The past year has been a busy but fruitful one for Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank. On Wednesday night, the 75-year-old was honored for his recent endeavors.
Blank was named the 2018 Sports Executive of the Year at the 11th annual Sports Business Awards. Blank received the award one year after Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened and the United began its first season of competition.
Along with Blank receiving Sports Executive of the Year, the new stadium's fan-friendly food and beverage prices were honored as the Sports Breakthrough of the Year. The stadium's food and beverage experience was previously rated No. 1 in Voice of the Fan surveys by the NFL and the MLS after their 2017 seasons.
“Arthur’s vision, resolve and leadership in shaping and implementing a new food and beverage experience for fans is deserving of great celebration,” said AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon via AtlantaFalcons.com. “We are proud of the experience we are delivering to our fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as well as the waves that this revolutionary new food and beverage program is causing for the industry overall. Fans everywhere want to change the food and beverage experience at sports venues and they deserve it.”
Blank has owned the Falcons since 2002. In that time, the franchise has won four division titles, made the playoffs eight times and played in Super Bowl LI in Houston.
“Last year was an incredible, memorable one for all of our businesses and I’m very humbled and grateful to The SportsBusiness Journal and its staff by this recognition for our businesses, associates and most importantly our fans,” Blank said via AtlantaFalcons.com. “The most important partnership we have is the partnership with our fans, supporters, guests and customers. They are the focus of everything we do and I can’t thank them enough for their commitment and support of our teams, our stores and our causes – these awards are truly community achievements.”