- The total cost of the new Atlanta Falcons Mercedez-Benz Stadium has reached $1.5 billion after an additional $9.1 million in change orders in June, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The Falcons hold the financial responsibility for all change orders to general contractor Holder Hunt Russell Moody, which have now reached a total of $208.6 million. Some of the additional costs were covered in the team's contingency funds for the project.
- While the details of the most recent change orders were not disclosed, additional costs in May were due largely to the accelerated timetable to finish construction in June 2017 — in time for the 2017-2018 NFL season.
In February, project officials said the steel structure for the complex retractable roof had been "quite the challenge" and announced they would push the stadium's target opening date back three months to June 1, 2017. The roof features eight "petals," which can open within eight minutes in a motion reminiscent of a camera lens aperture.
Despite the change orders and ongoing complications with the stadium's complex roof design, Falcons officials said last week that they feel confident the venue will open on June 1, according to the Journal-Constitution. Installation of the roof's retractable elements is expected to begin in January.
The roof was designed by 360 Architecture, with help from Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, kinetic architecture consultant Hoberman Associates and mechanical-electrical-plumbing engineer WSP. When complete, the stadium project will be the only LEED Platinum-certified sports-entertainment complex in the U.S.
The 75,000-seat Mercedez-Benz Stadium will also feature the world’s largest video board — 58 feet tall and 1,100 linear feet in diameter. The petaled roof and record-setting video board are just two of the stadium's elements that the Falcons hope will help to draw in fans. Sports venue design in stadiums across the U.S. is rapidly evolving as teams find new ways to enhance the fan experience and convince fans to pay to attend a game.