An Atlanta Falcons fan website has give a big thumbs-up to the team’s new stadium after it hosted its first game on Saturday – a preseason encounter against Arizona Cardinals.
David Walker blogs that the first thing he noticed was that the security lines were much more efficient that at the old Georgia Dome, “My wife and I arrived early (gates opened at 5PM) but the crowds were already pretty significant. However, we made it through security quickly and with little hassle,” he writes. “Once through, we were in the “landing pad” in front of the stadium, where the giant statue resides. Even with the thousands of people there, the area never felt crowded or claustrophobic as it did at the Dome.
“Once we made it inside, the sheer number of people in the initial landing area was overwhelming. Despite that, moving around the stadium was not hard at all. I can’t emphasise enough that there is so much more space to move around compared to the Dome.”
He talks about how the stadium is a “cool enough experience” even without a game, and that it was “mission accomplished”.
“The food options are endless, the stadium is easily the best food court in all of Atlanta. There were only a few places where the crowds really bottle necked, but overall it was still relatively easy to move around.
“As for the seating, it’s obvious the seats are larger than they used to be and pretty comfortable overall. The Halo Board is an incredible sight, and was maybe a little too bright at times. You could almost feel the heat of the light on your skin. We often found ourselves watching the game on the board instead of watching it on the field. It’s an impressive display.”
He concludes by saying that leaving Mercedes-Benz stadium was not bad at all, “In the Dome, the crowds would get so thick that you would be shoulder-to-shoulder and moving inches at a time to get out. While it was still pretty crowded at the new stadium, it was much easier to move around and move quickly. The amount of space they’ve added to walking areas is quite noticeable.”
However the blog did highlight “a few downsides”, he says, “The audio quality was pretty poor overall, but I’ve read that it will be addressed before the season begins. Additionally, I also read that many vendors ran out of food, which will likely improve over time as they do a better job anticipating what kind of demand they’ll see.”