The good people with Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons (yes, I put United before the Falcons), gave us good and wise media folks a tour of $1.5 billion stadium on Tuesday. There's no truth that, like a car, the stadium devalued as soon as it was used, though it may get knocked down a hunny thou or so just because of the quality of the tour's clientele.
Anyway, I took a few thousand photos that I tweeted out as we walked around rocking our yellow hard
hats, safety googles and neon vests. We looked kind of like Minions, except we were fatter and not as smart.
Before I show you the best photos ever taken with an I-phone of totally stationary items, here are a few cool facts about the stadium:
- The roof, once fully automatically operational, will take 12 minutes to open or close.
- There is a "secret" door into the office of Atlanta United's manager, so that the other team's manager can come over and say hello without having to go through Atlanta United's locker room.
- There are four locker rooms: one for the Five Stripes, one for the Falcons, one for visiting football team and an auxiliary locker room. No other team will use the Atlanta United's or the Falcons' digs.
- Grass can be put down on top of the turf in the stadium. That's important because World Cups are played on grass and Atlanta United President Darren Eales said he wants Mercedes-Benz Stadium to be front and center in any of the U.S. World Cup plans.
- The tunnel that Atlanta United's players and the visitors will walk through to get to the field bisects a Delta club. It looks amazing.
- The curtains that will cover the upper deck are supposed to arrive today (Tuesday). They will be branded with Atlanta United logos.
- If you cut the halo board in half and unrolled it, it would be taller than the Bank of America building. There's a $3 transaction fee for attempting that, though.
- The capacity in the press box is 323. We were mistakenly told 325. Still...
- There are 1,800 wireless points and 4,000 miles of fiber in the stadium. 71,000 people can stream currently.
- The food for the media was amazing: ice cream bar, Delia's chicken sausage, roast beef, creamed spinach, baked chicken, salad bar (hardly used), cookies, etc.
On to the photos: