When it comes to the Super Bowl, count many locals as superfans of bringing the game to Atlanta. And more than a few believe the Falcons can still win it.
More than two-thirds of the 200 respondents to Reporter Newspapers’ most recent 1Q survey welcomed the Super Bowl LIII to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in February, saying that it mattered to them that the game would be played in Atlanta.
“It is great for the community,” a 24-year-old Buckhead woman commented. “Hosting the Super Bowl is an honor for our city and helps the local economy greatly!”
The survey was conducted by 1Q.com via cellphones to residents in Reporter Newspapers communities. The results are not scientific.
Many respondents to the survey argued the game will be good for the local economy. “Nationally televised events, such as the Super Bowl, bring active commerce and people to our great city,” a 32-year-old Brookhaven woman said. “It gives local business time to shine and enlivens the citizens of Atlanta. Although ATL is among other great cities in our country, it’s a melting pot area with lots of history that contributes to the legacy of football.”
Others said the game, scheduled for Feb. 3, 2019, will give Atlanta a chance to show itself off to the world. Hosting the Super Bowl “shows Atlanta is a first-class city,” a 54-year-old Sandy Springs man said.
“Our city will be on the main stage,” a 30-year-old Atlanta woman commented. “We have an opportunity to elevate exposure of our progress, growth, etc. It will also be a great revenue generator.”
Not everyone agreed, of course. Some respondents worried the crowds attracted to the game would worsen traffic, that the economic boost the fans would bring would not be equally shared throughout the community, or that the money the game would attract would go to the wrong things.
“It matters because it means a lot of money was spent on something Atlanta didn’t need!” a 54-year-old woman commented. “Whether public or private partnership funds, the city needs investments into the decaying infrastructure more than it needed another stadium. … I don’t care that the Super Bowl game will be in Atlanta. The momentary distraction from the miserable state of the city of Atlanta, my hometown, will be little consolation when the fanfare dies down.”
Others just didn’t care about the game. “I don’t watch football,” a 38-year-old Atlanta woman noted.
But most did. And now that the NFL regular season is about half over, which team did they expect to see playing in Atlanta for the national title? The Atlanta Falcons, of course. Despite the team’s slow start, about 28 percent of the survey’s respondents backed the hometown Falcons, the largest showing of support for any single team. If the Falcons make it, they would be the first Super Bowl team ever to play for the championship in their home stadium.
The second largest group, 23 percent of the respondents, cheered the Los Angeles Rams, who were undefeated when the survey was conducted.
About 19 percent backed perennial winners the New England Patriots, while the Falcons rival New Orleans Saints drew about 13 percent and the Kansas City Chiefs attracted 8 percent. About 11 percent predicted it would be some other team.
Whoever ends up playing under the bright lights of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, many of the respondents to the survey seem ready and eager for the big game to come to town.
“I’m an Uber driver, so I’m happy about it,” a 41-year-old Atlanta man noted. “Should be lots of business.”
Here’s what some other respondents to the survey had to say when asked whether it mattered to them that Super Bowl LIII will be held in Atlanta:
“Atlanta is a fantastic sports city, so it’s only fitting that it hosts the biggest sporting event in the U.S.!”
– 45-year-old Sandy Springs woman
“It’s exciting to have Atlanta used as a hub for major sports events.”
– 28-year-old Brookhaven woman
“No, because I don’t live in an area where there will be a lot of traffic and I think it will bring a lot of excitement and tourism.”
– 25-year-old Brookhaven woman
“This will boost the economy for many!”
– 59-year-old Brookhaven woman
“I love it! It brings a sense of pride to the city.”
– 32-year-old Brookhaven woman
“It matters. It shows that we are a cosmopolitan city where players and [the] NFL want to be. It makes us look good.”
– 54-year-old Sandy Springs woman
“Nope! I suppose it’s a nice feather in our cap, but it’s unclear about the economic benefit for the city. It’s a large drain on resources and infrastructure — so what do we gain?”
– 37-year-old Brookhaven woman
1Q is an Atlanta-based start-up that sends questions and surveys to a cellphone via app or text messages. Respondents are paid 50 cents per answer, through PayPal, for sharing their opinions. Payments may also be donated directly to charity. Sign up to be included in our local community polls at 1Q.com/reporter or by texting “REPORTER” to 86312.