On Tuesday, August 15th, David Walker (DW) and Kyle McClendon were able to join other media personnel to get a first hand look at the new Mercedes Benz stadium. Below are our thoughts on the stadium, the food and whether this stadium is worth the high price of admission.
For some additional videos and photos that we took, look here.
As someone who has watched many games at the Georgia Dome (and Fulton County stadium before it), I can easily say that Mercedes Benz Stadium is a huge upgrade over anything Atlanta fans have seen before. In fact, it may be one of the most amazing stadiums ever built.
The first thing that hits you is how open and enormous the stadium is when you first walk in. This picture can’t do it justice, but take a look:
Also, the amount of natural light that the stadium allows in is tremendous. Gone are the days of dark hallways lit by poor overhead lights. The new stadium allows natural light to flood in, and it makes a huge difference.
Everywhere you go, the amount of open space stands out. The cramped areas of the Georgia Dome feel like a distant memory. This is true on all levels, too.
The Halo screen defies explanation. It’s incredibly bright, sharp and absolutely enormous. When you see it in person, you’ll understand. There’s also no seat in the house that doesn’t have a great view of this impressive screen.
Speaking of - it really does seem like every seat in the building has a great view of the action. The design of the stadium is top-notch, and whether you’re in the 100s at the 50 yard line or in the top corner of the 300s, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy the games here.
The amount of food and alcohol options available at the new stadium is insanely awesome. You can definitely get your standard stadium fare (hot dogs, nachos, burgers) for dirt cheap - and the refill stations for sodas are around every single corner - but you can also find all sorts of great quality food. There are options on every single level, and fans will be able to go to whatever level they want to find what suits their desires.
If you love alcohol like me, the options to get inebriated are plentiful. From adult slushies to standard lite beers to some of the finest craft beers in the country, you will have zero problems getting your drink on at Mercedes Benz stadium.
I can’t state it enough - this is such an impressive stadium. I’m already planning to take my family to non-Falcons events just so we can experience the stadium together. It’s that amazing. Do yourself a favor and find a way to experience something at Mercedes Benz stadium - whether it’s the Falcons, Atlanta United or one of the other many events that will take place there. You won’t regret it.
There is very little in 2017 that can be done that does not look like, or somewhat mimic, something that has already been done—everything looks like everything else, for the most part. Mercedes-Benz Stadium defies that idea and does so in a spectacular way.
Like DW said, the stadium feels incredibly open. There are no parts of the building where you feel like you’ve been forgotten or like you’re missing something. The design of the stadium is such that every inch of the place is meant to be enjoyed and enjoyed with those around you. From the 100-yard bar, to the AT&T Perch, or all the way down to Molly B’s by the main gate, Arthur Blank and his executives leveraged each and every part of the stadium to maximize the fan experience.
Let’s talk about the fan experience really quick: it is going to be the best in the country no matter if you are there for a Falcons game, an Atlanta United match, or a college football game. Whether it’s the seats that are wide enough to give each fan plenty of room, the huge selection of beers and other beverages, or the incredibly affordable pricing on food, the fan was the top priority while this stadium was being built.
All of those factors go into an experience that starts the second you arrive on MBS property and continues after the event is over; the gameday experience is no longer limited to the 60 (or 90) minutes the teams are on the field. The experience goes so much deeper and revolves around so much more than just the product on the field—it’s hard to describe what it will be like on gamedays, but I know it’s going to be special.
Speaking of special, the look and architecture of the stadium is by far the most unique and breathtaking I’ve ever seen. The halo board looks big in pictures but is so much bigger in person, as well as the roof of the stadium. The opening in the roof looks like it could fit about eight normal-sized homes in it—this thing is huge.
The best part of the stadium, though, is the long term outlook AMB executives used when building it: the fiber-optic Wi-Fi is built to be used for the next 10 years or so and still be on the cutting edge, digital signage keeps the stadium from being tied to one look and keeps it feeling like a “transformer,” as AMB President Steve Cannon said. The most obvious use of a long term vision is how much investment is being made in the West side of Atlanta and the people who live around the stadium.
It is clear that Arthur Blank wanted to keep the West End a priority during the construction of MBS: Westside Works, the “West Nest” restaurant—a concession stand that employs graduates from Westside Works’ culinary school— and the giant rain catcher to prevent runoff from flooding neighborhoods around the stadium.
Not only does the stadium improve the skyline of Atlanta, but those involved have made a conscious effort to strengthen the area around the stadium by empowering those who live there.
Top to bottom, this stadium feels like Atlanta. It looks like Atlanta. It tastes like . . . Atlanta. Every inch of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is made to stand out and made to put the city of Atlanta on display, and it does a fantastic job of that while also making sure that the city is empowered and improved by the presence of the stadium.