The new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, home of the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United FC Major League Soccer team, is a showpiece of modern stadium design that also makes a bold statement at night thanks to its LED lighting system.
Completed in August 2017, the 305-foot-tall stadium’s facade consists of a light-weight polymer surface with adjustable opacity. This allows the facilities team to control lighting, day or night. What’s more, the stadium’s unique, pinwheel-like, oculus retractable roof permits natural light to enter the stadium in two ways: with the roof open or through the facility’s north and east ends. Reminiscent of the Roman Pantheon and a falcon’s wings, the roof is made up of eight triangular sections and can open or close in just 10 minutes.
Inside the stadium, fans will have an unusual immersive experience from a 63,800 square-foot, halo-shaped video board that spans the retractable roof’s perimeter. The 360-degree screen is 58 feet tall and runs 1,100 feet around the stadium, providing an immersive viewing experiences for 71,000 fans, including 7,500 club seats and 180 luxury suites.
Acclaim Lighting, Los Angeles, worked with the stadium’s design team and provided many of the solutions to the aesthetic and functional challenges presented by the unusual structure including lighting for the retractable roof; the architectural cove areas in the locker rooms, suites and corridors; accent lighting for the locker room entrances; and illuminating art installations and sculptures.
For the accent coves, said Shane Wallace, project technician for Ardd and Winter, “It was important to get fairly high lumen output and be able to dim without light flicker. In addition, the various mounting channel options allowed for many customized installations”
The lighting-design team selected Acclaim Lighting’s thin, flexible Flex II interior LED circuit strip for the accent coves with over five miles of linear LED tape lights in the project. For the roof pedals, the stadium required a high efficiency fixture that could generate lighting evenly even at close range, so the team used Acclaim’s Dyna Drum SO QW, a high-output, compact outdoor LED flood fixture. In the North Founders Club, Acclaim Lighting’s DynaGraze Exterior HO, a high-output, linear, single-color fixture, is used for grazing. The company’s Dyna Flood SO was specified for the area outside of the VIP Club which will be used to up light the players as they pass by on their way to and from the field.
“We sought a lighting system that was at once functional, efficient and aesthetic, and Acclaim delivered,” Wallace said. “The architectural coves look amazing, and the Dyna Drums give the roof a nice glow, especially with the different programmed effects. It’s safe to say the stadium really stands out in the city’s skyline with this lighting scheme.”