The cowboy is not only riding back, but he’s doing it quite often.
Despite retiring from touring in 2014 on his “Cowboy Rides Away” tour, country behemoth George Strait has regularly returned to the stage.
He’s a constant presence in Las Vegas, where he plays double dates several times a year at T-Mobile Arena (and he’ll be back there in August and December); a few weeks ago he packed NRG Stadium in Houston; and following Saturday’s rollout at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Strait will perform with Miranda Lambert on the ACM Awards April 7 (airing on CBS) before preparing for stadium gigs this summer in Ohio and Massachusetts.
Strait last played Atlanta at then-Philips Arena in March 2014, but Saturday’s performance will mark his first stadium appearance in Atlanta since a 2001 showcase at defunct Turner Field with Alan Jackson, Lee Ann Womack and Lonestar.
The genial King of Country – who has earned 60 chart-topping songs during his 30-year career, as well as 33 platinum or multi-platinum albums – will employ a noteworthy gaggle of guests this time, too.
Grammy and CMA Award-magnet Chris Stapleton will share the spotlight, along with newcomers Chris Janson and Ashley McBryde.
Here are some tips to help you navigate a trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend.
Tickets: They are sold out, but check ticketmaster.com regularly in case production holds are released. Digital tickets will be used for the show; concertgoers should place tickets in their Apple Wallet or Google Pay for faster entry at the gate and stadium checkpoints.
Floor seats: Fans with tickets on the floor will enter at Gate One to acquire the necessary wristband for access.
The lineup: 3 p.m. (doors); 4 p.m. (Ashley McBryde); 4:45 p.m. (Chris Janson); 6:15 p.m. (Chris Stapleton); 8:15-10:15 p.m. (George Strait).
A major change: Everything at the stadium is now mobile – including concession stands, bars, mobile vendors and retail locations. That means card or mobile payments are the only types accepted for purchase. The stadium is equipped with several ReadySTATION kiosks to convert cash to a prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted (inside and outside the stadium). More info: mercedesbenzstadium.com/card-mobile-payment/
Bags: The clear bag policy will be in effect as it is for every event at MBS. Full details: mercedesbenzstadium.com/clear-bag-policy/
Parking: Can be purchased in advance via mercedesbenzstadium.com. Passes are $8.18-$91.40 depending upon how much you like to walk and if tailgating is a necessity.
MARTA: If you’re going the public transportation route, the closest stops are Vine City and the GWCC/Dome/Philips Arena, both on the blue-green line (transfer available at Five Points).
Lyft pickup/dropoff: Guests are encouraged to exit at Gate 1 to access the primary location on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, off of Northside Drive. A secondary location is accessible via Gates 2, 3 and 4 and is located at the corner of Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Andrew Young International Boulevard. There is no designated rideshare location other than for Lyft, the stadium’s partner.
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