Atlanta’s Georgia Dome seems like an ideal location to get a Falcons viewing party together for Super Bowl LI. (Y’know, provided it isn’t a rerun of Super Bowl XXXIII.) Having a think about what a nice sendoff it’d be for that giant-ass ATL stadium? Great! Now chuck those memories into your garbage disposal and cut ’em up good. The National Football League is having none of this scenario.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, this floated idea apparently can’t happen under the NFL’s watch. A statement from the Georgia Dome (the operators, rather than a sentient spooky dome) notes that restrictions laid out by the league isn’t compatible with the live viewing experience.
“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.”
If it’s any consolation to Falcons fans, they’re not the only franchise has seen the league stamp out plans for a big viewing party. Last year, the National Hockey League (also known for its unique relationship with “fun”) shut down a planned Eastern Conference Finals Game 7 viewing party in Tampa citing league policy as the reason why. Even with the NFL seeing sagging ratings of late, we can’t imagine Super Bowl numbers cratering due to a large number Georgia Nielsen households wanting to watch the game at the Georgia Dome.
If there’s a silver lining for Falcons fans, it might just be the knowledge that winning the NFC Championship over a streaking Packers squad is one hell of a send-off too.