stage in a way that will show incredibly well, Goodell said. “As it related to when we are going
to come back, as you know they’ve become more competitive for cities to host the Super Bowl,
which we think that is great.”
On top of Super Bowl LIII, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has attracted several marquee events to the
city of Atlanta, such as the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, the 2020 NCAA
Final Four and many other events, including the CFP National Semifinal of the College Football
Playoff, Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Games, SEC Championship Game and the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
“The Super Bowl 19 years ago not only didn’t have our stadium, but it didn’t have the National
Center for Human Rights Museum, didn’t have the Aquarium, didn’t have the College Football Hall
of Fame, didn’t have the Children’s Museum, didn’t have the World of Coke,” Blank said. “Those all
speak to what Atlanta has done to earn every national event we’ve had. So it’s not just about the
Super Bowl. It’s about the college national championship game we had last year, Super Bowl this
year, Final Four next year. That has nothing to do with me. It has to do with Atlanta, and it has to
do with the commitments that many people have made to this city.”
The Falcons officially opened Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a 34-23 win over the Green Bay
Packers on NBC’s Sunday Night Football in Week 2 of the 2017 season. The club would go on to
post a 5-3 record at home in its first season at MBS, setting a franchise record for attendance
with 554,119 fans passing through the building during 2 its inaugural season.
Blank’s imaginative approach to the stadium experience has truly created the finest sports
and entertainment facility in the world. Using the core values his businesses are founded on
as guiding principles, Blank listened to what fans desired most and responded with a fan first,
world-class experience in the heart of downtown Atlanta.
In 2018, Sports Business Journal named the Mercedes-Benz Stadium Food & Beverage
Experience the Sports Breakthrough of the Year. The innovative approach to pricing, quality,
value, and selection helped move the Falcons from 18th in the league in 2016 to 1st in the NFL in
2017 for food and beverage. MBS also ranked 1st in Major League Soccer over the same period.
Although Blank’s original vision to create a fan first pricing menu was originally seen as a crazy
idea, the results have been tremendous and a game-changer in the sports and entertainment
industry. In 2019, Blank and his staff continued to listen to fans feedback and cut the prices on
stadium food down even further to become even more affordable.
“Arthur Blank repeatedly challenges us to find innovative ways to further improve operations
across our businesses,” said AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon. “As we’ve always said, it is incumbent
on us to listen and respond to our fans and we’ve heard that value, quality, and speed of service
are incredibly important; therefore, we’ve again made operational adjustments that address each
of these areas.”
The innovation continues in 2019 as Mercedes-Benz Stadium became the first NFL or MLS
stadium to go cashless, speeding up transactions and shortening waits at concession stands
and merchandise shops.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE & IMPROVING LIVES
Starting with The Home Depot and continuing with his current businesses – the Falcons, PGA
TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, West Creek Ranch, Atlanta United and The Arthur M.
Blank Family Foundation – Blank’s business and personal values underscore the importance of
giving back and becoming part of the community.
During his 23 years with The Home Depot, the company donated more than $113 million to
communities, and Home Depot associates provided hundreds of thousands of hours of personal
ATLANTA FALCONS YEARBOOK 2019