Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium (MBS) has further enhanced its event portfolio by agreeing a five-year deal with Georgia Tech for the college’s American football team to play an annual home game at the venue.
The deal will commence in 2020 with a game against Notre Dame on November 14. While dates and opponents have yet to be determined for the 2021 and 2023 games, 2022’s clash will see Georgia Tech take on Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on September 5. The final game under the deal will also feature Notre Dame on October 19, 2024.
Located less than one mile from Georgia Tech’s Midtown Atlanta campus, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is no stranger to hosting college sport showpieces. MBS hosted the 2018 College Football Playoff championship game and will be the site of the 2020 NCAA Final Four, with Georgia Tech serving as the host institution for the basketball event. Georgia Tech also took on Tennessee in an American football game at the stadium in 2017.
Georgia Tech cited six main reasons behind the deal with AMB Sports & Entertainment, operator of MBS. By playing in the Southeast’s most-recognisable sports venue, Georgia Tech said it can further establish itself as a major part of the Atlanta sports landscape.
Georgia Tech said it also wants to offer its fans a one-of-a-kind gameday experience that exceeds the abilities of the 55,000-capacity Bobby Dodd Stadium in terms of technology, audio/visual displays, variety of concessions options and premium seating. The college also sees the ability to play at MBS as a major selling point to recruits for its football programme.
Georgia Tech will also receive enhanced national exposure. The college joins 10 other Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Southeastern Conference (ACC) teams that are scheduled to play games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium through 2024, but will be the only college guaranteed an annual game during this time.
AMB Sports & Entertainment also operates the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United. Georgia Tech said the deal presents opportunities for joint marketing and sales initiatives between the organisations.
Finally, based on conservative ticket sales estimates, as well as a financial guarantee to participate in the 2022 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Georgia Tech expects a significant revenue lift over the five years of the contract.
Todd Stansbury, Georgia Tech director of athletics, said: “An annual series at Mercedes-Benz Stadium helps us meet several objectives for the future of our program, including further establishing ourselves as a premier brand in the Atlanta sports culture, giving our student-athletes the opportunity to perform in one of the NFL’s top stadiums and providing our fans with an ultra-modern gameday experience.”
Image: Georgia Tech