:les: In 2013 and 2014 the Falcons were fined for pumping in artificial crowd noise during home games. They were fined $350,000, and lost a draft pick.
Owner Arthur Blank said in a statement that the actions were "nowhere near the standards by which we run our business". That was obviously not true, as the despicable actions took place over two whole seasons.
How do we know that are not still doing it?
It was a stupid thing that happened for sure, and it cost the Falcons a draft pick, a fine and team President (Rich McKay, whose also head of the NFL competition committee) was suspended too. Arthur Blank seemed to be rather forthright about what went down and fired the person (could have been a scapegoat) who was supposedly responsible for making it happen. IMO, the HC (Mike Smith) might have had a hand in it, as he and the team were struggling at the time, and his job was on the line. Pure speculation of course.
As a long time (since the mid 70's) Falcon fan, I've attended games in the Dome that were incredibly loud and obnoxious. I've also attended games where our fans just didn't get into the game all that much. DOn't get me wrong, there are always loud Falcon fans that love to get all jacked up. It can be a weird atmosphere at the dome when the opponent is mediocre, or if the Falcons are having a bad year. I won't defend our fanbase, because they piss me off with their lack of excitement at times. I will say that they do come through at playoff time or divisional games though, or if it's just a really good team visiting. The Dome itself is not a terrible venue, but it can be too comfortable at times with the controlled temperatures, and the natural lighting from the canvas roof can almost put you in a kick backed relaxed state, like you're hanging out on a covered back porch, in the spring time drinking beers, and chilling with your friends. I was a season ticket holder for about 7 straight years, between the last SB appearance and through the Vick era. I started off on the waiting list at the time, and had tickets in the upper level 300's, after 2 years there I was able to move down to club/mezzanine level, and then eventually to the lower level. The best time, and most exciting games for me were when I was in the upper level. The lower I got, the more subdued the fans were, and the only thing I can attribute it to, is the fact that it is more comfortable to sit down in the lower level, then it is the nose bleeds there. I will say this though, I've been to Panthers, Buccaneers, and Saints stadiums, and did not see their fanbases as being anything better than the Falcons.
I am looking forward to the new stadium and to see the Falcons playing in an outdoor setting (if you can call a retractable roof stadium outdoors) again. The new place will be lit to the hilt with natural and artificial light, and should be quite the site. Hopefully it will inspire the chit chat crowd to shut up and watch the game, and for all the late showing tailgaters to get to their seat on time. Or not.