Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium will open a month later than originally scheduled amid delays over the construction of the venue’s retractable roof.
The stadium will serve as the home of NFL American football team the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer expansion franchise Atlanta United, with the latter having been due to open the facility on July 30 with a game against Orlando City.
However, the stadium will now host its first public event on August 26, when the Falcons take on the Arizona Cardinals in a pre-season fixture. The Falcons will then host the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 31.
United’s game against Orlando City will now take place on July 29 at Bobby Dodd Stadium, where United has played its first two matches of the 2017 MLS season.
Steve Cannon, chief executive of AMB Group, which owns the two teams, insisted there were no problems with the roof’s functionality and said the delay can be put down to surveying and analysis of the structure.
“No concerns about the operability of the roof have ever been expressed to us by the design or construction teams,” Cannon said. “It is a complex, original design that is going to be spectacular and operate as designed. That’s the bottom line.
“The reason for a revised timeline is quite simple: normal surveying and analysis of the roof structure, as well as steelwork in the roof, have both taken longer than planned. Those two things have had a cascading effect on overall workflows related to the roof and that is the reason for the new timeline.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last few weeks to find any possible avenue to meet the July 30 timeline, but have not been able to do so. Our construction partners have now worked through re-sequencing the remaining work and are very confident we’ll be ready for live events beginning with the Falcons game on August 26.”