And now, with Mercedes-Benz Stadium slated to host the NCAA Final Four April 4-6, 2020, excited college basketball from around the world can now experience it for themselves.
Meanwhile, here are seven things you should know about the city’s shiny, monstrous, can’t-miss-it stadium.
1. It host much more than just sports events.
The stadium also hosted the 2019 Super Bowl on Feb. 3, 2019.
But the venue’s door has also opened for Monster Jam, WWE, College Football playoffs, guided tours, private events and concerts. Garth Brooks performed the stadium’s first concert on Oct. 12, 2017. Kenny Chesney, Beyonce and Jay-Z performed there in 2018.
2. The $1.5 billion stadium has some incredibly fancy technology involved.
First to mind is the 14-acre retractable roof, which has eight moving panels that weigh about 500 tons each, delayed the stadium’s opening three times. The venue is also home to the largest video board in U.S. sports: a 63,800-square-foot, halo-shaped screen that measures 58 feet tall and 1,100 feet around.
3. Outside food and drink isn’t allowed (nor was it at the Georgia Dome), but the concession prices are affordable.
The core concessions “fan-first menu,” which includes typical fan favorites like waffle fries, nachos or a basket of chicken tenders with fries, ranges from $2 to $6. Beyond that, specialty items — such as a brat burger ($10), burnt end nachos ($10) and a portobello mushroom burger ($6) — will also be available. Restaurant partners include Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, The Varsity and Sublime Doughnuts, along with multiple bars offering specialty cocktails (some for $12) and beer on tap.
4. The NFL Clear Bag Policy has been adopted for all public and ticketed stadium events.
Each guest is allowed to bring in a small clutch and one large, clear bag, such as a plastic tote that doesn’t exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, or a one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag. If someone has an item that isn’t allowed in the stadium, four bag valet locations will be available for a fee near the entry gates. See more about what you can and can’t take into the stadium.
5. It takes thousands of employees to make it all work.
Stadium officials say they will employ 4,000 people at the facility. To be considered for a job, applicants must answer basic interview questions online and answer questions posed by Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Falcons coach Dan Quinn and others in a pre-recorded video. Available positions listed on the site at one point included housekeeping associate, event day host and part-time security officer.
6. Transit efficiency is a focus.
Stadium officials want to make getting in and out as easy as possible. For instance, they’re working with the Georgia Department of Transportation to ease traffic flow by regulating traffic lights on Northside Drive. Also, fans will be able to purchase parking in advance from more than 12,000 spots through Parkmobile. And for folks who don’t want to drive or take MARTA, there will be designated pickup areas for ride-share app users.
7. A new 13-acre park will double as a tailgate-friendly parking area.
Home Depot Backyard, a park that can also function as an organized, tailgate-friendly parking area for about 800 cars during large events, opened in 2018. Team owner and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank envisioned the space as a place “where we celebrate, whether it be culture, whether it be music, whether it be food, whether it be arts.” It replaced a portion of the Dome, which was demolished in November 2017. (In addition, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority plans to build an 800-to-1,000 room hotel on the Dome site.)
MORE NCAA FINAL 4 COVERAGE
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.