The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the at the NFL owner meetings. Atlanta was the first of three cities to be named host cities for the national championship football game. Miami was named host city for the Super Bowl in 2020, while Los Angeles will see the game in 2021.
Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston traveled to Charlotte Tuesday for the announcement where he talked to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, whose foundation was behind the building of the new Mercedes-Benz stadium.
He told Huddleston he was over the moon at winning the big game.
"We're thrilled to show off Atlanta in 2019 for Super Bowl LIII," Blank said. "Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be unique, not only in America, but throughout the world. We think it's a great host stadium before the Super Bowl and we love it being in downtown Atlanta.”
The vote capped a year-long effort by the Falcons and Atlanta’s bid committee to secure the game for the $1.4 billion retractable-roof stadium under construction next to the Georgia Dome.
The bid, titled “Atlanta Transformed,” emphasized the new stadium and its close proximity to other downtown attractions that were not in place when the Super Bowl was last played at the Georgia Dome.
"We have been working hard to be on it. This stadium was designed and I think really downtown Atlanta is designed to accommodate these kind of events,” Blank said.
Atlanta’s bid was presented to the NFL owners by the CEOs of two Atlanta-based companies, Rick Smith of credit-information firm Equifax and Doug Hertz of alcoholic-beverages wholesaler United Distributors. Blank also made an appeal to his fellow owners.
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Blank said the biggest thank you he has to offer are to the fans.
"(I want to say) thank you. Thank them for their support for our franchise and the National Football League and for helping make this stadium possible in Atlanta, and creating a vision we commonly share so we can experience that with NFL fans throughout the states and throughout the world."
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is now 3-for-3 in bids for marquee sporting events, having previously been awarded college football’s national championship game in January 2018 and college basketball’s Final Four in April 2020.
Atlanta subsequently lost bids to host the game in 2009 and 2010, with some owners saying at the time the ice storm in 2000 was one of the reasons. But Blank's new stadium put Atlanta back in the picture.
"I think what made the difference this time was that we have a new stadium with a significant public-private partnership. When you look at the public support, which is close to $700 million, when you add in all of the net present value of the entire extension of the tax, it's a huge commitment. It's a huge private commitment as well,” Blank said.
(Channel 2’s Dave Huddleston, The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this story)
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