Roof construction delays Mercedes Benz Stadium opening

The much-anticipated opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has hit another delay during construction, but it reportedly shouldn't affect the season-opening college football games that are still scheduled to be played there.

For MLS fans, that means a move to Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd stadium.

Herculez Gomez says Atlanta United's play early on in MLS has matched the work they put in off the pitch.

Beyond soccer matches in July and August, the new roost is on the hook for basically being the epicenter of college football's kickoff over Labor Day Weekend, when two big games-Alabama vs. Florida State and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee-are expected to happen under that fancy roof, open or closed.

Which should create an interesting dynamic if those fans are forced to watch the Dirty Birds in the Dome come September.

The stadium with its complicated retractable roof had been set to open on July 30 with Atlanta United's game against Orlando City. Those games have yet to be rescheduled.

Steve Cannon, the CEO of Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank's businesses, said Tuesday the delay is a "timeline" issue.

In the revised schedule, Atlanta United's first home date at the new stadium will be on September 9 against Dallas. 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. He insisted there is no concern about how the roof will work.

The status of the new stadium was a hot topic at least week's unveiling of Atlanta United's new practice facility.

"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", he said.

As recently as last week, United president Darren Eales said that July 30 was still the targeted opening.

"Yes, we have a complex design and we have a complex building", Cannon said. It's been a great experience at Bobby Dodd.

  • Julie Sanders