Lonely Planet Writer

A stadium from the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta now lies in ruin

Eerie images have revealed the crumbling remains of an abandoned American football stadium that hosted field hockey during the 1996 Olympics. The shots show disintegrating concrete stands overlooking an overgrown football field filled with dandelions and other weeds.

The abandoned Olympic stadium. Image by Jeff Hagerman/MDW

Other pictures show the bowels of the stadium that have suffered at the hands of vandals as graffiti adorns every wall.  The photos were taken at the Alonzo Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, USA by local photographer Jeff Hagerman.

The facilities have been left to crumble. Image by Jeff Hagerman/MDW

“We were exploring the abandoned dorm building next door and just decided to check out the stadium,” he explained. “It wasn’t until later that I found out that it was used for the 1996 Summer Olympics and for the movie We Are Marshall. It was built in 1948. There aren’t too many abandoned stadiums, so it’s a unique location, especially for Atlanta, where the growing economy has renovated or destroyed most of the cities interesting abandonments.”

The Alonzo Herndon Stadium in Atlanta. Image by Jeff Hagerman/MDW

The stadium is on the campus of Morris Brown College and was once able to accommodate 15,011 people.  During the 1996 Olympics, hosted by Atlanta, the stadium was used for field hockey. It was also home to the Georgia Mustangs and the Atlanta Beat women’s football club in the defunct WUSA league.

Graffiti adorns every wall. Image by Jeff Hagerman/MDW

The 2006 movie, We Are Marshalls, used the stadium as a stand-in for the demolished Fairfield Stadium in Huntington, West Virginia during filming. “I just love the history behind these places and it’s amazing to me how they can become discarded and forgotten,” said Jeff.

The football field full of weeds. Image by Jeff Hagerman/MDW

“It’s also a challenge to document the places before they’re destroyed or remodelled into the next version of what they’ll become.  People are usually surprised that a place like this exists, that it could be used for the Olympics just twenty years ago and now it’s in such disrepair and just kind of hidden from the general public.”