- The Atlanta Falcons' $1.5 billion, 75,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium is facing a potential additional delay due to problems with its retractable roof, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The stadium was originally slated for a March 1 opening, but roof issues pushed that back to July 30. Officials from AMB, the Falcons parent company, said they will know in the next seven to 10 days whether there will be any additional changes to the opening date.
- If the HOK-designed roof is not operable by the time the Falcons are supposed to play, they could either proceed with an open roof or play elsewhere.
The fixed portion of the roof was completed in October, and construction crews celebrated the milestone by signing the final bean before it was lifted into place. The next step was work on the retractable portion, which consists of eight petal-like pieces that open and close with a motion similar to that of a camera lens aperture.
In previous public comments, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that construction — particularly of the steel structure for the retractable roof — was "quite the challenge."
Contributing to that complexity, aside from the design itself, was the fact that pieces of the roof were being manufactured simultaneously at 32 plants in Canada and the U.S., creating logistical challenges. Delays and other modifications have resulted in an estimated $208.6 million in change orders to the project.
The facility will be the first LEED Platinum–certified stadium and the first sports venue to win all of the program's water credits. In its announcement of Green Sports Day in October, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy used the Mercedes Benz Stadium as an example of sustainability, highlighting such features as its solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations and solar panels.