How Much Did It Cost To Build Mercedes Benz Stadium?
- Joe Thomas
Caesars Superdome refers to the New Orleans stadium formerly known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. See Mercedes-Benz Arena for other venues with a similar name.
|A view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium from Centennial Olympic Park|
|Mercedes-Benz Stadium Location in Atlanta Show map of Atlanta Show map of Metro Atlanta Show map of Georgia Show map of the United States Show all|
|Former names||New Atlanta Stadium (Planning/construction)|
|Address||1 AMB Drive Northwest|
|Coordinates||33°45′20″N 84°24′00″W / 33.75556°N 84.40000°W Coordinates : 33°45′20″N 84°24′00″W / 33.75556°N 84.40000°W|
|Public transit||MARTA Green Line Blue Line at Vine City GWCC/CNN Center|
|Owner||Georgia World Congress Center Authority|
|Operator||AMB Sports and Entertainment Group|
|Capacity||American Football : 71,000 (Expandable to 75,000) Soccer : 42,500 (Expandable to 71,000, standing room to at least 73,019)|
|Record attendance||American Football: 78,347 ( 2019 Peach Bowl, December 28, 2019) Soccer: 73,019 ( 2018 MLS Cup, December 8, 2018)|
|Field size||American Football: 120 yd × 53.333 yd (109.7 m × 48.8 m) Soccer : 115 yd × 75 yd (105 m × 69 m)|
|Broke ground||May 19, 2014|
|Opened||August 26, 2017|
|Construction cost||US$ 1.6 billion (Projected)|
|Architect||HOK tvsdesign Goode Van Slyke Stanley Beaman & Sears|
|Project manager||Darden & Company|
|Structural engineer||BuroHappold Engineering /Hoberman|
|General contractor||HHRM JV (Comprising Hunt Construction Group, Holder Construction, H.J. Russell & Co. & C.D. Moody Construction Co.)|
|Atlanta Falcons ( NFL ) ( 2017 –present) Atlanta United FC ( MLS ) ( 2017 –present) Peach Bowl ( NCAA ) ( 2017 –present) SEC Championship Game ( NCAA ) ( 2017 –present) Celebration Bowl ( NCAA ) ( 2017 –present) Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game ( NCAA ) (2017–present)|
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a multipurpose venue in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It replaced the Georgia Dome in August 2017 and serves as the home stadium of the National Football League’s (NFL) Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United FC (MLS).
- The Georgia World Congress Center Authority owns the stadium, which is operated by AMB Group, the parent company of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.
- Its overall building cost was anticipated to be $1.6 billion in June 2016.
- The retractable roof mechanism was not complete when the stadium debuted on August 26, 2017, for a preseason game between the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals.
After the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a number of events, including the SEC football championship game and the Peach Bowl, were relocated from the Georgia Dome. In 2018, it hosted the College Football Playoff National Championship and the MLS Cup (with home field advantage for Atlanta United), and in 2019, it hosted Super Bowl LIII.
What was the cost to construct Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
The amount was between $1.75 and $1.8 billion. The always-mentioned figure of $1.5 billion represented the real cost of construction for the stadium.
This is named after his mother, who passed away at the age of 58 in 2007 due to complications following plastic surgery. My mum taught me believe in myself, as Kanye West told Time. What is the most important aspect of magic? No one believes it to be feasible.
- They assisted me.
- I was pushed by them.
- They did not intend for me to be in a box.
- Greg Bluestein: And Kanye West, like many other musicians, has a method for album development.
- He enjoys the back-and-forth of crowd reaction and the way in which the audience determines what works and what doesn’t.
- The fact that he hosted a sold-out listening party in front of 40,000 admirers at Mercedes-Benz a few weeks ago was thus not particularly surprising.
Steve Fennessy: Kanye. He has Atlanta origins, correct? Greg Bluestein: Yeah. His father was a photographer for the AJC. There are still Atlanta Journal-Constitution employees who knew him and have things to tell about him. Therefore, it was extremely important to Kanye’s life.
Donda West, Kanye’s mother, was a professor for 31 years until quitting the industry in 2004 to assist launch her son’s career. In the early 1970s, she began teaching at Morris Brown, one of Atlanta’s historically black universities, with a PhD in English instruction from Auburn. She is an English instructor.
So deeply rooted in the community of Atlanta. And he also has a vast fan base – I mean, how many musicians can say they sold out a listening party in downtown Atlanta during the fourth wave of a pandemic on a weekday? Fourty thousand people attended, so it must have been expensive, right? Some of the tickets cost upwards of hundreds of dollars, and the secondary markets were flooded with extremely costly tickets.
This only demonstrates the degree of his popularity in Atlanta. Steve Fennessy: Greg, did you go? Greg Bluestein: No. Honestly, I did not have that on my radar. If I had known I would be writing the article, I could have requested my employers to comp me a ticket and pay for it, but I did not go. Steve Fennessy: So then, there were the Mercedes-Benz listening parties.
In addition, rehearsals were held next door at the Georgia World Congress Center. There were currently two listening parties. During this time, he has been essentially secluded inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.11Alive: Kanye West sold full Mercedes-Benz Stadium for an album listening party four days ago.
- However, Kanye has allegedly not departed.
- Anye West is temporarily residing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to CBS46.
- His next album Donda, which was initially scheduled to be released the following day, was previewed during a listening session on Thursday night.
- But it’s not out quite yet.
- Greg Bluestein: Afterwards, Kanye West himself released a photo of his Mercedes-Benz accommodations.
It was a temporary living space with a twin bed, a television, and not much more; it was quite bare. However, people would observe him roaming the stadium. And one of my buddies shared a photo of him attending an Atlanta United match. Steve Fennessy: I’ve seen images of this because it appears to be Kanye, but we can’t be certain because he has something on his head.
Greg Bluestein: It looks like pantyhose. Yeah. He is strolling about. You are entirely correct. He is wearing the same bright red leather two-piece he wore previously, along with black gloves. In addition, his crew also wears masks over their faces. However, he is wearing a full face mask that covers his eyes, nose, and everything else.11 Alive: Saturday, the artist even made an appearance at the Atlanta United game.
Observer: Kanye! Kanye!
- Greg Bluestein: Imagine, though, going up to the Atlanta United game and seeing Kanye West in your seats.
- Steve Fennessy: Kanye, you are sitting on my chair.
- Greg Bluestein: Absolutely.
Steve Fennessy: Because I read that when the Columbus Crew MLS club came to play Atlanta United — and this was the game when Kanye was spotted roaming around — they were not permitted to enter the opposing team’s locker room. They were forced to relocate that squad since Kanye was placed there.
Greg Bluestein: I couldn’t confirm that, but it appeared like even the Columbus Crew’s players were speaking on background, i.e., not for attribution, but they were informing sports writers nevertheless. Therefore, this became a sports and entertainment narrative about the fact that United’s opponents had to relocate their locker room.
Steve Fennessy: What can you tell us about the situation at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Kanye West has been camping? Greg Bluestein: Well, I can tell that they already had a rather full calendar with several activities scheduled. There are United games and a Falcons practice.
- Additionally, private parties were arranged for conventions next door.
- The surprise presence of Kanye West and the fact that he would also hold a party necessitated several last-minute changes to the stadiums’ logistical plans.
- Steve Fennessy: Which they are likely to do because he will attract 40,000 individuals who will spend money.
Consequently, this equals more money for the stadium, correct? Greg Bluestein: It’s unknown how much additional revenue the stadium gained from Kanye West. Stadium authorities declined to comment, but state officials stated they believe Kanye’s concert generated seven figures, or around one million dollars, for the venue.
- Steve Fennessy: A massive concert that was not a real concert in the sense that they did not need to set up all of the necessary equipment for a live performance.
- Greg Bluestone: Correct.
- It was an abridged version of a massive concert.
- Again, according to CBS46, West has a chef, living space, and recording studio within Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Steve Fennessy: Obviously, Kanye’s late arrival necessitated rearranging events not just at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but also at Georgia World Congress Center. These conventions, you know, are its bread and butter. In order to attract future customers who may choose to conduct an event there, they must thus be concerned about the disruptive nature of Kanye’s performance.
- Greg Bluestone: I can imagine that.
- I believed that – that may be off-putting.
- And the materials did not go into excessive detail.
- However, one of the gatherings was for the International Association of Venue Managers.
- Therefore, you would expect venue managers to have an understanding of and a unique perspective on last-minute venue navigation.
And they were planned to hold a huge party at Mercedes-Benz the night of Kanye’s second viewing party, but they had to relocate it. According to the emails, they were given complimentary suites to attend the listening party. However, there were several emails requesting alternative locations, such as the College Football Hall of Fame or the Georgia Aquarium.
Fortunately for the World Congress Center, it seemed as if their large meeting was being organized by receptive individuals. Steve Fennessy: Naturally, Arthur Blank constructed Mercedes-Benz Stadium. What is the operational arrangement between the Georgia World Congress Center and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, given that they are not fully independent and distinct? Greg Bluestein: It was erected on state property.
I believe it is reasonable to say that theoretically, the state owns the facility surrounding the stadium, but it is managed by a private entity, Mercedes-Benz. Therefore, they are permitted to sign contracts and do business. In contrast, directly next door is one of the largest convention centers in the country, administered by a massive state agency that is also arranging its event schedule, which is just beginning to fill up again.
- Steve Fennessy: Since they are a state agency.
- Because they are a state agency protected by the Georgia Open Records Act, Greg Bluestein.
- Steve Fennessy: The Georgia World Congress Center’s expenditures on events, wages, and such items can be tracked down to the tiniest detail, whereas a Mercedes-Benz cannot be tracked in the same manner.
- Greg Bluestein: This is why we can find hundreds of documents referencing Kanye West after only two weeks of inquiry, but none mentioning Mercedes.
Steve Fennessy: Greg, one thing that struck me about these two weeks when Kanye “checked in” to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was how huge of a story this became, not only in the entertainment industry, but also in cultural circles. As if this were a significant thing on a national scale.
- Greg Bluestein: Yeah.
- It was so strange that Kanye West shared a hotel room with United and Falcons players for two weeks, right? Even with our own tiny portion of it at the AJC, my editors laughed as I described the story to them.
- They stated, “We’ll receive more clicks from this story than we did from covering the runoffs earlier this year, the governor’s response, and all the other items we typically cover.” Because I cover the state government, I had the thought, “I wonder whether this would turn up anything.” Consequently, I reasoned, “We’ll see what happens; might as well try.” And I assumed there may be around 50 documents in the past.
I was surprised to receive back thousands of documents, which I then perused. Typically, these requests for records do not produce anything. Possibly comparable to a few sentences in a tale, a tidbit is something you file away. In this instance, though, it was something else.
Steve Fennessy: Greg Bluestein’s inquiry exposes further information on the inner workings of the Georgia World Congress Center and the state’s convention sector. Today is Georgia Day. I’m Steve Fennessy. You are hearing Georgia Today. I’m Steve Fennessy. Greg Bluestein from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is here with me.
What jumped out among the many materials you were reviewing? Greg Bluestein: How intriguing and difficult it is to just provide enough protection for a dress rehearsal. Kanye West requested an unique drape at the eleventh hour, prompting the drapery firm to rush an order.
Consequently, just a great deal of drama. But what caught my attention was a subject line buried deep within the file. The subject line had three lines from a sales representative called Kim Allison: “Kanye has not paid.” “They have not signed, issued insurance, or paid anything. Therefore, our building is secured until this situation changes and we get all signed documents and cash.
Oh fun.” So, only a few hours before the big event, the venue was closed down because Kanye West’s family had not paid the state what they owed. And what did they owe the state, asks Steve Fennessy. Greg Bluestein: It was several hundred thousand dollars.
The full contract for the August 4 rehearsal was $218,780. It was a lot of fun reading through these paperwork to discover how many state employees and others were practically requesting tickets. An executive assistant of one of the administrators at the Georgia World Congress Center has sent an email stating, in essence, the following: “Hey, may I — may I pass by? Would I get into trouble if I peered inside?” Steve Fennessy: Can you set up a man? Greg Bluestein: The World Congress Center is governed by a board of around a dozen influential corporate and political players in Georgia, and many of them immediately emailed their primary connections at the state authority and said, “Hey, would you be opening the suite for this event?” Consequently, they were given some tickets, which is the standard procedure for those seated at the table.
You get access to suites, tickets, and such items. Steve Fennessy: Therefore, there is nothing improper or immoral about it? That’s standard procedure? Greg Bluestein: It is standard procedure. Sitting on the board is, therefore, one of the greater advantages of state government employment in general.
- How long did Kanye West remain at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Steve Fennessy?
- Greg Bluestein: We are aware of around two weeks.
- Steve Fennessy: Do we know what he did while he was in these cinderblock chambers at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium basement?
- Greg Bluestein: I suppose we will discover the answer when we hear the CD.
GMA: “Please welcome Dr. Donda West.” It’s the moment millions of fans have been waiting for: Kanye West coming back into the spotlight to introduce his newest album, Donda, to a sold-out Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. It’s been a two-year break since his last album.
- The expectation just grew and reached a frantic climax to where we’re like, “OK, we need something and we need it now.” Greg Bluestein: All that loneliness, you know, with the occasional United game thrown in between provided him some time to work on his songs and work on his act.
- Steve Fennessy: So that 200-plus thousand dollars that he owes the Georgia World Congress Center, I presume it was paid? Greg Bluestein: Yeah, I was able to at least acquire a background source within the state agency that indicated, sure, he ended up paying.
I noticed all sorts of emails where the agency personnel are trying to figure out who on Kanye West’s team was the was the correct contact to pay off these obligations. I actually tried out to some of them as well, because their telephones were in the records and they did not react to me, but not for want of trying.
- But I was — I asked another question, too, which is basically, “Did you get paid and would you do this again?” I received a “yes” for the “We ended up getting compensated,” but I got a “no response” on would the state authority invite West again for another rehearsal.
- But I think in that situation, the documents spoke for themselves.
The executive director of the organization, Frank Poe, answered my query in an email discussion the day before the performance. He requested one of his most trusted deputies, “How can we resolve this situation?” The deputy replied, “Greater than 40 to 50 percent net,” which is rather good for a presentation of that nature.
- And Poe responded with a single word: “Great.” Steve Fennessy: It is also essential to emphasize, as you have, that this is occurring during a pandemic.
- Consequently, these huge occurrences have been infrequent.
- Therefore, when anything like this occurs, it will attract a large number of people.
- It’s hard to say no.
Greg Bluestein: It was a large event at a major location. And it is at a period of uncertainty. WESH-TV: Conventions came to a crashing end when big gatherings were outlawed at the outset of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, a devastating blow for an industry that had an economic effect of more than $100 billion in the United States in 2019.
While certain states are beginning to reopen, it is unknown when we will once again be able to accommodate thousands of people in one location. Greg Bluestein: It was intriguing to go through these letters since some of them asked venue staff members questions “The city has a mask regulation, but the state does not.
Therefore, what does this entail for the World Congress Center? Are our guests required to wear masks?” There is still much ambiguity. And by the way, the answer to all of this may be found in a state building: there is no mask requirement. However, agency officials said masks can be required if desired.
And Georgia is only beginning to see an increase in conventions. During those two weeks, this was a national news item, not only in Atlanta, according to Steve Fennessy. And this is publicity that cannot be purchased. Greg Bluestein: Yeah, and you can’t purchase it, especially during a period when the calendar is less busy than normal, right? We are still experiencing a pandemic.
A devastating fourth wave has arrived. There are fewer reservations. There are fewer occurrences. There are fewer individuals attending the activities they host. As a result, Mercedes-Benz was thrust into the national limelight as an entertainment destination.
Steve Fennessy: AJC reporter Greg Bluestein has my gratitude. This week, Kanye West’s listening party continues in Chicago. Kanye’s concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field contained COVID-19 safety standards, but there were no vaccine requirements for concertgoers. ABC7CHICAGO has learned, however, that immunizations will be available at one of the event’s gates, and that Soldier Field and the city have collaborated to deliver more than 1,500 vaccinations to individuals who have not yet had the vaccine.
In addition, they will aid in scheduling a second dosage at a later time. Steve Fennessy: Visit GPB.org for more Georgia Today content. I’m Steve Fennessy. Georgia Public Broadcasting is the producer of the program Georgia Today. Subscribe to our podcast wherever podcasts are available.
Is Mercedes-Benz Stadium profitable?
Forbes has issued its annual list of the most expensive National Football League clubs, and once again, the Dallas Cowboys hold the top place with an estimated value of $5 billion. The Patriots rank second with a worth of $3.8 billion. It is the twelfth straight year that Forbes has placed the Cowboys as the league’s most valuable franchise.
- According to the news website, they are the first professional sports team to reach $5 billion in revenue.
- Forbes reports that the valuation of the Atlanta Falcons, owned by billionaire The Home Depot Inc.
- NYSE: HD) co-founder Arthur Blank, increased by 5% during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
- Last season, the team made $451 million in revenue and $113 million in operating profitability.
(See the image gallery above for a peek at Forbes’ top 15 teams.) Forbes said that the Falcons’ first season in the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium was a success, with local NFL revenue increasing by 70 percent. Forbes wrote: “The team made headlines for its inexpensive snacks, like as $2 hot dogs, $2 sodas, and $5 beers, but fans loved it, arrived at the stadium sooner, and spent more money despite pricing that were 50 percent cheaper than the previous year.” “The team further reduced concession costs for 2018.
In order to purchase seats, season ticket holders were required to spend as much as $45,000 for personal seat permits. This action generated goodwill among season ticket holders. Some $200 million from bonds backed by Atlanta hotel-motel tax revenue is going toward construction of the stadium, and another $700 million from the same tax will go toward financing, operating, and maintaining the stadium over the next 30 years.
Therefore, giving a little back to the faithful could go a long way.”