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Georgia Dome Blocked From Screening Super Bowl

Any plans to send the Georgia Dome out with a curtain call for the ages have been vetoed by the No Fun League and its iron grip on ratings and revenue. A grassroots campaign petitioning the mayor of Atlanta to host a massive viewing party for Super Bowl LI at the old dome has been shot down by league rules preventing the screening of the big game to such a large audience.

Copyright laws applicable to the NFL prevent the televising of the year’s biggest sporting event to an audience as large as one that would fill every seat in the Georgia Dome.

The law exists to protect the NFL’s coveted TV ratings, which would become grossly skewed if that many people gathered to watch the game on a single screen. Smaller public venues, such as sports bars, are exempt from the law, as it does not apply to any place of business for which the main stream of revenue is screening televised sports.

The weird rules also raise the question of whether there is a certain occupancy limit to this kind of public gathering or – perhaps more likely – if other leagues are less strict about enforcing it. Alternating teams will often screen “away” games during the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals in much smaller arenas.

But contests that function as a best-of-seven series don’t have the drawing power of a single championship game, not the mention the fact that the NFL still dwarves the drawing power of all other Big 4 leagues combined.

“We share your tremendous excitement that the Atlanta Falcons are headed to the Super Bowl,” said Georgia Dome representatives. “[But] fans wishing to gather to watch the game can consider patronizing neighbourhood businesses who will be showing the game.”

So instead of a rowdy and raucous dome in downtown Atlanta, the inside of the historic building will remain dead silent for Super Bowl Sunday.

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