The new Atlanta Falcons stadium is already going to be ridiculously amazing. The stadium, which will open before next season, it going to cost $1.5 billion, and will cost taxpayers $200 million. But it’s okay because part of the cost will cover a record breaking statue.
The Falcons’ new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, will have over 100 pieces of specially commissioned art work. Included in that? The largest statue of a bird every in the history of the entire world. Naturally, it’ll be a falcon.
It seems odd at first that Atlanta’s new stadium will be a museum as well. But according to Mike Egan, the senior VP and general counsel of Falcons owner Arthur M. Blank, a lot of fans loved the idea.
“But we did joint polling with SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), and we were both very surprised at how many fans had visited art institutions within a year prior to the time we were doing the polling. There was a high level of enthusiasm in the people we spoke to about art,” Egan said.
The Savannah College of Art and Design will help organize most of the artwork. To see if fans were interested in the idea at first, students went to tailgates at Falcons games with polls on iPads that showed different artwork that may appear at the new stadium. The students polled around 1,200 people.
“We almost hesitate to call it a stadium,” Egan said. “We think of it as an entertainment venue. The art experience ties in with the architecture of the building, and it’s all about creating an atmosphere that gets people off of their sofas, out from in front of their sixty-inch TVs, and excited and energized about coming into the building. We think art plays a huge roll in that.”
But let’s go back to this massive bird statue, you know, the biggest one in the world.
The falcon will sit in the front of the stadium and will be designed by Hungarian artist Gábor Miklós Szőke. It will be about 41.5 feet above the asphalt ground and have a wingspan of over 64 feet. As For The Win points out, that’s around the size of a four story building.
“It will be produced in Budapest,” Szőke said, “and then there will be 40-foot containers which will ship the structural elements to Atlanta. It will go through installation at the stadium, and will take two months. By the end of it, over 100 people will have worked on the falcon.”
Keep in mind the stadium will also be shared with the MLS team Atlanta United, and as a result, Studio Roso of London will be designing and building a 53-foot-high soccer ball.
“This ties very much into the way Arthur and this organization thinks about our fans,” Egan said. “He wanted something where the art would be part of the experience of everyone in the building, not just the people buying the most expensive seats.”
The massive falcon, soccer ball, and art gallery will very quickly be seen by all of the United States and the world. The 2019 Super Bowl, 2020 NCAA Final Four, and 2018 College Football Playoff Championship game are all scheduled to be held at the new stadium.