The opening of the Atlanta Falcons new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is in jeopardy of being delayed due to construction issues associated with the retractable roof, CBS46 in Atlanta reports.
The Falcons have been informed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority — the owner of the new stadium — that the retractable roof is being “evaluated.”
Metal panels for the roof are supposed to be able to open and close completely in less than 10 minutes, allowing for open-air games.
Watching the roof open at the Falcons' new stadium is easily going to be the best part of Super Bowl LIII https://t.co/M60GQIlX6Q
— John Breech (@johnbreech) May 24, 2016
If the date gets pushed back any farther, there’s speculation the Falcons won’t be able to open the 2017 season in their new $1.5 billion stadium, which was originally supposed to cost $1.2 billion.
Atlanta United is slated to play their first home match in the new stadium on July 30. The Falcons kickoff their preseason schedule in August. A spokesperson for Arthur Blank, who owns the United as well as the Falcons, said the delay hasn’t reached that point yet and that no changes to the events schedule have happened.
“No announced event dates have been changed, and work is moving forward at a rapid pace,” Steve Cannon, CEO of the AMB Group (the Falcons’ parent company) said. “Many areas of the building are finished, and others are nearing completion. We are routinely working through the construction timelines with our partners, and with any building this size, scope and complexity, adjustments to construction timelines are expected.”
An update on the roof’s progress is supposed to come at some point in the next 7-10 days.
Officials also said the retractable roof will work how they originally designed it. There is also a possibility the stadium could open before the retractable roof is fully functional.