Atlanta set to unveil its new stadium
HOOVER, Ala. — Rich McKay, the president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Falcons, said Mercedes-Benz Stadium adjacent to the Georgia Dome will open as scheduled on Aug. 27. McKay showed a seven-minute film on the new stadium during his time at SEC football media days Tuesday afternoon.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta will host two preseason Chick-fil-A Kickoff games, Alabama vs. Florida State on Sept. 2 and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4, the week after it opens. The stadium will also host the Falcons, the SEC Championship Game and the Atlanta United of Major League soccer as long-term residents.
It will be the first facility to host the College Football Playoff championship game (2018), the Super Bowl (2019) and the Final Four (2020) in successive years.
“The Georgia Dome was a really good place to play,” McKay said. “We didn’t want to build a better Georgia Dome. We wanted to change the game for a long, long time.”
McKay said the 83,000 square feet of LED lighting at the new stadium compares to the combined 4,300 square feet of the two end zone video boards in the Georgia Dome.
The stadium will also house the first 360 degree “halo” video board. McKay said if the halo board was laid end to end and stood straight up, “it’s taller than the tallest building in Atlanta.”
The Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992, will be imploded in November, McKay said.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has an estimated cost of $1.6 billion, will have a retractable roof and will seat 71,000 for football, expandable to 83,000.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be the first facility to host the College Football Playoff championship game (2018), the Super Bowl (2019) and the Final Four (2020) in successive years.