With the Atlanta Falcons officially bounced from the NFL Playoffs and destined for an offseason of Maui trips and bad legal decisions, it's an opportune time to look toward the future. Specifically, the futuristic, 30-story downtown origami that could be Atlanta's boldest architectural statement in decades. We've all heard the qualifiers used to describe the rising Mercedes-Benz Stadium — "iconic," "beautiful," a "game-changer" and, sarcastically, "Voltron's bunghole" — but what does it all really mean? Well, an elaborate advertisement for the project titled "Seven surprising ways Mercedes-Benz Stadium will change the game for fans" is here to set the record straight (and attract deep-pocketed PSL buyers). Even for non-Falcoholics, the numbers (beyond the projected cost) could raise eyebrows.
To recap, the new roost will replace the Georgia Dome — that dingy-roofed dinosaur from 1992 — and offer huge flexibility and seating for up to 83,000 for mega events like the NCAA Final Four, which the building will host in 2020. (Super Bowl seating, should the city earn another Big Game, will top out at 75,000, which is just a few hundred more seats than the Doomed Dome can offer now).
And now for the factoid potpourri:
1. Much has been said about that unique video halo that will encircle the rooftop hole. At nearly 60-feet tall and 1,100-feet around, the video board will actually be the largest in world. Take that, Jerry World.
2. According to team officials, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is on track to achieve the highest level of LEED certification, and outside the venue, fans will find grassy lots and "edible gardens." Until the bounty is plundered by drunks.
3. The roof's eight-petal retractable contraption will be able to open or close in less than seven minutes. One team official adds: "We plan to take the approach that this is an open-air stadium that can be closed, not the other way around."
4. Non-sober drivers and gluttons will be in luck. The stadium will have more than 650 points of sale for concessions, which should cut down on lines and enhance their ability to take your money.
5. The upper concourse will boast a bar that's the length of a football field.