It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for. On Aug. 26, the Atlanta Falcons will play in their shiny new $1.5 billion stadium for the first time.
If you’re headed to the game or if you plan on attending a Falcons game (or an Atlanta United match) this season, here are five things you should know about Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
1. Artfully Designed
Stroll up the northeastern entrance to Mercedes-Benz stadium and you’ll be greeted by what is being called the largest bird sculpture in the world. Created by Hungarian artist Gabor Miklos Szoke, the 42-foot-tall stainless steel falcon weighs in at over 73,000 pounds and has a wingspan of more than 64 feet. But that’s not the only piece of art work at the venue. Mercedes-Benz stadium is home to more than 180 art pieces from 50 artists commissioned by the Savannah College of Art and Design. Among the art work is a large lightbox sculpture featuring a quote from Hillel the Elder.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank has attributed his appreciation of the arts to his late mother Molly Blank.
2. Mind-blowing Tech
If art isn’t your forte then you’re sure to be impressed by the sheer amount of screens inside Mercedes-Benz stadium. More than 2,500 flat screens grace the walls along with 1,800 Wi-Fi hot spots throughout the stadium, so if you need to see how your fantasy team is doing or hit up Instagram, you can do it on your own device.
The stadium is also home to two massive and unique video boards. The Halo Board, which can be seen from all parts of the stadium is one of the largest video boards in the world. Measuring in at 58 feet tall and 1,100 feet around, it covers 63,800 square feet. Equally unique is the “Mega Column” at the northeast side of the stadium which measures 101 feet tall by 71 feet wide.
3. Crave-worthy Concessions
As we’ve previously reported, the food at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is really good and it won’t cost an arm and a leg either. Starting with $2 refillable sodas, $5 beers and $2 hot dogs and going up to gourmet offerings from local vendors like Sublime Doughnuts, the Iberian Pig and a concession stand operated by local celebrity chef Kevin Gillespie, you definitely won’t go hungry here. The stadium will offer kosher food upon request, but for now Sublime is the only kosher vendor.
Did we mention the beer? Mercedes-Benz Stadium has 1,264 beer taps in the building. The Georgia Dome had 30.
4. 100-Yards of Falcon-themed Food and Drink
Speaking of beer, we can’t leave out the 100 Yard Club in the upper level of the stadium. It’s the most heavily Falcon-themed area of the entire venue and it’s exactly what you think; 100 yards of concession stands with bars on both ends. The floor is painted green with yard markers that match up the field below and larger than life posters of Falcons players adorn the walls and columns.
The 100 Yard Club is an attempt to give fans a social space where they can gather to stretch their legs and grab a drink or a bite to eat before games, during games or at halftime.
5. Going Platinum
Mercedes-Benz is currently tracking to become the first ever LEED Platinum certified stadium in the NFL. It will reportedly use 29 percent less energy and 47 percent less water than a typical stadium of its size and has a 680,000-gallon cistern for water recapture and reuse. The building also has 4,000 solar panels which will generate around 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year of renewable energy, enough to power 10 Falcons games.
More Photos of Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Photos by David R. Cohen