Another 1996 Olympic venue to bite the dust

Stone Mountain Tennis Center
AP
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The Atlanta Olympic tennis venue, where Andre Agassi and Lindsay Davenport famously won gold, will be demolished, possibly as soon as next month.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners awarded a $1 million contract Tuesday to tear down the Stone Mountain Tennis Center, according to Atlanta media.

“Moving for demolition is not something we take very lightly at all,” Gwinnet County Commissioner John Heard said, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post. “The Olympic tennis center that was built for the ‘96 Olympics has been in place for 25 years now and has been running down the entire time. All of the copper has been stolen out of it. It is a health and safety hazard right now.”

Images from last year showed the Stone Mountain Tennis Center’s main stadium in disrepair. It was closed in 2007. Plants sprouted from cracks in the court surface. It is surrounded by a chain-link fence capped by barbed wire with a “no trespassing” sign.

“It’s a huge liability with people breaking in and going in and shooting videos of themselves doing all sorts of crazy things in there,” Commissioner Lynette Howard said, according to the newspaper. “Somebody is going to get hurt.”

The tennis center is the latest 1996 Olympic venue to fall out of favor.

Centennial Olympic Stadium, which housed Opening and Closing Ceremonies and track and field, was downsized from 85,000 seats to 50,000 when it was converted to Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves in 1997. Now that the Braves have left Turner Field, it will be further trimmed to 23,000 seats to host Georgia State football.

The Georgia Dome, home of gymnastics and basketball finals, hosted its last Atlanta Falcons game this past season. It is scheduled to be demolished.

Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the home for Olympic baseball and the Braves from 1966-96, was imploded after the Atlanta Games to make room for a parking lot for Turner Field.

Perhaps the saddest legacy of the Games is Herndon Stadium, a 15,000-seat field hockey stadium used during the filming of the movie “We Are Marshall.” It was abandoned after Morris Brown College ran into financial difficulties. Gutted by vandals, it was covered in graffiti and piles of trash as of last summer.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.