The shortcomings of Atlanta are too numerous to fully inventory here.
The traffic is stifling. The food is bland. And their football team blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
But the grandees at Mercedes-Benz have decided they prefer Atlanta’s modern-as-tomorrow football stadium over our historic Superdome. So they will be scratching their name off the dome’s roof when the automaker’s marketing agreement expires next year.
Mercedes makes a fine car, but when it comes to picking a football stadium, they are out of their league.
The Superdome has hosted seven Super Bowls, the Rolling Stones and Pope John Paul II. Under its 10-acre roof, Tulane played an undefeated season, Michael Jordan won a national championship for North Carolina, George Bush said “no new taxes” and Roberto Duran said “no mas.”
Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium is three years old. It has hosted a Super Bowl, but it is most famous for the inability of the builders to get the pinwheel roof to work correctly. Still, Louisianians will remember it fondly because Joe Burrow and the Tigers scored 100 points there in December, while humiliating Georgia and Oklahoma on the way to a national championship.
Call us nostalgic, but we miss the days when stadiums were named for local standouts, and Tom Benson’s name sure would look nice on the Superdome. But these days, everything is for sale, so another corporate giant will surely pay good money to have its name painted atop what the late, legendary Times-Picayune sports scribe Peter Finney once called the giant mushroom on Poydras Street.