Mercedes Benz Stadium | WABE 90.1 FM

Mercedes Benz Stadium

John Bazemore / Associated Press

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

John Bazemore / Associated Press

 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium opens Saturday for its first Atlanta Falcons game. And there’s a lot of excitement around the new sports venue and its state-of-the-art design.

 

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But in the nearby neighborhoods, where Falcons owner Arthur Blank has promised to invest $22 million, the feelings are more mixed.

Melodii Peoples, for example, is a skeptic.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

Matt Ryan can serve as a tour guide when the Atlanta Falcons have their first practice at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Friday.

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It will be the first time most players have been inside the $1.5 billion facility and will be the team's only sneak peek before the stadium opens with Saturday's preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Todd Kirkland / associated press

The Atlanta United soccer team had its first practice at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend. Its first game there is coming up in just weeks.

 

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With an average of more than 46,000 fans turning out for home games, Atlanta United topped the league in average attendance this year.

"It's very hard to even get a ticket now," Kennesaw State University economist J.C. Bradbury said.

Stephannie Stokes / WABE

The Atlanta Falcons will be playing in their new home in a little more than a week. As a sports venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium already boasts a lot of superlatives.

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Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Group, an Arthur Blank Family business, said encircling the stadium's ceiling is the largest video board in the world: 58 feet tall and 1,100 feet around.

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