Minnesota’s brand-new U.S. Bank Stadium hosted its first football game on Sunday, and yet it’s not the newest stadium in Madden NFL 17. That title belongs to Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which isn’t due to open until sometime next year, but is available to gamers now.
Listed as “Falcons (New)” in the pregame options menu, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is for now immediately playable only in one-off, offline games. But Falcons fans can already get a feel for the team’s new home — including the one-of-a-kind “halo” scoreboard ringing the building’s oculus — and if they select the team in Franchise mode, it will move there once the 2017 season begins. (Falcons opponents will also see the stadium when they visit beginning in the 2017 season.)
“This is part of the grand reveal, so it’s very exciting,” Tim Zulawski, the chief commercial officer for AMB Sports & Entertainment, told Polygon. AMB is the group that manages the new stadium. “It’s an opportunity to provide an early look into some of these amenities and features of the stadium, along with the detail that went into the design.”
Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s most impressive capability — a dome that irises open, above that video board, to allow in natural light on fair-weather days — is not yet represented in the game. But it will be in future editions. “It’s already exciting, thinking about next year’s version with the roof being able to open, potentially changing the lighting,” Zulawski said.
For now, the roof is closed and glassed-in, with translucent panels allowing in some overhead light. The main view is out the stadium’s end zone; also glassed-in, it offers a look at the Atlanta skyline, which darkens and whose buildings light up if the user selects to play at night.
This Madden NFL 17 Gameplay Video is sponsored by EA Sports. It should be noted this game is currently a work in progress. I was fortunate enough to be flown out to Los Angeles for EA Play 2016, and was able to capture footage for Madden 17 at an EA Game Changer event.