You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

LEADOFF: Busy opening month set for Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early report on Atlanta sports.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, scheduled to open Aug. 26, has a busy first month lined up.

Eleven sports events are slated to be played in the new downtown stadium by Sept. 27.

That includes a six-game homestand by Atlanta United, which on Wednesday announced some schedule revisions, as well as two Falcons preseason games, one Falcons regular-season game and two major college-football games.

The Falcons’ Aug. 26 preseason game against Arizona is scheduled to be the first event in the $1.5 billion stadium, followed five days later by another Falcons preseason game vs. Jacksonville.

Then come two Chick-fil-A Kickoff college football games: Alabama vs. Florida State on Sept. 2 and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4, both nationally televised.

And on Sept. 10, Atlanta United will play in its new home stadium for the first time, facing Dallas in a game that will be shown nationally on FS1.

Atlanta United also has matches in the stadium Sept. 13 and Sept. 16 before the Falcons play their Sept. 17 regular-season home opener against Green Bay on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

Falcons and Atlanta United parent company AMB Group announced last month that the stadium’s opening would be delayed for a third time, this one pushing back the opening date from July 30.

Here’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s schedule of sports events for roughly its first month:

Aug. 26: Falcons vs. Arizona (preseason)

Aug. 31: Falcons vs. Jacksonville (preseason)

Sept. 2: Alabama vs. Florida State in Chick-fil-A Kickoff

Sept. 4: Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee in Chick-fil-A Kickoff

Sept. 10: Atlanta United vs. Dallas

Sept. 13: Atlanta United vs. New England

Sept. 16: Atlanta United vs. Orlando

Sept. 17: Falcons vs. Green Bay

Sept. 20: Atlanta United vs. LA Galaxy

Sept. 23: Atlanta United vs. Montreal

Sept. 27: Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia

* * *


David O’Brien’s report on the hand/wrist injury suffered by Freddie Freeman when he was hit by a pitch Wednesday night at SunTrust Park

Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz on Freeman’s injury

Chip Towers’ report on the controversy swirling around UGA’s tennis programs as the NCAA tournament opens in Athens

Ken Sugiura’s report on former Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas’ new position with the New Orleans Saints

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Tight ends

The Falcons are passing the baton at tight end from Jacob Tamme to second-year tight end Austin Hooper, who was selected in the third -round of the 2016 draft. “He had a real good rookie year, especially for not being here for OTAs,” tight ends coach Wade Harman said. “He had to catch up starting at training camp. It was a long year...
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide Receivers
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Wide Receivers

This is the third of a 10-part, position-by-position series analyzing the Falcons’ roster after their offseason program. Coming Thursday: Tight ends. When the Falcons report for training camp on July 26, two-time All-Pro Julio Jones will return from offseason foot surgery. Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel and potentially Justin Hardy should form...
Concern for Floyd after his second concussion lasted two months
Concern for Floyd after his second concussion lasted two months

Former Georgia standout Leonard Floyd, who’s from Eastman, suffered two concussions during his rookie season and told the Chicago media after a recent minicamp practice that it took two months to recover from the second concussion. Ross Tucker and Booger McFarland, both former NFL players, working on Sirius NFL Radio were alarmed by the revelation...
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running Backs
Atlanta Falcons 90-man roster analysis: Running Backs

Running back Devonta Freeman is set to make $1.838 million in 2017, but would like a contract extension. The team is not expecting any issues despite rumblings from Freeman’s representation that surfaced at the Super Bowl. While the Falcons hope to continue the blend of Freeman and Coleman, the did draft running back Brian Hill in the fifth round...
Matt Ryan stars in Gatorade’s new campaign ‘Make Defeat Your Fuel’
Matt Ryan stars in Gatorade’s new campaign ‘Make Defeat Your Fuel’

Sometimes greatness is preceded by failure. In Gatorade’s new campaign spot, “Make Defeat Your Fuel” released Tuesday (video above), iconic professional athletes including Michael Jordan, Peyton and Eli Manning and Serena Williams reveal their greatest failures which ultimately became fuel for their greatest victories....
More Stories