Mercedes-Benze Stadium Info and Advice
Keep in mind that since there are a ton of Georgia fans in and around the Atlanta area, expect driving and parking to be a challenge. Also, you will experience the weekday Atlanta rush hour traffic along with the event gridlock. It’s bad even when there isn’t a national championship game in town.
This leads to the most important overriding tip for having fun…
Keep Calm and Manage Your Expectations!
Expect the worst from traffic, parking, the weather, unruly fans, waiting in line, etc. etc. If you’re mentally prepared, you’ll be less likely to lose your patience and act aggressively and resist the impulse to get on Yelp, Trip Advisor, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and rant. Rest assured, plenty of people will beat you to it and you really won’t feel any better.
Also, the game time weather forecast at the time of publishing for Atlanta on January 8, 2018, is 36º with freezing rain. Please factor this in when you are planning your departure time, choice of clothing and outerwear. Even though the game is indoors, you still have to be outside at some point. The forecast is likely to change at game time, but don’t assume it will be better.
If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, avoid the last-minute scramble for seats by purchasing them from Event Ticket Center’s secure secondary market.
Tip 1. MARTA is Smarta
Parking at a local MARTA Station and taking the train to MBS is a good option to avoid Atlanta’s notoriously bad traffic. MARTA, a city-wide rail and bus system, provides two stops at the doorstep of the stadium. A ticket is just $2.50 each way (plus a one-time Breeze Card purchase of $2. Please note that the preferred station for arrival and departure is the GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center Station. This station will drop you off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s front door.
Tip 2. Waze is your best parking lot co-pilot
For the best turn-by-turn directions to these lots, use the Waze App. Just type in the name of the lot into Waze.
Tip 3. Parking Passes
It is recommended that you purchase a parking pass ahead of time for the best lots. Event Tickets Center has parking passes available.
Tip 4. To Tailgate or Not to Tailgate
Keep in mind that not all lots allow tailgating. See our previous article on Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a complete list of lots that allow it.
Tip 5. The better the seat, the better the experience
This is your Captain Obvious tip, but you really should buy the best seats you can in the lower levels to have the best overall experience. Fans have taken to the review sites to complain about issues related to sitting in the higher levels. This is especially true for Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
There are primarily three issues:
- Exiting the stadium can take longer than expected
- Stairs are steeper than lower level and slightly harder to manage
- Views to the halo video board can be obstructed
Tip 6. Beer sales
One of the best features of the new MBS is the new fan-friendly food and beverage pricing where you can get a Bud for $5. Pretty cool. Keep in mind, though that beer sales are cut off as soon as the 3rd quarter kickoff. It doesn’t matter if you are in line, sales of beer are over once “toe meets leather.” Because lines can be long at some of the stands, make sure you get in line for that last beer early.
Tip 7. Dining
The much-hyped restaurant named after Arthur Blank’s mother, Molly Blank, is semi-private and membership-driven. It was reported by Atlanta Magazine that there will be no more than 150 memberships. "Membership" means that the restaurant is for members only from two and a half hours before Falcon’s games up until the end of the first quarter. The space is closed during the second quarter, and re-opens at halftime for anyone with a ticket, where it offers “small plates.” When this happens, members will have a “fast-entry” lane to avoid long lines. Membership certainly has its privileges. Also, keep in mind that Molly B’s is the only place you can get beer once the 3rd quarter begins.
Tip 8. Fountain drink heaven
Refills are free!
Tip 9. Bathroom access after all your free refills
Depending on the event and the concourse, keep in mind that there are a lot of people needing to use the restrooms. Long wait times have been reported. Another issue that will surely be addressed by AMB is that the bathroom exits and entrances share the same door.
Tip 10. Getting out of Dodge
It’s not unusual to have crowd congestion in a stadium that holds over 70,000 fans, but early reviews point out that the number of exits and locations has exacerbated the issue (AMB has promised to address the issue). As a result, it is our recommendation that if exiting the stadium quickly is an issue for you, you have 3 options:
- Leave the event early to beat the crowd. This might get your fan card revoked, but if it’s important, it’s an option.
- Buy a ticket at the lower levels. Because exit access is closer to the lower level seats, buying a ticket there will get you out faster.
- Sit back, relax and let the crowd dissipate before you leave. Take photos, post on your social media accounts or just chill.