Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an under-construction retractable-roof, multi-purpose stadium
in Atlanta, Georgia, that will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL) and Atlanta United FC of Major League Soccer (MLS). It is intended to replace the Georgia Dome, which has been the Falcons base since 1992. The new stadium was first reported in May 2010, with a projected opening in time for the 2017 NFL
season. The total cost is estimated at $1.4 billion.
The winning design, submitted by HOK, featured an eight-panel retractable roof that resembles a pinwheel, and a glass wall that opens with the roof, to allow in fresh air.
The roof design included eight triangular translucent panels, that when open would create the illusion of a birds wings extended. Surrounding the opening of the roof would be a halo video board that will enclose the playing surface, stretching from one of the 10 yard lines to the other and then curving around the end zones to complete the oval.
In January 2015, the Falcons announced the hiring of Daktronics, a South Dakota-based firm, to build the stadium's electronics display. The announced features include a circular 58-foot-by-1,100-foot circular LED board that would ring the opening of the stadium's roof, and would be "three times as large as the current largest single display board in the NFL" installed at EverBank Field in Jacksonville (also built by Daktronics). In addition, the company plans to install more than 20,000 square feet of other LED boards, including field-level advertising boards for soccer games.
The venue will include a 100-yard bar that will stretch the length of the football field in the upper concourse, along with a fantasy football lounge and premium club seating at field level, behind the teams benches.
Architect Bill Johnson said the circular opening in the roof was inspired by the Roman Pantheon ("Pantheon" was also the working name for the building design). The roof was designed to be made of a clear, lightweight polymer material that can adjust its opacity to control light, and much of the exterior will be clear polymer or glass to allow views to the outside. The middle concourse and upper bowl were eliminated in the east end zone to allow for an unobstructed view of the Atlanta skyline.
Atlanta United FC General Manager Jim Smith said the design had "soccer in mind from the very beginning", pointing to the retracting lower bowl seats to widen the field, and mechanized curtains that limit the capacity to about 29,000 and makes the stadium feel more intimate.
In December 2014, the Georgia World Congress Center's board of governors approved a resolution to raise the cost of the stadium to $1.2 billion. The stadium was initially slated to cost $1 billion, then rose to $1.2 billion in October 2013.
The city has agreed to contribute $200 million in stadium bonds, but with additional tax revenues and with the state of Georgia contributing $40 million for parking expansion, public spending is expected to reach near $600 million.
In January 2015, the Falcons announced the sale of personal seat licenses (PSL) costing up to $45,000 per seat, depending on the section of the stadium. The most expensive tickets will be priced at $385 per game, in addition to one-time PSL fees, for the first three years.
On August 21, 2015, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Mercedes-Benz would acquire the naming rights for the stadium, and this was later confirmed by a press conference at the stadium site on August 24. Under the stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Falcons organization controls the stadium's naming rights and receives all related revenue. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon stated that the sponsorship would last 27 years, calling it the largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz' history, but Cannon would not disclose the full value of the deal.
On November 4, 2015, it was announced that the 2018 College Football National Championship Game would be held at the stadium, beating out Houston, Miami, and Santa Clara. (via WikiPedia