DCI Under the Dome the DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia dome – 2006-2016

For more than a decade, Drum Corps International hosted the annual DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.

It had been more than 20 years since DCI hosted a major event in Atlanta—the 1984 DCI World Championship at Georgia Tech's Grant Field—when drum corps first marched into the Georgia Dome in 2006.
Phantom Regiment performs for a packed house during the first DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome.

July 29, 2006

The inaugural event featured 22 corps in a one-day Prelims/Finals competitive format. The top-eight corps were seeded into the Finals competition with the top-four corps from the afternoon Prelims competition advancing to the evening lineup.

At the time, the Georgia Dome was one of a small handful of indoor venues to ever host a DCI Tour Event, and the only one subjected to an indoor rain delay, which occurred in 2006 when an upper deck rain gutter sprang a leak inside the stadium.

The 2006 Cavaliers pulled off a slim victory in Atlanta, becoming one of just four World Class drum corps to win the Southeastern Championship over 11 years.

With a strong demand to see such a large lineup of drum corps in the southeastern United States, the Georgia Dome drew spectators not only from Georgia, but also from many surrounding states including Florida, Alabama and the Carolinas. A paid attendance figure in 2006 of 15,831 set a new record for a major regional DCI Tour event.

We recognize that this area is prime market which is interested in drum corps and in the levels of excellence and achievement exemplified by the corps and their performers. We look forward to returning to Atlanta and hope to produce a major regional event at the Georgia Dome for many years to come. – DCI Executive Director Dan Acheson (July 29, 2006)
The Blue Knights drum line warms up on the back sideline of the Georgia Dome during the 2007 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 14, 2007

With the DCI World Championships headed to California in 2007, the DCI Southeastern Championship fell on the calendar two weeks earlier than usual as corps journeyed west to Pasadena.

A Blue Devils win at the Georgia dome in 2007 marked the start of an unprecedented streak of victories spanning eight consecutive years.








Crossmen performs during the Prelims of the 2008 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 26, 2008

When drum corps returned to the Georgia Dome in 2008, the old teal stadium seats had been replaced with a new red and black color scheme to complement the city's hometown NFL team, the Atlanta Falcons.

Carolina Crown exits the field after performing at the 2009 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 25, 2009

2009's DCI Southeastern Championship moved away from a two-part Prelims/Finals format, instead featuring all 22 of DCI's World Class corps competing head-to-head in a single lineup.

Featuring a mid-production costume change, the 2009 Bluecoats entertained the Georgia Dome audience with a non-traditional uniform anticipating what the corps would trailblaze seven years later during its first World Championship-winning season.

We want to create the most memorable show the Bluecoats have ever had and to completely break the barrier of drum corps. – Bluecoats Drum Major Eric Humbert Story (July 25, 2009)
Drum corps gather on the field of the Georgia Dome during the finale of the 2010 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 31, 2010

Unique to the 2010 DCI Southeastern Championship, the top-12 performing corps were brought back onto the field during the awards ceremony as a dress rehearsal for the DCI World Championships two weeks later in Indianapolis.

Blue Devils perform during the 2011 DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome.

July 30, 2011

With the 2011 Blue Devils taking top honors in Atlanta, it marked an important turning point for members of the Cadets. Coming out of the Georgia Dome, the corps only trailed at three more events before sweeping all three nights of World Championship competition in Indianapolis with its "Angels and Demons" production.

The corps has put in a lot of hard work. We’ve really progressed the last few weeks and tonight was a great payoff for that. – Cadets Drum Major Ben Pouncey (July 30, 2011)
A backfield view of the Madison Scouts' performance during the 2012 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 28, 2012

On a day that saw seven new records set in London during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Drum Corps International set its own record, drawing 16,114 paid spectators to the Georgia Dome, surpassing the previous record set during DCI's inaugural event at the venue in 2006.

A perennial favorite in front of its hometown audience, Spirit of Atlanta marked its best Southeastern Championship finish ever in 2012—10th place with a score of 83.400.
The Madison Scouts line up to perform at the 2013 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 28, 2013

Working around a stadium scheduling conflict, the 2013 DCI Southeastern Championship took place on a Sunday in lieu of its usual Saturday date on the calendar.

As intermission entertainment, 2013 featured the debut of DCI's DrumLine Battle at the Georgia Dome. The showdown pitted Marcato Independent Percussion from Florida against all-age drum corps Carolina Gold.
New construction underway outside the Georgia Dome during the 2014 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 26, 2014

Scenery outside the 2014 DCI Southeastern Championship included the first signs of construction for the "New Atlanta Stadium" scheduled to replace the more than 20-year-old Georgia Dome in 2017.

Inside the stadium, the Medellin Gran Banda from Colombia and three other ensembles took center stage in the first SoundSport competition hosted as part of the Southeastern Championship.

The popularity of watching drum corps at the Georgia Dome continued to grow in 2014, helping to set another attendance record of 16,695 paid spectators.

Carolina Crown performs for a record Georgia Dome audience during the 2015 DCI Southeastern Championship.

July 25, 2015

Carolina Crown snapped the Blue Devils' eight-year Southeastern Championship streak in 2015 while bringing its popular "Inferno" production to life in front of an audience of more than 18,000, another Georgia Dome record.

Blue Devils takes the field during the final DCI Southeastern Championship at the Georgia Dome in 2016.

July 30, 2016

With the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium scheduled to open in the summer of 2017, the Georgia Dome officially closed its doors in March of 2017. That meant the 2016 DCI Southeastern Championship would be drum corps' last hurrah inside the facility.

Though 2016 was DCI's last in the Georgia Dome, there was still time for one more historical footnote as the Bluecoats powered their way to the top of the scoreboard, winning the corps' first Southeastern Championship title.

Drum Corps International is set to return to the Atlanta area for the 2017 DCI Tour, however, the new stadium will not be ready in time for the July 29 event that will find a temporary home in Powder Springs, Georgia. Though unconfirmed at this time, DCI aims to host its first DCI Southeastern Championship in the new state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2018.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium rises next to the Georgia Dome in this construction photo taken in July of 2016.


Drum Corps International

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