Since the announcement of the construction of Mercedes Benz Stadium, Whitney Williams has been one of the project’s most ardent supporters.
Williams, a native to Alpharetta and Georgia Tech graduate, is an assistant project manager at Darden & Company, LLC, overseeing the construction and every aspect of the new build. Williams has seen the entire progression of the stadium since it was only a concept. “Mercedes Benz Stadium signifies growth,” Williams says. “Atlanta is such a thriving city and it’s really starting to take on its own identity and feel. The new stadium is only going to push that to new limits.”
Arthur Blank recruited top leaders to bring about a world class stadium that surpasses many others. Scott Jenkins, general manager of Mercedes Benz Stadium, also oversees much of the construction. Under his supervision, a retractable roof is being installed, a roof so grand that it requires the largest crane in the world. A 58-foot-high, 360-degree, high-definition halo board complements the largest video board in the world to be centered above the arena. The stadium comes equipped with the most advanced LED lighting that will not only illuminate the interior but the exterior of the stadium so that the entire city knows when our team scores. Innovative technology will grant everyone free Wi-Fi, helping eliminate bad service. And to top it off, our stadium is one of the most eco-friendly superstructures in sports history. Rainwater collection facilities and solar panels that power electric vehicles outside the stadium will help reduce energy use by as much as 50 percent.
“Mercedes Benz Stadium really makes this city an attraction,” Whitney points out. “It’s helped lock down the Final Four, the Super Bowl, and many other major sporting events. People are starting to take notice.”
Concessions will be a major part of the fan experience, as a result of much surveying and research. Mike Gomes was recruited from Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts to help build the “Game-Changing Fan Experience.” As the senior vice president of the Fan Experience at AMB Sports and Entertainment Group, Mike focuses on reducing fans’ wait time by increasing concession sales locations, adding self-service soda fountains, and incorporating whole dollar pricing.
Whitney is eager to see how this city transforms in the next 10 to 20 years. “The city of Atlanta will be one of the best, and a large part of that will be because of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If we want those world class events, we need a world class venue. Mercedes Benz Stadium is that.”
Does Atlanta need a new stadium? Atlanta needs a quarterback that’s unafraid to step out the pocket. Atlanta needs better fourth quarters and Atlanta needs to do something about the awful traffic. But Atlanta also needs to grow and push the limits to improve, and there is no doubt Mercedes Benz Stadium will hope bring about that change. It has already begun.