President & CEO
alcons President and CEO, Rich
McKay, has been a fixture in the
National Football League for more
than 30 years. One of the League’s most
influential executives, McKay is entering
his 16th season with the Atlanta Falcons.
During McKay’s tenure, the Falcons have
been to the playoffs seven times, been to
three NFC Championship games and participated
in Super Bowl LI. McKay was hired
by Owner and Chairman Arthur M. Blank in
2004 and served his first four years as the team’s general manager. He was promoted to
president and chief executive officer in 2011. That same year, national columnist and creator
of Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB), Peter King, named McKay number 10 out of the 100
most influential people in the NFL.
McKay was the point person in the negotiation, development, and building of Mercedes-Benz
Stadium, a process that began in earnest in 2008. Working closely with Blank, the city of Atlanta,
the state of Georgia, and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, McKay helped to secure
approval and financing for Mercedes-Benz Stadium and created a true public-private partnership.
The club broke ground on Mercedes-Benz Stadium on May 19, 2014, and it was completed
in August of 2017 and serves as the home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. He is the only
executive to have led two successful stadium negotiations (Atlanta and Tampa Bay). In April of
2014, McKay was named President of AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) which oversees the
Falcons, Atlanta United and MercedesBenz Stadium.
McKay has served as a member of the NFL’s Competition Committee for the past 26 years,
which is longer than any member has ever served. He has been co-chairman and then chairman
for the past 22 years (co-chairman 1998-2011 and chairman 2011-current). The eight-member
committee is comprised of NFL head coaches and League executives who study the game and
recommend rule changes and modifications to ensure player safety while promoting competitiveness.
The Competition Committee has recommended and passed over fifty (50) player safety
rules changes since 2002. In addition to his commitment to advancing the game, McKay has
been involved in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements with the National Football
League Players Association and was highly involved in the negotiations that led to the current
multi-year collective bargaining agreement signed in 2011.
Prior to joining the Falcons, McKay spent 10 years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, serving
as general manager. While serving as general manager for Tampa Bay (1994-2003) and Atlanta
(2004-2008), McKay was the architect of a Super Bowl winning team (Super Bowl XXXVII) as
well as six teams that reached the playoffs and three that advanced to the NFC Championship
game. During his 15 seasons in the General Manager role, his teams compiled an overall record
of 112-96 with a playoff record of 6-5. As a GM, McKay worked with three different NFL head
coaches who have guided their respective teams to NFC Championship games – Tony Dungy in
1999 with Tampa Bay, Jon Gruden in 2002 with Tampa Bay and Jim Mora in 2004 with Atlanta.
McKay’s personnel scouting acumen was a successful formula which produced 59 players
that played in the Pro Bowl during his time as an NFL General Manager. McKay showed his eye
for talent when he drafted eight players in the 1997 draft class that went on to play a combined
1,175 games, with 772 starts over their careers. Those players helped contribute to Tampa Bay’s
ATLANTA FALCONS YEARBOOK 2019