The Omni Coliseum was an indoor arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Completed in 1972, the arena seated 16,378 for basketball and 15,278 for hockey. It was part of the Omni Complex, now known as the CNN Center.
This posts concludes here: The Omni Coliseum – 70s Concerts (Part 1.5)
It was the home arena for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association from 1972 until the arena’s closure in 1997 and the Atlanta Flames of the National Hockey League from their inception in 1972 until 1980,
when the franchise was sold and relocated to Calgary, Alberta. It hosted the 1977 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, the 1988 Democratic National Convention, and the 1996 Summer Olympics indoor volleyball competition.
The Omni was considered an architectural marvel that combined innovative roof, seating, and structural designs. The logo is based on the unique seating arrangement. The exterior cladding was composed of Cor-Ten weathering steel, which is covered in rust; the idea was that the steel would continue to rust to the point where the rusted exterior would form a protective seal, making a solid steel structure that would last for decades.
The Omni was noted for its distinctive space frame roof, often joked about as looking like an egg crate or a rusty waffle iron. Designed by the firm tvsdesign with structural engineering work by the firm of Prybylowski and Gravino, the roof was technically described as an ortho-quad truss system.
The Omni Coliseum hosted 221 concerts over its lifespan. In 1973, the first concert was Alice Cooper, on March 23, 1973, his Billion Dollar Babies tour. The Beach Boys/Bruce Springsteen was on April 11, 1973, The Temptations/The Spinners on April 30, 1973, the Allman Brothers Band drove up from Macon, Georgia to perform on June 2, 1973, Deep Purple would rock the Omni with their new song, “Smoke on the Water” June 18, 1973, ZZ Top, Elvis Presley (4 shows), and the Jackson 5 would bring their World Tour through Atlanta in 1973.
In 1974, Bob Dylan (2 shows), Deep Purple, Grateful Dead, ZZ Top dropped in on their Worldwide Texas Tour, Brownsville Station/Johnny Winter, Stevie Wonder/Rufus, Jefferson Airplane/Fleetwood Mac, Elton John played November 10, 1974, on his “Elton John Band Tour 1974”, Yes performed November 30, 1974, on their Relayer Tour, and David Bowie ends the year for Omni concerts December 1, 1974, on his Diamond Dogs Tour.
In 1975 Jethro Tull brought their War Child tour to the Omni on Jan 20, 1975, The Beach Boys returned, this time with Billy Joel, Elvis Presley would play 3 more shows, The Rolling Stones played July 30, 1975, on their Tour of the Americas, ZZ Top, The Allman Brothers, The Who performed November 24, 1975 on their The Who by Numbers Tour, and on December 5, 1975, Rush / Styx / KISS / Leslie West Band played what must have been a great show!
1976 would see the return of David Bowie (Station to Station tour), Paul McCartney brought his Wings Over America tour to the Omni on May 18, 1976, Yes were back June 3, 1976, with their Solo Albums Tour, Elvis Presley (4 shows), Randy Meisner / Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Jimmy Buffett brought his Pink Crustacean Tour on September 3, 1976, Eric Clapton dropped in with his No Reason To Cry tour November 9, 1976, Robin Trower/Boston on November 23, 1976, Boston returned December 5, 1976, playing their debut album, and the year ended with Parliament-Funkadelic/ Bootsey’s Rubber Band/ Wild Cherry on 12/31/1976.
1977 saw the return of the Beach Boys on January 9, 1977, Foghat/Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band/Rick Derringer dropped by January 20, 1977, Black Sabbath rocked the Omni on their Technical Ecstasy Tour on January 26, 1977, Thin Lizzy/Queen performed February 21, 1977, Pink Floyd came by April 26, 1977, on their Animals Tour, Emerson, Lake & Palmer brought their progressive rock Works Orchestral Tour to the Omni June 23, 1977,
Yes returned on August 25, 1977, on their Going for the One Tour tour, Jethro Tull played November 7, 1977, on their Songs From the Wood tour, Queen brought their A Day at the Races Tour on December 8, 1977, and Kiss dropped in again December 30, 1977, on their Love Gun Tour.
Foghat was back on April 29, 1978, Aerosmith dropped on May 15, 1978, on their Live! Bootleg Tour, Kansas played June 23, 1978, Jimmy Buffett returned July 18, 1978, on his Cheeseburger in Paradise Tour, Fleetwood Mac performed August 29, 1978, on their Rumours Tour, The Beach Boys/Jan and Dean/Le Roux, Black Sabbath (Oct and Nov), Moody Blues performed November 14, 1978, and Bob Dylan returned.
Boston/Sammy Hagar performed on January 11, 1979, Eric Clapton dropped by April 21, 1979, The New Barbarians (Ronnie Wood & Keith Richards’ band) was there on May 10, 1979, Yes performed on their Tormato tour on June 25, 1979, KISS rocked the Omni on their Dynasty Tour, Ted Nugent played August 14, 1979, on his State of Shock tour, the BeeGees, Kansas, Jimmy Buffett, Boston, Jethro Tull returned on their Stormwatch tour, The Jacksons came by the Omni again on November 25, 1979, on their Destiny World Tour, Aerosmith December 18, 1979, on the Night in the Ruts tour, and ZZ Top/Point Blank closed out the year on New Year’s Eve.
The 70s continues here The Omni Coliseum – 70s Concerts (Part 1.5)
I’ll continue this series next time with the 80s at the Omni.
- Weathering steel, often referred to by the genericized trademark COR-TEN steel and sometimes written without the hyphen as corten steel, is a group of steel alloys that were developed to eliminate the need for painting, and form a stable rust-like appearance after several years of exposure to weather. U.S. Steel (USS) holds the registered trademark on the name COR-TEN. The name COR-TEN refers to the two distinguishing properties of this type of steel: corrosion resistance and tensile strength. Although USS sold its discrete plate business to International Steel Group (now ArcelorMittal) in 2003, it still sells COR-TEN branded material in strip-mill plate and sheet forms. The original COR-TEN received the standard designation A242 (COR-TEN A) from the ASTM International standards group. Newer ASTM grades are A588 (COR-TEN B) and A606 for thin sheets. All alloys are in common production and use. The surface oxidation of weathering steel takes six months, but surface treatments can accelerate the oxidation to as little as one hour. [Back]
- TVS is an architecture, planning, and interior design firm in Atlanta. Founded in 1968 by Bill Thompson, Tom Ventulett, and Ray Stainback, tvsdesign has designed several notable buildings in greater Atlanta and beyond throughout the years, including the Omni Coliseum and Complex, the Georgia Dome, the AT&T Promenade buildings, the CNN Center, the Concourse at Landmark Center in Sandy Springs, the Georgia Aquarium, the Georgia World Congress Center buildings, and the to-be-completed Mercedes-Benz Stadium. [Back]