This month, the NFL will welcome a new addition to its facility landscape, as Mercedes-Benz Stadium is set to host its first regular season game for the Atlanta Falcons.
The stadium has received plenty of attention leading up to its opening, particularly from the technology side. The 360-degree halo board, which has roughly 62,000 square feet of LED, according to figures from Daktronics, could break new ground when it comes to video displays. Additionally, as was noted recently on sister site Soccer Stadium Digest, Mercedes-Benz Stadium features a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network that should be able to accommodate fans during highly-attended games.
For the Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been given a test run by hosting two pre-season games. Furthermore, the facility was used for two college football games over Labor Day weekend, and will make its MLS debut when Atlanta United FC hosts a home match on Sunday.
After opening the season on Sunday with a visit to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, the Falcons will return to Atlanta the following week to make their regular season debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. On September 17, the Falcons will host the Green Bay Packers in a Sunday night matchup that will receive national coverage on NBC.
While the debut of Mercedes-Benz Stadium—the only brand new stadium opening in the NFL this year—is one of the highlights on the schedule, there are some other facility developments to watch around the league this season, including:
- The Los Angeles Chargers’ debut at the StubHub Center on September 17
- Wembley Stadium will host games in weeks three (Jaguars vs. Ravens) and four (Dolphins vs. Saints)
- Twickenham Stadium’s turns at International Series matchups will come in weeks seven (Rams vs. Cardinals) and eight (Browns vs. Vikings)
- The Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots will meet at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca for a week 11 matchup
There will also be numerous debuts of NFL stadium renovations, thanks to the extensive list of teams that have undertaken upgrades at their facilities. Our own Jeff Goldberg previewed some of those changes last month, including the installation of new technology and premium seat offerings at many stadiums.
The regular season and postseason will of course lead to Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. Scheduled for February 4, this will be the first Super Bowl in Minneapolis since the Metrodome hosted Super Bowl XXVI in 1992.
Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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