In an extensive interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Falcons CEO Rich McKay details how the relationship works amongst the various companies Arthur Blank oversees.
Not only the CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, McKay is the President of AMB Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the Falcons, Atlanta United, as well as the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Here are the key Atlanta United takeaways from the interview.
In regards to the construction completion date, McKay offers a positive outlook for fans of United. Typically the Major League Soccer season opens in March, so hopefully the club can play its first match immediately at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, without needing a brief, temporary home.
I think it is on time. We said spring of 2017. I think we feel comfortable we can get to the spring of ‘17. I think there is a lot of work to be done, but I think we are comfortable with the timing.
As to the stadium costs, McKay indicates AMBSE does not anticipate additional costs.
We’re still in the range that we have said publicly that we were in. We’re very comfortable with where the stadium is right now. We have a lot of work to be done. All of the concrete is complete and poured. The superstructure is in place. Steel will be lifted and placed as we speak if you can get the weather to calm down for the next couple of days. We are very comfortable with where it is.
McKay addresses how the Falcons have helped onboard Atlanta United by offering guidance and sharing resources.
It’s been a very good relationship. We have shared a lot with them and been able to utilize a lot of our assets with respect to tickets, with respect to marketing -- you name it, we’ve shared it with them. They’ve hired some extremely competent people. When you look at Darren [Eales] who is running the business, when you look at Ann Rodriguez, who is helping run the marketing side of it, when you look at Carlos [Bocanegra] who is on the technical side of it, you’ve hired three very high powered, very qualified people to start a franchise and I think the Atlanta United fans should be very happy with the direction of where their franchise is going to be. Then, I would also say with Atlanta United, the other thing you have is an owner that is all in. He is going to give the resources necessary and he’s going to push that team in a way that they are going to try to achieve and achieve quickly. It’s been a very good partnership. The other day we have a meeting that we have on a monthly basis where we kind of go through all of our business and everybody reports at different times and a lot of conversation with Arthur and I think Atlanta United probably occupied twice as much time as the Falcons, so it was good to see as that business evolves, everybody is participating and there is a lot of great information sharing.
For the full interview, which includes content on the Falcons, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as additional AMBSE insight, follow the link over to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.