The Atlanta Falcons new stadium will feature some enormous pieces of art work, including the world’s largest falcon. Who doesn’t love fine art and football?
The Atlanta Falcon’s new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will cost taxpayers $200 million, is set to unveil in 2017. In addition to retractable ceilings, fans now have a metal bird the size of an apartment complex to look forward to. However, this is no ordinary falcon; this will be the largest bird statue in the world. The bird will be featured on the main plaza facing the city skyline.
Who is behind the construction of the world’s largest bird statue? The man who has been behind much of the stadium’s design: Hungarian artist Gábor Miklós Szőke. The falcon will be 41.5 feet tall with a 64-foot wingspan, and made of stainless steel, bronze and concrete.
If the idea of combining fine art and football seems a little odd, make no mistake – this is all the work of the fans. According to reports, over 1,000 fans were surveyed at Falcons games in 2015, and most were in favor of displaying art in the new stadium.
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But the record-breaking falcon isn’t the only piece of art that will be displayed at the new stadium. Another statue is what FOXSports’ Dan Carson refers to as a “giant, many-sided ball-thingy,” and that’s basically what it is. According to the Atlanta Falcons, it’s actually a “mirror-faceted soccer ball standing almost 35 feet high.” The addition of the soccer ball will help to represent and support Atlanta United FC, who will also be utilizing the stadium.
Many are calling these ginormous statues “stupid” and “ridiculous, but are they really? Ticket sales are expected to increase now that this means more than just football. According to Mike Egan, who is the senior vice president and general counsel of Arthur Blank, it is indeed much more than football.
"“We almost hesitate to call it a stadium. 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.” – Mike Egan"
If nothing else, approaching the Atlanta Falcons stadium to find a 41.5-foot falcon towering over you could serve as a source of intimidation for the away team and fans.