new-falcon-stadiumThe Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium officially got its name today: Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced, as expected, that Mercedes-Benz, a corporate newcomer to metro Atlanta, has bought the naming rights to the $1.4 billion stadium under construction downtown.

“We could not be prouder to put ‘Mercedes-Benz’ on our stadium,” Blank said.

Blank and Mercedes-Benz USA President and CEO Steve Cannon said the naming-rights deal will run for 27 years but would not disclose financial terms. Cannon called it the largest marketing deal in Mercedes-Benz history.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons players Matt Ryan and Julio Jones attended the announcement, held at the Falcons’ stadium preview center off Northside Parkway.
Mercedes-Benz, a German luxury automaker, announced plans in January to move its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to metro Atlanta. The company is temporarily housed in an office park in Dunwoody and plans to build a new headquarters campus in Sandy Springs near Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road.

Mercedes’ name on the Atlanta stadium will create an unusual situation because the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons’ division rival in the NFC South, already have the automaker’s name on their stadium: the Mercedes-Benz Super-dome.
The company also has its name on an arena in Shanghai, China.
The Falcons have been shopping the stadium naming rights since last year. Team officials have said they expected the name to fetch a price at the upper end of such deals in the NFL.
The largest NFL naming rights deals are the New York Giants’ and Jets’ agreement with insurance giant MetLife for a reported $17 million to $20 million per year on the teams’ shared stadium and the Dallas Cowboys’ agreement with AT&T for a reported $17 million to $19 million per year.
Under terms of the Falcons’ stadium deal with the city of Atlanta and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, a state agency, the team controls the sale of naming rights and retains the revenue received. Neither government entity has approval rights over the naming-rights deal.
The new stadium – under construction next to the Georgia Dome and slated to open in 2017 — also will be home to a Major League Soccer expansion franchise, named Atlanta United FC, and numerous other events.