Atlanta Falcons fans won't get their Chick-fil-A fix at the team's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium for most of the team's games, as the restaurant's stand will be closed on Sunday.
The franchise famous for its chicken sandwich is closed on Sundays, and only one of the team's eight home games isn't on a Sunday -- a Thursday night matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 7.
A source said the digital signage in the Chick-fil-A stand will be flipped when the stand is closed and it will be used by stadium concessionaire Levy to sell other nonbranded food and beverage items.
With its headquarters in Atlanta, Chick-fil-A has had licensed locations at sports stadiums around town, including the Braves' new SunTrust Park. It also had kiosks in the Falcons' old stomping grounds at the Georgia Dome. Even those licensed locations must abide by the chain's founder Truett Cathy's mandate to keep things closed on the seventh day of the week for rest and worship.
Luckily for Falcons fans, there are many competing chicken sandwiches inside the stadium, which will be available on all game days. Former "Top Chef" contestant Kevin Gillespie pays homage to Chick-fil-A with his Closed on Sundays chicken sandwich, fried chicken on a roll with a pickle, mayo and honey butter. Another breaded chicken sandwich is available at the Westside Works stand, a partnership between Falcons owner Arthur Blank and the local community.
The stand will be open for the two college football games, dubbed the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games, during the season's opening week. The game between Alabama and Florida State is on Saturday, Sept. 2, while the Georgia Tech-Tennessee game will take place two days later on a Monday. The stand will also be open for non-Sunday games played by the Falcons' co-tenant, the Atlanta United of Major League Soccer, also owned by Blank.
While fans of the Chick-fil-A brand are often baffled by the idea of being closed one day a week, Cathy, who died in 2014, always said that being closed Sunday made Monday that much busier.
Earlier this month, restaurant industry trade publication QSR Magazine named Chick-fil-A the highest-grossing franchise in the United States, estimating that each store pulled in an average of $4.4 million in annual revenue, $1.7 million more than the average of the next-highest-grossing chain (Whataburger, $2.7 million).
Zaxby's recently signed a five-year deal to be the official chicken of the Falcons, but fans can't get that, either. Its products are not currently offered at the stadium.