Leading up to Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, news was dominated by the Deflategate debacle, leaving a seemingly indelible mark on the game and the New England Patriots.
It turns out that Atlanta is running into some inflation issues of its own, surrounding our recent snag of the Super Bowl LIII in 2019. According to Politifact, Atlanta overstated the population of the city by a not-insignificant amount in the bid video sent to the selection committee.
The fact-check focuses on a statement which claimed "our population has grown from about 1 million in the 1970s to almost 7 million today." While Atlanta's population has definitely boomed — and there are seemingly infinite ways to determine what constitutes "Atlanta" — even including Athens and Columbus, the population mark barely reaches 6.5 million. Even with Atlanta's golden guy Andrew Young giving the statistic, Politifact can only call the information "half true."
Which is pretty generous considering their backup information.
Then again, the video itself does bring up other questions: The main shot of a fly-through of the city, boasting of the unbridled growth Atlanta is experiencing, is noticeably missing a large chunk of the city skyline and is clearly a decade old, given the omissions. In the age of easy-to-create drone footage, it seems like another major oversight.
For a city that has only hosted the big game twice in the last five decades, Atlanta is setting out to prove a lot. And look at it this way: If we impress NFL brass and host the Super Bowl again down the road, we can say the population is practically eight million... Or it will be in 2040, anyway.