An exclusive interview with NFL China Managing Director Richard Young
Updated 17:06, 03-Feb-2019
Sports Scene
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Prospect of Business

Getting ready for the big kickoff on Sunday night, nearly a third of Americans are expected to tune in to watch Super Bowl LIII as the New England Patriots take on the LA Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Some 1 million people may swell the city's population over the next few days, and Georgia's capital is ready to put on a show.

The Lombardi Trophy is seen alongside the helmets of the New England Patriots (L) and the Los Angeles Rams during media availability for Super Bowl LIII, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

The Lombardi Trophy is seen alongside the helmets of the New England Patriots (L) and the Los Angeles Rams during media availability for Super Bowl LIII, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 30, 2019. /VCG Photo

The venue, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is the new home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, but the Super Bowl hosting costs – estimated to be some 700 million U.S. dollars, plus another 28 million U.S. dollars on top of that – are a problem for the public.

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There are also questions as to whether some of the city's poorer communities will benefit. But former Atlanta Falcons player Warrick Dunn maintained it's worth it.

"We are a very diverse and inclusive community that wants to express and share everything that Atlanta has to offer, and hopefully people come back time and time and time again," Dunn said. "You always want to develop a footprint and make an impact."

The city is already a hive of activity. From the interactive NFL experience to a party in downtown's Centennial Olympic Park, all of the activities are made possible thanks to an army of volunteers. 

"The energy in Atlanta right now is really incredible, so when we as a host committee thought about how we can extend that hosting experience, how we can get more people involved, the volunteer program has been that opportunity, so you can feel it. But these individuals, 10,000 of them, are representing our city to the world, which is incredible," said Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Vice President Lee Hendrickson.

Atlanta appears to be ready for the glamour of Super Bowl LIII. Organizers just hope that the game itself lives up to the hype.