by: Craig Lucie, Audrey Washington Updated:
ATLANTA - Contractors are still working nonstop at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium ahead of what will be a busy weekend. Channel 2 viewers told us they love the stadium, but also expressed a few things that went wrong during the first Falcons preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
The stadium general manager told Channel 2 Action News that fans can expect improvements at Thursday’s game.
“There’s a lot of little things we will fix,” General Manager Scott Jenkins said.
Some season ticket holders posted on our WSB-TV Facebook page that they spotted mice in the stands. Channel 2’s Craig Lucie asked Jenkins about them, and he assured fans they will be gone soon.
“We’ve been open for three years under construction, and we’re in the heart of Atlanta and there’s some wildlife so we’ve got to take care of the insects, we’ve got to take care of the mice. We do have a couple of pigeons in here so we’ve got an aggressive pest control management program that we are undertaking now, and that’s to be expected in a building this big that has been open this long,” Jenkins said.
Fans also ran into problems with beer taps and some soda machines ran out.
Jenkins said they are aware of the problems and they are fixing them now.
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“We are still working through some bugs in the building so we were thrilled with the way it turned out,"Jenkinds said. "People came out and tried a bunch of stuff. We were excited about that, but at any first outing, things aren’t perfect so we’re are fixing a few things. We had a few soda machines that didn’t work. We had a few kinks with the beer distribution system in a couple places so items like that, we’ve been working hard in the last week to fix that up so we are ready to go 100 percent."
Jenkins told Lucie he has been a part of many stadium openings, and he was pleased with the way things were run on their first big day. As for security, he told Lucie fans can help improve their experience by coming prepared as soon as they arrive.
“We have wide areas to cue people up, and we have multiple lanes to bring people in for a quick search. One thing fans can help with is to not bring things inside with you that can’t fit in a clear bag. We follow the NFL’s clear bag policy. We have about 140 search points and that is about as many as any NFL stadium,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also said fans should hold their cellphone and keys above their head as they walk through the magnetometers.
“We have about 3,800 staff on game day from security down to guest services to food,” Jenkins said.
He said they also have more than 500 cameras monitoring areas to keep people safe.
He says things worked well at all of the stadium's security checkpoints.
“We were thrilled with people getting in,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he holds special meetings each morning to discuss ways to improve the fan experience at the stadium.
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