The highest seating capacity Mercedes-Benz of all time has just been announced, with room for 83,000. This particular Mercedes will be Atlanta’s new football stadium, home to the Falcons, as well as Atlanta’s soccer (the other kind of football) team, the United. That’s because Mercedes has just announced that it purchased the naming rights for the stadium, to be completed in 2017, although the specifics of the deal haven’t been made public. This comes just a few months after the automaker announced that Atlanta would be the new home of Mercedes-Benz USA, and apparently the Germans want their presence to be know in their new home town.

The stadium will be located downtown and be known simply as Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It is being built to be multipurpose, with two teams from different sports calling it home, and other sporting events using it from time to time. For example, the NCAA Men’s Final Four for 2020 is already slated to use the facility. Mercedes-Benz branding will be just about everywhere you look, from what the press release suggests, and it will be until at least 2042, the year that the naming agreement expires.
Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

It’s difficult to think of any kind of direct link between Mercedes-Benz and football, but in the world of paid naming rights, this certainly isn’t the strangest news you’ll ever read. The stadium does sound nice as well, as befitting the Mercedes name. It will have a retractable roof and a 360 degree HD video halo board. That feature is the first of its kind, and can be seen in the photos posted here.

Press Release

ATLANTA, GA – AMB Sports & Entertainment (AMBSE) today announced Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) will be the naming partner of the new Atlanta stadium, now officially named Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The agreement, which continues through 2042, includes official naming rights and other partnership benefits. The Mercedes-Benz brand will be prominent inside and outside the building, including on the roof; in plaza areas; on directional, on-field and tunnel signage; in club areas; in VIP parking and entrance areas; on the first-of-its-kind video halo board; and in additional areas.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Upon its completion in 2017, the world-class sports and entertainment facility will be home to the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. The multi-purpose stadium will also host other major sports and entertainment events, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four in 2020.

At a press conference announcing the partnership, Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United Owner Arthur Blank unveiled the newly-branded stadium model and spoke about the attributes that make Mercedes-Benz the ideal partner for the stadium project.

“Mercedes-Benz fits all of the criteria we set out in finding a naming rights partner,” said Blank. “Their name and reputation fit the iconic image of the building; they are committed to excellence in customer service and experience; their values mesh with those of the Falcons, Atlanta United and the rest of our businesses; and they are a company that embraces the communities in which they do business.”

The announcement comes following the July relocation of MBUSA’s corporate headquarters from their former setting in northern New Jersey to metro Atlanta.

“We chose Atlanta as the foundation for the future of our company – a place where our brand, our employees, their families and our culture can thrive and grow,” said Stephen Cannon, president and CEO of MBUSA. “This stadium is an opportunity to connect our brand to the promise and opportunity that this remarkable facility represents for Atlanta’s future.”

The press conference was also attended by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

“I’m confident that this partnership will enhance the long-term economic growth and success of both Atlanta and our state as a whole,” said Governor Deal. “I am proud to be a part of this effort to create jobs, allow us to more successfully compete for world-class sports and entertainment events and draw even more visitors to support our thriving tourism industry.”Currently under construction in Atlanta’s downtown tourist and entertainment district, Mercedes-Benz Stadium represents the latest in design and features for a multi-purpose venue.

Central to the building design is utilization of natural light, with an exterior skin made of ETFE panels and a retractable roof inspired by the oculus in the ancient Roman Pantheon. The stadium will also seek LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification at the highest level from the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Mercedes-Benz represents excellence, superior quality and performance. It is the perfect corporate partner to have naming rights for our new state-of-the-art Atlanta Falcons Stadium in the heart of downtown,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Atlanta continues to attract leading companies and venues that create well-paying jobs and boost tourism spending in our city. This partnership is another example of our growth as a world-class city and of our will to win.”

About Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The new home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, Mercedes-Benz stadium will open in spring 2017. The multi-purpose venue will feature flexible capacity that can expand to up to 83,000 seats; a retractable roof structure inspired by the oculus in the ancient Roman Pantheon; views of the Atlanta skyline; a 360-degree HD video halo board that, at nearly six stories tall and 1,100 linear feet in diameter, will be the largest in the NFL and the world; an exterior fan plaza that will provide fans with pre- and post-game entertainment; and a technology lounge offering a unique game-day experience full of media content and full game-day immersion.

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