Source: Amy Wenk, Atlanta Business Chronicle
Nine years in the making, the more than $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadiumwill become one of Atlanta’s most stunning architectural landmarks.
When it opens Aug. 26, the posh new home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United will boast a host of firsts for the city and country.
It has the largest 360-degree video halo board in the world. The most complex retractable roof. The largest bird sculpture ever. Food and beverage options that blow away other stadiums.
And its design is sure to wow. There’s a massive window that overlooks the Atlanta skyline. Lavish clubs that players will run through onto the field. Suites with incredible sight lines.
But, it represents much more for Atlanta.
“This is most impactful catalyst for growth that downtown has seen since the Olympics,” said William Pate, president and CEO of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Not even open yet, the stadium has already lured a successful soccer team to the city — Atlanta United, a club that now leads Major League Soccer in average attendance and is looking like a solid playoff contender.
It’s landed three big-name sporting events: the College Football Playoff National Championship in 2018, the Super Bowl in 2019, and the Final Four in 2020. Atlanta is also now a potential host city for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
The stadium has also helped spark a development renaissance in downtown. Billions of dollars worth of new projects are now planned around it. For example, Newport US RE is on an acquisition spree, picking up dozens of south downtown properties for a sweeping redevelopment that would link Underground Atlanta to the new stadium.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank has also made it his personal quest to uplift the Westside neighborhoods surrounding the stadium, including English Avenue and Vine City. He’s contributed more than $20 million to the cause.
Also the Westside Future Fund, a public-private initiative, is working to uplift neighborhood residents and direct new investment into the community.
Read the complete article at the link above.