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Super Bowl LIII is on a Sunday, so, yes, Chick-fil-A is closed

Rams and Patriots fans will have to find something to eat besides Original Chicken Sandwiches and waffle fries.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Stadium

There is a Chick-Fil-A in the Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but fans watching the Patriots take on the Rams in Super Bowl LIII won’t be feasting on nuggets with Polynesian sauce. The stadium’s Chick-Fil-A will remain closed Super Bowl Sunday.

Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy instituted the policy of closing on Sundays when he started the restaurant chain in Hapeville, Georgia in 1946 to give employees a day of rest.

“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,” Chick-Fil-A’s website reads.

Cathy, a religious man, established the policy based on his Christian faith. The company has never wavered from it, and that won’t change no matter how much money they stand to lose by remaining closed in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.

Chick-Fil-A has opened on Sundays under specific circumstances

Chick-Fil-A has made exceptions when necessary, typically in crisis situations when they jump in to serve food to people in need.

One such situation occurred in Atlanta in late 2017, when Chick-Fil-A opened on a Sunday to provide meals to travelers stranded at Hartsfield-Jackson airport due to a power outage. Chick-Fil-A also made exceptions to serve first responders and blood donors after the mass shooting at Pulse in Orlando. They stepped in and did the same thing for communities reeling from tornadoes that left 11 people dead in Texas.

Super Bowl LIII does not fit those criteria

Saints fans may disagree, but this Super Bowl is not any kind of crisis or tragedy. Nobody’s going to be any worse for wear if they can’t get some waffle fries.

It still is interesting that a modern-day company would choose to not make an exception for the biggest event in American professional sports. Each of Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s 71,000 seats will be filled. That’s a lot of people who could be spending cash on chicken.

The average Chick-Fil-A franchise brings in about $4.4 million annually, and the chain has over 2,200 locations. The Mercedez-Benz Stadium location is only available during games and other events that aren’t scheduled for Sundays, so the revenue expectations should be different for this non-traditional Chick-Fil-A. And although the Super Bowl crowd would almost certainly give that a boost, the company clearly doesn’t think the cash would justify straying from the company’s principles.

Just go to Fries Up instead

Super Bowl spectators won’t go hungry, as Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a wealth of options available for food. They even have a placeholder for Chick-Fil-A on Sundays. A spot called Fries Up will be open and serving fans at the Super Bowl.

Alison Blue, who does media relations for Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s AMB Group, explained the concept to SB Nation in 2017.

“The menu items take a Southern spin on classic poutine fries and are intended to be shareable items with unique packaging designed for portability,” Blue said.

Fans have enjoyed them.

So the stadium has your fry needs covered with this pop up that plays off of the Falcons’ “Rise Up” rallying cry. And they’ve got a chicken sandwich for you, too.

Area chef Kevin Gillespie serves his Closed on Sundays chicken sandwich at his spot on Concourse 200, Game changer. He serves a slightly different version at Terminus on the suite level. The sandwich, which Gillespie created out of frustration because — like the rest of the world — he constantly craves Chick-Fil-A on Sundays. It’s gotten rave reviews from Falcons fans, too.

If Southern poutine and knockoff Chick-Fil-A sandwiches from a talented professional chef aren’t your speed, you have other options. Mercedes-Benz Stadium has everything from Fox Bros. Barbecue, a local institution, to Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, featuring the best chicken sausage sandwiches this particular writer has ever tasted.

Chick-Fil-A is off the table, but the food at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will still be a highlight of the Super Bowl experience for fans.