According to a release from the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, over 500,000 folks came to downtown Atlanta for the big game and all of the events and festivities leading up to it. Around 150,000 of those were from out of state.
“We were proud to host Super Bowl LIII and welcome the hundreds of thousands of visitors to our city, while also leaving a lasting impact on our community through Legacy 53,” said Brett Daniels, COO of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee. “None of this would have been possible without the support of the city, the mayor, our volunteer team or the more than 40 federal, state and local agencies who helped make this event a success.
“From our walkability to family-friendly events to the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz stadium, Atlanta showed the world why we are a premier city to host events of this magnitude.”
I was there all week covering the Rams for Turf Show Times and handling very important journalism for SB Nation — like making Rams players watch the mid-1980s video Ram It with me and asking Juju Smith-Schuster about his favorite Atlanta rappers and his dog — and I can attest to this. Volunteers were everywhere, and they were cheerful and helpful — not just for out of towners, but for locals like me who still needed help figuring out where everything was and the best way to get to those places. There were concerts, parties, the Fan Experience and Super Bowl LIVE, and a variety of other fun events to keep everyone busy and engaged every moment of every day until kickoff.
Things that are normally mildly annoying like parking and getting an Uber to actually pick you up downtown were far more annoying than usual. And of course the city was overrun with Patriots fans, which isn’t the most pleasant atmosphere for a Falcons fan, even one who happily lives with a Patriots fan. But overall, it was a really fun experience, and the impression Atlanta made is one the league won’t be able to ignore.
Congratulations to the city of Atlanta on a smooth and successful Super Bowl. If you made it down to the new stadium for the game or any of the events surrounding it, share your experience in the comments. If you have any questions about what it was like covering the Super Bowl, I’ll be sure to answer those, too.