With today’s news that Atlanta United will play home games at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium until Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens, lots of questions are being asked.
I’m going to attempt to answer as many as I can. Email them to me at Droberson@ajc.com, or ask them in the comments section below.
Q: Will season-ticket holders who paid to see a minimum of 17 home games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium receive a partial refund now that some games will be played elsewhere?
A: From Atlanta United:
“Once the MLS schedule is released, and we know how many games will be held at Bobby Dodd Stadium, we will work with fans on a solution if they are still unhappy. We’re working through the logistics for fans who are impacted by a change in amenities and we’ll develop a fair resolution.”
Q: If you selected a seat at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where will the corresponding seat be at Bobby Dodd Stadium?
A: The team will work with supporters to have a comparable seating assignment. The team is going to reach out to the affected ticket-purchasers.
Q: Where will the supporter’s section be at Bobby Dodd Stadium?
A: That’s being determined.
Q: If the artificial turf on the visitor’s side of the field run right up to the brick walls — the grass and turf streteches on are 72 1/3 yards wide total — will the playing surface reach the minimum of 70 yards wide? You don’t want players running into the walls.
A: The field will meet the MLS requirements.
I’m curious how they will fit a coaches’ box, bench and training area in what amounts to the concrete strip that runs down the home (west) side, right against the brick wall. I assume that they will be on the west side of the stadium. I’m guessing that the training area will be behind the goal line, the team benches may be moved into the seating area in the middle of the field on the west side, and that the coaches’ box will be on the concrete strip. It sounds like it hasn’t been determined. The problem with putting the team benches in the seating area is there’s not a gate or way to directly get from the seating area to the field. There is a gate near the end of the field. I know because when we cover football games at Georgia Tech we go through that gate to get to the visitor’s press conferences in the south end of the stadium. There are ways to roll a small staircase that would enable people to go from the seats to the middle of the field.
Q: Some people - for example those with young children, older family members, disabled, etc - may have made purchasing decisions based on Mercede-sBenz’s environment. What does those team plan tell those folks when they’re standing in the rain or extreme heat with their toddlers, elderly, wheelchair-bound family, etc?
A: From the team:
“Bobby Dodd is wheelchair compliant and in line with ADA requirements. As far as the weather is concerned, we have discussed contingency plans to combat all possible elements, as needed. Bobby Dodd Stadium, like all but one other MLS stadium, is open-air and at the subject of inclement weather.”
Q: Will there be cognitive dissonance to see people cheering for a team wearing red and black at Bobby Dodd?
A: That’s actually really funny.
Q: Will concessions have the same food/price options?
A: To be determined. The team is going to work with their concessionaire to determine best food/drink options. It is a different vendor than at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Q: Will the team put on a full celebration of the first game held in Bobby Dodd, or hold that for the first in the Benz?
A: AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon said in a conference call on Wednesday that they are excited to have two home openers. I’m guessing that means that there will be something planned.
Q: Will alcohol be served in Bobby Dodd for the MLS games? I assume so, since they do for concerts.
Q: Will Atlanta United become the first soccer team to run the triple option?
A: Also really funny.
Q: Is there an irony that Georgia Tech doesn’t have a men’s soccer team?