Sitting directly next to the old Georgia Dome (scheduled for implosion on Nov. 20, 2017) is Atlanta's newest downtown monument, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The multi-purpose stadium has a futuristic, modern design that resembles more of a European soccer stadium than the typical NFL stadium architecture. Its design includes a circular screen, known as the halo board, and a retractable roof that looks like a Falcons wing; besides the sweet design, the roof allows the Falcons to play open-air games in Atlanta − something they haven't done in 25 years.
The NFL's newest stadium, however, has a lot more to offer than watching sporting events and a Chick-fil-A that isn't open on Sundays (it's open for college football games and other events).
Here are the top 5 ways you can enjoy this downtown mecca without going to a game:
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium tour isn't only for the die-hard Falcons and Atlanta United fans; it's also for those who want to awe in the architecture, explore the attractions and technology and view the curated art. The guided tours will offer guests an insider's view of the world-class sports and entertainment venue. Tour stops include the Atlanta Falcons and United locker rooms, the Window to the City Skybridge, 100 Yard Club, and most exciting, some playing time on the field.
Daily public tours of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will officially launch on Saturday, September 30.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 470-341-4500.
Garth Brooks, 5-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winner, broke barriers for country music and is now breaking the barriers of typical venue experience by playing the first-ever Mercedes-Benz Stadium concert. The concert, which sold out in 67 minutes, features his wife Trisha Yearwood and will allow Brooks to play all sides of the stadium.
There are still plenty of tickets available through resale here -- prices start at $65.
7:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28. $28-$54. Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 1414 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 470-341-4500.
Could you imagine a sporting event without marching band tunes? It's not possible. Marching band music is essential for pumping crowds up not only on game day, but for other social events and parades. Music for All, since 1993, has held the Bands of America Atlanta Super Regional marching band competition at the Georgia Dome, continuing this year at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Thirty-one high school bands are currently scheduled to compete from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Texas. Don't miss out on this celebration of music education at its finest.
Ticketing and schedule information is available online at musicforall.org or by calling 800-848-2263. Tickets will also be available at the gate.
The video screens aren't the only things huge in the new stadium. Out on the "front porch" there is a 41-foot tall (wingspan of 70 feet) bronze falcon statue. It weighs more than 36 tons, making it the largest bird statue in the world − take that, Guinness World Records. The falcon was designed by Gábor Miklós Szőke and shipped by boat from his home in Hungary. It's hard to miss the gigantic-ness of the statue, but it's only one of 180 pieces of art commissioned by the stadium. Be sure to check out the others.
Just in: you can now enjoy a lunch at the stadium’s premier restaurant Molly B’s without attending an event. Brought to you by chef Michael Bertozzi, the menu includs freshly carved bone in prime rib and a killer six-cheese mac and cheese. When you happen to make it to Mercedes-Benz for an event, you’ll have plenty to rah-rah about, too. Every level completes a full circle, so you can sample (or dive all the way in) food and drink from numerous vendors. The stadium offers "fan-first" pricing for every single item at every event, making it the most affordable food in professional sports. The soft drinks even have free refills at self-service stations so you don't have to wait in line. Whether you dig into an incredible chicken sandwich from Kevin Gillespie's Gamechanger or indulge in fan favorite nachos, it's sure to be an experience that even "foodies" will enjoy.
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