Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary Mercedes-Benz Stadium tour experience. All opinions and unbridled enthusiasm belong to me.
We are a football family. I’ll admit – in SEC territory, college ball is a priority. But when you’ve got an NFL team like the Atlanta Falcons, you just can’t help being enthusiastic about them. Throw in the fact that my kids are nutty about soccer & the new Atlanta United team… you can understand why getting a peek inside the new Mercedes-Benz stadium was a big deal for me. It’s a lot more than just a place for the Falcons and United to play ball!
There Is A Curated Art Collection
The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) partnered with the stadium to curate an art collection that includes 200 varied works. The pieces are scattered throughout the stadium and include mediums such as photography, painting, sculpture and more.
They Are Platinum LEED Certified
Whaa? This is an environmental designation. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a big deal these days, and the Mercedes-Benz Stadium has reached the highest level of this designation. In fact, they are the first NFL and MLS stadium to do so! There are solar panels along the top of the silver deck to generate power. There is also a 1.1 million gallon vault underneath the stadium. This catches runoff rainwater that is then used for gardens and cooling towers. In addition, the stadium is a good neighbor. I was told that West Atlanta is prone to some flooding, and that excess water can be directed into this vault, alleviating that problem.
You Can Visit The Player Locker Rooms
Yeah, buddy. This is what I was most excited about on the tour. You don’t have to be a blogger or any kind of special media to do this, either. Mercedes-Benz Stadium Tours are now booking! The player locker rooms are a stop on the tour (except on game days, natch) and you can sit in your favorite player’s seat, just like I did.
Keep Up With Your Fantasy
Your Fantasy Football team, that is. The AT&T Perch is above the southwest end zone. It’s open and available for anyone, no VIP access or special ticket required. There are open seats near pop-up screens with DIRECTV programming and a “media column” filled with screens so you can keep up with the Falcons and any other NFL action. Nearby are drink rails with outlets where you can charge your phones while you watch the game! It’s also where you’ll find local chef Kevin Gillespie’s concession outlet.
The 100 Yard Club
This is a fun area where the yardage lines on the floor correspond to the yardage on the field, so go down and say that you stood on the 50 yard line! This area, like the AT&T Perch, is open to all fans and is dotted with player information as well as great concessions.
I have three kids, two of them teenage boys. They are always hungry. So, so hungry. I appreciate what MBS is calling “Fan First Pricing“. Sure, there are higher end options available, but if you need to feed your family on the cheap, you can find $2 hot dogs, $2 UNLIMITED Coca-Cola products, $5 Bud Light Draft (for Mom and Dad, obviously) and more throughout the stadium. Hallelujah.
They Honor Tomorrow’s Legends and Hometown Heroes
Having two kids in high school I appreciated this nod to the local kids. There is a wall dedicated to the Georgia High School Association that includes one football helmet from every team in Georgia. I was able to spot my kids’ high school but didn’t have time to find my alma mater (Go Norcross Blue Devils!) If you do have time, there is a legend available that helps you track down your home team. There is also another cool piece of artwork on the adjacent wall made up of a shoestring from every team in Georgia!
There is A Sense of Fun And Whimsy
For all the sleekness and class of this stadium, it is NOT stuffy. I’ve already mentioned the artwork placed around the stadium. It’s not all subdued and serious; you’ll find bursts of color and unusual materials, like the soccer ball sculpture shown above. It’s in the sly way they placed the Redd’s Apple Ale concession in the Red Zone of the 100 Yard Club. Y’all heard the fuss about having a Chick-Fil-A in the stadium that is closed on Sundays (i.e. most Falcons game days), right? Well, that space is utilized on Sundays – the CFA sign flips over and the space becomes home to FRIES UP (get it? #RiseUp) Even Kevin Gillespie’s Gamechanger concession over in the AT&T Perch got into the act. He added a special menu item, the COS chicken sandwich. COS stands for “Closed on Sunday”. Wherever you go in the stadium, there are winks and nods if you are quick enough to catch them!
Take the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Tour
Y’all, there is so much more that I could share with you about the stadium but you can see it all for yourself by booking a guided tour. The tours get you access to all the places I’ve listed including the VIP lounges. You also end up ON the field! Expect to be touring between 60-90 minutes and definitely wear comfortable shoes. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $20 for kids ages 3-12, seniors and military personnel. This is a great way to entertain out of town guests or satisfy your own curiosity about Atlanta’s newest sports venue.