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Arthur Blank knows his 31-year-old quarterback, Matt Ryan, so well that the two men often text each other, but even he was surprised last night when he saw Ryan told Pro Football Talk that he'd like to still be playing at Tom Brady’s age of 39. “Matt never told me that, so it made my night.”
From the break of dawn until kickoff Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons faithful gathered under drizzly skies for a final tailgating sendoff for the Georgia Dome. Like all Falcons tailgates, the scene was a raucous melting pot—and one quintessentially Atlanta. But on this day, fans brimmed with bold predictions and high hopes for a team and city long deprived of Super Bowl moxie.
When Mercedes-Benz stadium opens next year, fans headed to Falcons and Atlanta United games can grab a slice of Antico pizza mid-game, feast on a Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q sandwich, or snack on a classic Varsity hot dog.
Estimates of the potential economic impact to the city vary wildly
“[Cheap concessions] are being considered charity: ‘We’re looking out for our fans,’” said J.C. Bradbury, a sports management professor at Kennesaw State. “But the reality is that the Falcons are a profit-maximizing company that wants to make money for the owner.”
The silence surrounding both sponsorship deals raises questions about an unavoidable reality of partnerships between government and professional sports franchises, which readily accept—and sometimes demand—taxpayer dollars to fund their for-profit enterprises, but sidestep the obligations of transparency accompanying traditional government projects.