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  • Carla Scheri

That Time They Blew Up Fulton County Stadium

Well, this was something I never thought I’d see in person. I was on another balloon job and we had arrived at a building in downtown Atlanta super duper early. Like, it was still dark out early. I remember thinking to myself, Damn girl, for a night owl, you sure keep picking work that starts at the crack of the crack of dawn. When I wasn’t standing in the middle of a farm turned film set at 4am I was usually strolling in the door after a night of rockin and rollin at 4am. In any event, here I was. The gig? I have no idea. It was a party of some sort up on the top floor “penthouse” aka the 10th floor event space that had a cool outdoor deck with gorgeous views of the city. The building we were in was located right across the street from the stadium and when we arrived it was a total ghost town. Looking back, I guess that’s why we arrived so early? Because when we finished decorating and went back down to load up the vans around 8am, the streets were packed. I mean PACKED. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t see and you certainly couldn’t drive out of there. Oooooh they’re blowing up the stadium today! So we worked our way to a good vantage point on the street and we waited. And waited. And waited. The anticipation was growing, the energy was percolating and the crowd was restless. In a good way. In an exciting way. Then we heard it. A siren. It was go time!!

Now Fulton County Stadium was round. As round as round could be. After the first charges went off, there was a longer than expected pause then not quite a boom but definitely some sort of crackling explosive sound. And the first section started coming down. Then the second section, then the third. It was this oddly choreographed, almost slow motion, absolutely surreal game of dominos in a perfect circle that lasted maybe 30 seconds? I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. A huge structure was being demolished and I was astonished at how utterly gentle and orderly it all seemed. I’m not even sure if anyone made any noise while it was happening. But once it came down the roar went up! The crowd went absolutely nuts! Including me! Aside from maybe being down front at a huge stadium rock show, I had never felt such a rush. Such an unbelievable RUSH of a shared experience like that. I was so jacked up that even though I had been up since 3:30am I didn’t even take a nap when I got home. Instead I called my father. I told him the story, I was still super excited and I’m pretty sure he thought I was crazy. Lol I guess it was one of those “You kinda had to be there moments.” And hot damn I’m sure glad I was! In a way, that experience sums up those early days in the magical land of Atlanta. When adventure was around every corner and no one had time for a bucket list because we were all just living it. Just as it should be.

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