Atlanta Falcons' $1.5B Mercedes-Benz Stadium set for August opening
- The Atlanta Falcons have said the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be ready in time for the team's first pre-season game on Aug. 26, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
- Officials expect the retractable roof, which has been the source of project delays, to be fully functional by then, but final testing will not be done until July. Crews recently closed the roof for the first time and are making sure the eight petal-like pieces are aligned correctly, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
- Falcons officials said they and soccer team Atlanta United, which will also share the stadium, will begin moving employees into administrative offices this week, and 250 people should be working there by the end of June.
The Aug. 26 date represents a five-month delay from the stadium's original opening date, which resulted from issues with the roof pieces, which, if operating correctly, will open and close in a movement similar to the aperture of a camera lens. Each piece weighs 500 tons and must be installed carefully to ensure the roof can close and open correctly.
Part of the delay was in the roof manufacturing process, as 32 factories in the U.S. and Canada were making and delivering the steel pieces simultaneously. Delays and other modifications to the stadium have resulted in an estimated $208.6 million in change orders to the project.
At the time the team announced the August delay, USA TODAY reported that the team had put a hold on the demolition of its former home, the Georgia Dome, in case the stadium wasn't ready by the new deadline.
Despite delays, the construction team, which includes AECOM Hunt as general contractor, has achieved some major milestones. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be the first LEED Platinum–certified stadium and the first sports venue to earn 100% of the U.S. Green Building Council's water credits. The project also received national recognition last year when the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy held out the stadium as an example of sustainability for its inclusion of solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations and solar panels in its design.
- Atlanta Business Chronicle Construction on Mercedes-Benz Stadium nears completion (PICS) (Video)
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution Officials say Mercedes-Benz Stadium ‘in home stretch’
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution ‘Huge milestone’: Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof closes
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