local fans watch at home or their favorite local bar.
“We share your tremendous excitement that the Atlanta Falcons are headed to the Super Bowl,” reads the statement. “NFL rules prohibit us from using the Georgia Dome for broadcasting the game. Fans wishing to gather with other fans to watch the game can consider patronizing neighborhood businesses who will be showing the game.”
What a bummer.
Look, we know that television deals are a BIG deal for professional sports in North America, providing most of the money used to pay those ridiculous player salaries. But letting Atlanta area fans, who have no intention of travelling to Texas and paying thousands of dollars to see the game live, have one last moment in the building the Falcons have called home since 1992 seemed like a no-brainer.