Just down the street from the Atlanta University Center — home to Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark-Atlanta University — Mercedes-Benz and the Atlanta Falcons are preparing to open a $4 billion stadium for the 2018 NFL season. But the 1,264 beer taps and 4,000 solar panels that will fuel the new jewel of Atlanta’s downtown aren’t the most remarkable innovation of the Atlanta Falcons’ new home; it’s the odd decision to include a Chik-Fil-A.
Foodies know that Chik-Fil-A has always stood by its religious right to stay closed on Sundays. But even when you consider the nights that the new venue will be open for concerts and non-football events, is this really a wise investment for either side? The local news called it a “horror story,” which is dramatic, but for a young hungry kid walking through the stadium on a Sunday afternoon, that might be an accurate description.
Sure, we should be more concerned with how this giant pile of steel will impact the surrounding communities. The Mercedes-Benz stadium sits a mile and change from the same streets where Netflix’s Snow On Tha Bluffshot was shot. And the further you go into Atlanta’s west side from the stadium parking lot, the more cultural landmarks you will recognize from the Civil Rights Movement. As well as local businesses and residents who won’t benefit from the profits that promise to trickle down Atlanta’s streets in the coming decades.
At the end of the day, it’s all about the dollar. Zaxby’s is getting all that chicken its competition is leaving on the table by staying closed on Sundays. Just don’t be surprised if Chik-Fil-A bows to America’s only God and makes an exception to profit off of Super Bowl Sunday in 2019. If the pigskin can corrupt them into serving waffle fries on a Sunday, we could chalk it up as a win for everyone, no?