The Fan Zone - A Mercedes-Benz Stadium Tour
A month ago I had the amazing opportunity to tour the new Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. I knew that I’d like it but I never thought I would have such a fun time and meet the best tour guides ever.
And we did have three super great tour guides. They really knew their stuff. As we toured we kept running into employees that would tell us fun facts about the stadium. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. I honestly wanted to grab a application on the way out.
The tour began with a look at the field from the entry level. If you have never looked at an empty football field from the stands, it can be pretty impressive. When there are very few people around you and all of the game day hub bub isn’t going on, you can get pretty awestruck at the actual size of the field and the amount of seats available. I’ve heard the stats that the stadium can expand to seat 83,000 people but when you get a look at all of those seats, it’s jaw dropping.
I walked through what I call, ‘The Hall of Stats’. It’s a long hallway covered in turf, mimicking the football field. Each pillar either has a stadium fact or a player photo and their stats. The lighting caused a terrible glare on each player but if you look closely, Julio Jones’ eyes follow you through the hall. Honestly! It’s spooky.
The tour takes you through the Falcons’ and Atlanta United’s owner, Arthur Blank’s suite in the stadium. It’s several floors high and super fancy. He has a personal chef, personal bar and a three level box that he can watch the game from. Snazzy.
We toured both the Falcons and Atlanta United locker rooms. I know it’s just a locker room and we’ve seen them on television but, when it’s empty (and not as smelly) you get to see where each of the guys stores their stuff during the game. You also get a feel of the camaraderie that the teammates have. A personal guide in each locker room gave us game day “secrets” and showed us the area where interviews are held. Then we walked through the hallway to the tunnel where the teams walk on to the field.
We saw the retractable roof (it was closed) and found out that it’s actually supposed to look like extended bird’s wings. I’m not sure if that was pulled off but I do know that if you look straight through the roof (from a helicopter I’d suppose) you can see the painted on falcon that’s in the center of the field.
One of the great benefits at the stadium is that the concession prices are pretty reasonable. It’s not unheard of to go to sporting events and pay twenty bucks for a hot dog, chips and a drink. I’ve gone to a game at the Mercedes-Benz stadium and had a burger, lots of yummy fries and a large drink for $11! That’s a steal at a game stadium!
There is also a very yummy restaurant on the main level called Molly B’s. It’s named after Arthur Blank’s mother. The food is slightly above bar cuisine and priced inline with your sports bars that you’d typically watch a game from.
Side bar, I saw this fantastic seat and thought, “Man! What a view of the game!” I asked our delightful waitress if you had to do something special to sit here. She said you had to get there early and eat $50 worth of food per person, per hour, plus the cost of admission. So, for $400 plus tickets, you and your fella can watch the game in style. Not bad but I think I’ll just watch from my seat in the stands!
If your local team offers stadium tours, you should definitely take them up on it. It’s a fun time with the family or with the girls or even with your hunny. Who knows, you might enjoy the tour more than he will! I know that I had a GREAT time!