You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Will roof issues delay Falcons stadium again?


Atlanta Falcons officials expect to receive an update within seven to 10 days on the construction timeline for Mercedes-Benz Stadium — an update that should determine whether the retractable roof will be completed in time for the stadium’s scheduled opening.

Issues with the complex roof already have delayed the opening twice, first pushing back the target from March 1 to June 1 and then pushing it back further to July 30, and appear to threaten another delay.

In a statement provided Tuesday night to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Steve Cannon, CEO of Falcons parent company AMB Group, said the organization hasn’t changed the July 30 opening date at this point but is “working through the construction timelines.”

“No announced event dates have been changed, and work is moving forward at a rapid pace,” Cannon 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.”

The possibility of further such adjustments raises some obvious questions, including whether the Falcons could play in the stadium before the roof is operable or whether they might have to play elsewhere.

Brett Jewkes, AMB Group’s senior vice president and chief communications officer, declined to speculate on such questions, saying an update on the project schedule is expected in about seven to 10 days.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s first scheduled event is an Atlanta United soccer match on July 30, followed by two more soccer matches in August and two Chick-fil-A Kickoff college football games in early September: Alabama vs. Florida State on Sept. 2 and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4. Dates for Falcons home games are expected to be announced next month by the NFL, along with the rest of the league’s 2017 schedule.

The earlier delays caused Atlanta United to schedule the first eight home matches of its inaugural season at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. It isn’t known if Tech could accommodate matches after July.

One obvious candidate to host football games if the new $1.5 billion stadium isn’t ready would be the Georgia Dome, which officially closed after a Monster Jam trucks show March 5 amid plans to demolish it this summer.

A spokeswoman for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operated the Dome and on whose campus the new stadium is being built, said preparations for demolition have begun, such as removing the turf. But “until the Dome is demolished, it could be utilized,” Jennifer LeMaster said Wednesday.

GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe said in a statement that the state agency “has recently been made aware that construction sequencing related to Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s retractable roof is currently being evaluated.”

Echoing the timetable provided by the Falcons, Poe said GWCCA officials “anticipate having an update on the project schedule in the next seven to 10 days.”

The first-of-its-kind roof consists of eight petals, each to be installed in four pieces. The roof is designed to open or close in about eight minutes with what architects have described as a “camera lens-like” effect. A 58-foot-tall, halo-shaped video board will hang from the circumference of the roof opening, encircling the field.

The GWCCA’s latest project status report, dated Feb. 28, did not address the completion date. The report said “the mid-section of the petals on the operable roof are currently being erected” and that installation would continue over the next 30 days on the “operable petal tracks.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

10 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason
10 things we learned about the Falcons this offseason

Shortly after releasing the team for the summer, Falcons coach Dan Quinn and team officials went to Washington, D.C. to visits to various military related places. It was a busy and compacted offseason for the Falcons, who reached the Super Bowl for just the second time in franchise history. After suffering the most devastating loss in the history of...
Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit
Julio Jones is focus of Pat Dye Jr.-Jimmy Sexton lawsuit

Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones is the center of a lawsuit between Pat Dye Jr. and Jimmy Sexton, according to AL.com. It’s possible, if the civil suit continues into the fall, that Jones may be called to a disposition to give his testimony during the season. Dye, of Atlanta, and Sexton, of Memphis, merged firms in 2010...
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage
Falcons not hosting ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage

For the first time in 11 seasons, the Falcons will not hold the wildly successful ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage during training camp, the team announced on Wednesday. The Falcons, the defending NFC champions, will report for training camp on Wednesday, July 26. The team has gone into the community for a scrimmage at local high schools...
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’
Allen: Defense ‘is going to be amazing’

Kicked to the curb just three years ago, Falcons free safety Ricardo Allen has successfully made the transition from cornerback to free safety and is now an entrenched NFL starter. He played 1,101 defensive snaps (99.1 percent), most on the team last season, in just his second year at free safety. Drafted as a cornerback in the fifth-round of the 2014...
Falcons report for training camp on July 26
Falcons report for training camp on July 26

The defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons will report for training camp on July 26, the team announced on Wednesday. Training camp will be held at the team’s facilities in Flowery Branch for the 13th consecutive season. Selected practices will be open to the public, but there is not a “Friday Night Lights” event listed. The team...
More Stories