Home to the world’s most forward-thinking and spectacular stadium? Check. Home of former MLS Cup champions? Check. Scene of one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history? Check. The sporting pedigree of Atlanta, nestled in the southern US state of Georgia, is unquestionable. Away from the bright lights of New York, LA and Miami, Atlanta is a modern city determined to make its mark on the world’s sporting map…

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The Mercedes-Benz Stadium is home to the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons and MLS champions Atlanta United.
  • Costing an estimated $1.6bn (USD), the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a modern marvel of stadium engineering. Home to both the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and the MLS' Atlanta United, it has previously been named the Sports Facility of Year at the Business Awards. That though, doesn’t even begin to tell the story of the 77,000 capacity venue. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium has transformed the match-going fan experience in a country famed for just that. Award-winning food and drink, including free refills for non-alcoholic drinks; the Window to the City and a a unique retractable roof allows natural light to pour into the arena; and there are over 30% more bathroom facilities for women compared to the now-flattened Georgia Dome. However, the pièce de résistance is the Halo Board – a 360-degree, 63,000 square foot HD video screen that towers over the playing surface. It goes without saying that it’s the biggest on the planet, and wowed the world during the iconic Super Bowl. UCFB and GIS students and alumni are in for a treat.
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The Halo Board is a 360-degree, 63,000 square foot HD video screen that towers over the playing surface.
  • One of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s main tenants is Atlanta United FC. Managed by Mexican legend Gonzalo Pineda, and led off the field by former Tottenham Hotspur director Darren Eales, United won their first, and only, MLS Cup in 2018 just four years after they were founded. The club are famed for marrying the American match-going experience with the traditional European approach. It’s perhaps this unique blend that has seen the club secure the highest average matchday attendance in the 2022 MLS season, with an average of over 46,000 per game, more than most English Premier League clubs.
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Atlanta United won their first MLS Cup in 2018.
  • The soccer club may currently be enjoying success, but their American Football counterparts – the Falcons – are still waiting for that elusive first Super Bowl title; 2017 looked to be the year. After winning the NFC Conference in an emotional final ever game at the Georgia Dome, thumping the Green Bay Packers 44-21, the Falcons were leading the New England Patriots 28-9 going into the final quarter of Super Bowl LI. Step forward Tom Brady and 25 unanswered points later. Not even super fan Samuel L. Jackson could stop the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, and the Falcons haven't reached another final since...
  • The 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta were the last to be held in the US, and there won’t be another in the country until Los Angeles plays host in 2028. The centennial event saw boxing legend Muhammad Ali light the torch during the opening ceremony, and helped transform the city as part of its legacy. The Centennial Olympic Stadium has since become the Georgia State Stadium and is home to the Georgia State University Panthers football team, while the Olympic Village has been used as university accommodation.
GIS global hubs

New York’s Red Bull Arena, Atlanta’s brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Toronto FC’s BMO Field and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) play host to the Global Institute of Sport hubs, enabling students and graduates to enhance their knowledge and expertise of the international sports industry.

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Global Insight Series

The Global Insight Series is a thought leadership series, exclusively collated and made available for all UCFB & GIS on-campus and online students. The series provides unprecedented access to our elite sports network.

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