ATLANTA - On Saturday, Atlanta citizens and football fans will finally get the opportunity to watch the Atlanta Falcons play in their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals in the newly-built Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Channel 2 Action News Sports Director Zach Klein and Channel 2 Action News reporters have provided extensive coverage on the new stadium from its initial construction leading up to first preseason game Saturday.
If you’re off to the big game, here are seven things you should know about Mercedes-Benz Stadium, how it will make your football experience better than ever before and how the $1.5 billion stadium will provide energy-efficient ways to keep the city clean and safe.
1.The stadium provides state-of-the art facilities.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium offers a trendsetting, retractable roof that will allow the team to hold indoor as well as outdoor games. Saturday’s game will be inside because mechanization of the roof is not complete. Stadium officials plan to open one of the most talked about features of the stadium some time this fall.
2.The stadium features cutting-edge technology with fan experience in mind.
If you like screens and more screens, this stadium is the place for you. It features a 360-degree halo board that is 60-feet tall, 1,100 linear feet, which is longer than the Eiffel Tower or the length of six White Houses placed side by side. Fans can also connect and share their experiences on social media. The stadium has a “nerve center” with more than 2,500 flat screens and technology loge suites where you can wirelessly charge all of your devices. This technology will allow 71,000 fans to livestream whatever they want at the same time to sites like Facebook Live. Need Wi-Fi? There are 1,800 Wi-Fi hot spots inside as well.
There is nothing like good food and drinks at a football game. In Mercedes-Benz Stadium, however, it is even better. The food options are great and affordable, allowing you to get a bang for your buck. Some of the food options: The burnt end nachos with queso and jalapenos, which take 16 hours to make, will be ($10), brat burgers ($10), brisket grilled cheese, portobello mushroom burgers, Cobb salads, pretzels and tacos. Other options include popcorn ($2), a two-taco gourmet dish ($7), hand-breaded free range chicken sandwich ($11), hot dogs ($2) and popcorn ($2).
A Coke with free refills will be $2 and 12-ounce domestic beer will be $5. Craft beers and 20-ounce domestic drafts will cost $7. Concessions will also feature burnt bourbon ice cream sandwich with Snickers milkshakes and signature cocktails ($12). Like the Georgia Dome, outside food and drink will not be allowed in the stadium.
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4. Mercedes-Benz will be the home to more than just Atlanta Falcons football games.
The stadium will not only be the home of the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United will play their home games inside the stadium, as well. The Falcons will have 10 home games in the stadium this year, while Atlanta United will play eight this year and 17 in 2018. Beyond professional football and soccer, the stadium will be the site for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Alabama and Florida State on Sept. 2. ESPN’s College Gameday will broadcast its first Saturday pregame show of the college football season outside the stadium. Other major events include Monster Jam, WWE Collegiate tournaments, guided tours, private events and concerts including Garth Brooks, who will be the first to perform inside the new stadium Oct. 12.
5.Transportation, parking and movement around the stadium will be efficient.
Officials in the stadium have worked with the Georgia Department of Transportation to maintain and regulate a smooth flow of traffic around the stadium, specifically on Northside Drive. Fans can purchase parking spots ahead of games as the venue offers 12,000 spots through Parkmobile. In total, the stadium offers 23,000 parking spaces within a 15-minute walk to the stadium. MARTA stops are located around the stadium but for fans who do not want to take public transit, there are two designated areas for those who choose to use ride-share apps such as Lyft. The two areas include the blue lot on Northside Drive that will offer 150 Lyft vehicles set and ready to go, and another series of vehicles behind them.
6.The tailgating and parking experience will continue to get better with a new 13-acre park.
Home Depot Backyard, an area used for tailgating and parking for big events in the city, will open next year. Once the Georgia Dome is demolished, this space will replace it and it will become a popular place for fans to tailgate, park, relax and enjoy fun times.
7.The stadium will help conserve water and offer impressive underground features to keep the area safe from flooding.
The stadium will store two million gallons of water to re-use and slowly release to avoid flooding on the Westside of Atlanta. Click here to find out what other underground features the stadium has to offer.
Channel 2 Action News will have complete coverage on Saturday for the first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Stay with WSBTV.com for everything you need to know about the stadium as a brand new era kicks off. For more stories on the new stadium, visit our special Mercedes-Benz Stadium section.
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