For two decades the Atlanta Falcons have played the Georgia Dome, one of the few domed stadiums in the NFL. In 2011 the Falcons announced plans that they would begin exploring options of building a new stadium as ownership wants a new stadium that provides amenities that at newly constructed NFL stadiums. At a cost of $1.4 billion, the Falcons are teaming with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) to build a retractable roof stadium. In December 2012 the GWCCA board approved terms for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. The GWCCA will own the stadium, the Falcons and the NFL will operate the stadium under a 30-year agreement and contribute $800 million to $1 billion including any cost overruns towards stadium construction and the city of Atlanta and Fulton County will contribute $200 million through a hotel tax. In September 2013 the Falcons announced that their new stadium will be constructed south of the Georgia Dome. It will not only be the home of the Falcons, but the annual SEC Championship Game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and potential Final Four basketball games.
Construction of the Falcons new stadium began in April 2014 and will be completed in March 2017. From the outside, the stadium will be one of the most unique stadiums in sports. It will feature a retractable roof, inspired by the oculus in the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. When opened it will be in the shape of an oval and span 14.5 acres. The exterior walls of the facility will be constructed of translucent glass that will allow natural light into the stadium. Windows will open throughout the concourses and a large window in the east endzone will provide a view of the Atlanta skyline to truly make the bring the outdoors inside of pleasant days.
One of the most unique features will be the stadium’s halo board, the largest video board in the world. It will be nearly five stories tall and 1,100 feet in circumference, within the roof opening. The stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 70,000 including 180 luxury suites, 7,500 club seats and 16 touchdown suites, located on the field behind each end zone. In August 2015 the Falcons and Mercedes-Benz agreed to a naming-rights partnership that will run through 2042, thus the stadium will be named Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Not only will be the home to the Falcons, but the Atlanta United, a Major League Soccer team. It will host the 2018 College Football National Championship Game, the Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.