Football

Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium has a Chick-fil-A, which won’t open on Sundays

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons football team and the Atlanta United soccer team, nears completion in preparation for its opening on Tuesday. The stadium will open to the public for the first time at an Aug. 26 Falcons preseason game.
The Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Atlanta Falcons football team and the Atlanta United soccer team, nears completion in preparation for its opening on Tuesday. The stadium will open to the public for the first time at an Aug. 26 Falcons preseason game. AP

Seeing as how Chick-fil-A’s headquarters are located in Atlanta, it’s only logical that the fast-food chain have a booth at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the stadium that’s set to open for Falcons and Atlanta United games this month. But even though its NFL tenant plays most of its home games on Sundays, that doesn’t mean Chick-fil-A is changing its six-days-per-week operating hours. As noted by ESPN’s Darren Rovell and on the concessions map posted on the stadium’s website, the chicken purveyor will not be making an exception for the Falcons, staying closed on Sundays in keeping with company policy.

Seven of the Falcons’ eight regular season home games are on Sunday this season, the exception being a tilt against the Saints on Dec. 7, a Thursday night. But the stadium will host numerous other non-Sunday events, including five of the eight remaining Atlanta United home games, two college football games over Labor Day weekend (plus the SEC championship game and College Football Playoff title game down the road) and a Garth Brooks concert on Oct. 12, a Thursday.

Chick-fil-A has been closed on Sundays since 1946 on orders from founder Truett Cathy.

‘‘Having worked seven days a week in restaurants open 24 hours, Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose - a practice we uphold today,’’ the company’s website reads.

But Falcons fans who need their breaded-chicken fix on Sunday might have a good-enough substitute. Atlanta restaurateur and former ‘‘Top Chef’’ contestant Kevin Gillespie will be selling his COS (closed on Sunday) chicken sandwich from a stand on the 200 concourse.

‘‘The fast-food chain Chick-fil-A is based here in Atlanta,’’ Gillespie wrote on his website along with a COS recipe. ‘‘They’re closed on Sunday for religious reasons. I respect that. But why is it that I crave a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich almost exclusively on Sundays? It’s like clockwork. I wake up on Sunday morning and think, ‘You know what would be really good right now? A Chick-fil-A sandwich.’ Like most food companies, they guard their secret recipe. But it’s a breaded fried chicken breast on a bun with pickles. I figured I could come up with something pretty close.’’

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