A New Stadium?

by kpmautner

While Atlanta looks to be losing one of its gems (the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre, a repertory playhouse) due to lack of funding, and while the ASO (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) is in lock-out ditto, the Atlanta Braves and the Falcons are building new stadiums.  (Stadia?)  The current stadia are apparently not modern enough to attract fans, not enough sky boxes and luxuries.  Don’t hear anything about the fact that the teams aren’t worth the paper their tickets are printed on …

HOWEVER, if you really want a stadium built for the ages, take a page out of Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

The Coliseum, built in the reign of the emperor Titus late in the first century (before you ask, previously entertainments were offered in the Circus Maximus, which is not the Coliseum) has to be seen to be believed.  Let’s take a look at Gibbon’s description:

“It was a building of an elliptic figure, five hundred and sixty-four feet in length, four hundred sixty-seven in breadth… rising to the height of one hundred and forty feet.  The outside of the edifice was encrusted with marble (some of that still remains) and decorated with statues.  The slopes of the vast concave, which formed the inside, were filled and surrounded with sixty or eighty rows of marble likewise, covered with cushions, and capable of receiving with ease about fourscore thousand spectators.  Sixty four vomitories (for by that name the doors were very aply distinguished – that’s Gibbon’s comment, not mine) poured forth the immense multitude; and the entrances, passages, and staircases were contrived with such exquisite skill, that each person, whether of the senatorial, the equestrian or the plebian order, arrived at his destined place without trouble or confusion.”  (I wish)

To continue: “They were protected from the sun and rain by an ample canopy, occasionally dawn over their heads.  ..” and the boxes of the VIPs were partitioned off with mosaics, beautifully painted scenes, and surrounded by gilded cords.

If I’m not mistaken, the new stadia which are currently under construction for the use of our rather disgusting professional sports teams, have nothing on the Coliseum.