Good morning. This is LEADOFF, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.
Installation is almost complete at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on the largest video board in U.S. sports, a 63,800-square-foot screen that figures to be a centerpiece of the Falcons’ new home.
The halo-shaped screen, which measures 58 feet tall and 1,100 feet around, is being assembled in 600 pieces — all but 44 of which had been installed as of Thursday afternoon, when the media got a tour of the stadium. A portion of the board was lit up with test patterns.
“If you unwound that (screen) and stood it up on end, it would be the tallest building in Atlanta,” said Scott Jenkins, the stadium’s general manager.
Drew Slaven, Mercedes-Benz USA’s vice president of marketing, called the massive video board “one of the anchors that made this stadium what this stadium is.”
“Until you stand here and see a human being dwarfed by it, I don’t think you really get the magnitude,” Slaven said.
He said the automaker is shooting some content for the board, which surrounds the opening of the retractable roof, with 360-degree cameras.
“When play stops and people look at the board and see some Mercedes-Benz, it’s going to be as entertaining, we hope, as the game itself,” Slaven said.
The stadium’s control room, from which the video boards will be programmed, is in operation.
The $1.5-billion-plus stadium is scheduled to open with a Falcons-Arizona Cardinals exhibition game Aug. 26.
Click here for full story from Thursday’s tour of Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
See new photo gallery here.
* * *
DON’T MISS …
The Falcons finished their mandatory mini-camp and off-season program Thursday. D. Orlando Ledbetter lists five things learned from the mini-camp.
A new hour-long documentary will air Saturday afternoon on NBC, recounting Ted Turner’s victory in the 1977 America’s Cup. See Rodney Ho’s story here.
Former Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, attempting a comeback with the Dodgers’ AAA farm team, was suspended for 80 games under baseball’s minor-league drug program. See David O’Brien’s story here.
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.