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

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