Mercedes-Benz Stadium - Peach Bowl
Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.71
Mercedes-Benz Stadium 1 AMB Dr Atlanta, GA 30313
Year Opened: 2017
Bowling at the Benz
Atlanta’s Peach Bowl observed its 50th Anniversary in 2018, making it the ninth oldest bowl game in college football history. Since its beginnings in 1968, the bowl game has been played in each of the city’s major football stadiums; Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, the old Georgia Dome, and the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The game began as a charity game sponsored by the Georgia Lions Club for their Lighthouse for the Blind program. In its early days the game basically featured a regional matchup between teams from the ACC and the SEC. As the bowl grew, the Lions Club felt that its part-time/volunteer structure could not manage the program sufficiently. In 1997, Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta-based food chain became the title sponsor for the game. This began a rapid ascension of the Peach Bowl to the upper echelons of the elite bowls.
In 2013, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl was chosen as one of six bowls to host the semifinals and finals of the new College Football Playoff System. On December 31, 2016 the bowl hosted its first ever College Football Championship semifinal game, a thriller between the University of Washington and the University of Alabama. This was one of the last football games played in the Georgia Dome before the move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium next door.
Food & Beverage 5
Fans attending the Peach Bowl will be thrilled with the variety of foods available and the low prices for these items. This is due to the stadium’s Fan First Experience. The principles of this experience are 1) provide food at prices a family of four can afford, 2) provide the best selection of foods Atlanta has to offer, and 3) make sure the concessions experience is as hassle-free as possible.
A sampling of prices under the program includes Coca-Cola sodas ($2, with unlimited refills), water, hot dogs, pretzels, and popcorn are also priced at $2. Pizza, nachos, and waffle fries are priced at $3. The most expensive item on the Fan First menu is $5 for a 12 ounce domestic beer.
The process at the 673 concession points is as hassle-free as possible. All transactions are in full dollar amounts which simplifies the change making process and the beverage stations are self-serve away from the sales counter. This really minimizes the time spent at the concession stands.
One of best ways to create a great atmosphere at a game is to put a quality product on the field. By their good records and being selected to play in a bowl, both teams fill this requirement.
A second way to create a great experience is through watching the game in a quality environment. When you enter Mercedes-Benz Stadium, you will immediate know you are in a football venue like no other. The first thing you will notice is the 360-degree Halo Board over midfield. It features 63,000 square feet of video screen and is more than 58 feet tall. You will never miss a play watching the world’s largest scoreboard.
Attending a bowl game often offers an opportunity to catch up with old friends from other cities that attended your alma mater. Mercedes-Benz Stadium offers multiple meetup points within the stadium. A favorite place to meet is in the plaza in front of the Window on the City or one of the sky bridges above it.
We hope the game you attend is exciting and close. No matter what the outcome you’ll return home talking about the stadium of the future.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is located at the epicenter of Atlanta’s tourism area. This area includes the Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Georgia Aquarium. One “must do” when in town for the game is a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame, located just two blocks from the stadium. Several Peach Bowl-related activities will take place at the HOF during Bowl Week. Since Bowl Week is the week between Christmas and New Years Day, try to come into town a few days early to enjoy all the sites.
Now that you are hungry, here are some restaurant suggestions close to Merges-Benz Stadium. These include STATS sports bar, McCormick and Schmick’s, and Taco Mac. For those on a budget there is a food court in the CNN Center with plenty of fast food options.
More than likely if you are coming to the Peach Bowl you may be on a travel package. If not, two hotels within walking distance of the stadium are the Omni Hotel and the Embassy Suites at Centennial Park.
In most cases, fans traveling to a bowl game from any distance are already going to be fired up about their team’s successful season. What we want to do is make you aware of activities prior to the game where you can show your support for your team. The Peach Bowl Parade takes place the day before the game along Atlanta’s famed Peachtree Street. It will feature the marching bands from the two teams, as well as their cheer squads.
The second major fan event is the FanFest, which takes place in the Georgia World Congress Center, a convention center located adjacent to the stadium. This event starts a day prior to the game and runs through the morning of the game. The FanFest includes pep rallies for each team, interactive games, face painting in your team colors, and the chance to meet some elite former college football stars at the autograph booths. This is also the best place to stock up on game-related merchandise.
Anyone who has ventured to Atlanta knows that traffic is a major issue any time of year. If you decide to drive to the stadium, we suggest that you purchase your parking ticket well in advance. You can also utilize the WAZE app to get game day traffic info and suggestions for alternate routes to the stadium.
Personally, we suggest you leave the driving to someone else. Mercedes-Benz Stadium partners closely with the ride service Uber. The most cost-efficient option is to take the MARTA rail system to the GWCC/Mercedes-Benz Stadium station. The rail system extends out into the Atlanta suburbs where lodging may be cheaper, and takes you directly to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Return on Investment 3
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has a 20 year record of selling out, so you are probably looking at the secondary ticket market. The Fans First experience will really help to keep your food expenses at the game at a very reasonable level. Lodging near the stadium tends to be pricey for special events. You can save a great deal of money by staying at a suburban hotel near a MARTA station and riding the train directly to the stadium.
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl has stayed true to its charitable roots. To date, more than $22 million has been donated from game proceeds to area charities. These charities include educational support for the Atlanta City Schools, a charity chosen by each head coach participating in the game, as well as the Georgia Lighthouse for the Blind, the original beneficiary of the game.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium hosted the National Championship game in 2018. The Peach Bowl is played every year, with the Championship games being played a week later.
Mercedes Benz Stadium will be hosting four major sports events over the next five years. These include the 2018 National Football Championship Game, the Super Bowl (2019), and the NCAA Final Four (2020).
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the greenest stadium on earth as it has earned platinum LEED certification. The stadium features more than 4,000 solar panels and a several million-gallon cistern that catches rainwater for recycling.