Replacing the Georgia Dome, the multi-purpose Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in August of 2017. It cost Atlanta over a billion dollars, pennies compared to some of the newer constructed stadiums. Giving a personal rank of the Mercedes-Benz will be against two control groups. Once against all stadiums and again against only the recently constructed ones.
When approaching the immense structure, the largest freestanding bird structure in the world is the first thing you see. The falcon, perched atop a 13-foot tall bronze football, is 41 feet high with a wingspan of 70 feet. The over 73,000 pounds of artwork stands in front of the stadium and as tall as a four-story building. The stadium’s signature feature is its retractable roof, which features a “pinwheel” consisting of eight translucent, triangular panels.
Below the roof is the “Halo,” a 58-by-1,100-foot, ring-shaped video board around its rim. It also includes features specific for college football use. It opened with two oversized locker rooms, each capable of housing 100 players, reflecting the much larger size of college football rosters compared to those of the NFL. The stadium also has a soccer-specific configuration. In that setup, retractable lower-bowl seats widen the field and mechanized curtains limit the capacity to about 42,500.
It truly is a marvel, but I haven’t mentioned my favorite feature of the stadium. Possibly the greatest amenity of any professional stadium is the field-level bar at Mercedes-Benz, where you are in spitting distance of the benches. It is called the “100 Yard Club”, featuring a concession and gathering area with more bars and couches than people in the upper concourse.
Where Mercedes-Benz Ranks
There really aren’t too many stadiums in the NFL that are as event-fluid as Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz. Comparing it to every NFL stadium would warrant a Top-10 ranking from me personally. Historic fields like Lambeau, Arrowhead, and Soldier are higher on my list because of the great games played at each. You have stadiums like SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas that are the most recently constructed.
The Falcons would be in the conversation for the sixth, seventh, or eighth-best stadium among all the NFL. In no particular order, Lambeau, Arrowhead, Soldier Field, SoFi, Allegiant, CenturyLink Field, AT&T Stadium, and Mercedes-Benz are my top fields of the entire NFL. Of the newly constructed stadiums, there are only two better, in my opinion — SoFi and Allegiant Stadium.
The Falcons might not be one of the best teams in the NFL, but Mercedes-Benz Stadium is one of the best places to watch an NFL game in the entire world.