SBD/April 19, 2017/Facilities

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Delays Opening For Third Time Due To Construction Issues

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will now open with a Falcons preseason game on Aug. 26
Construction issues have "delayed the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a third time," according to a front-page piece by Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon said that the opening will be "pushed back" from July 30, when an Atlanta United FC soccer match was to have been played in the new stadium, to Aug. 26, when a Falcons preseason game is scheduled to be played there. Cannon also said that "'decommissioning' and demolition of the Georgia Dome have been put on hold 'until we are 100 percent certain of achieving our certificate of occupancy.'" Cannon: "This really does represent an insurance policy. We do not expect to use the Georgia Dome whatsoever." He said that the retractable roof is "currently about three-fourths installed" and AMB Group’s expectation is that the roof will be "fully operable when the stadium opens." Cannon added that the Chick-fil-A Kickoff college football games on Labor Day weekend are "still scheduled for the new stadium" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/19).

THE WAIT GOES ON: In Atlanta, Doug Roberson notes Atlanta United has gone from "conducting the first event in Mercedes-Benz Stadium when it was supposed to have opened in March, to the first event when it was supposed to open July 30, to not playing in it until Sept. 9," when it hosts FC Dallas after several Falcons games will have been played in the $1.5B building. Atlanta United will play nine of its 17 home games this season at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium. The repeated delays have "frustrated some of Atlanta United’s supporters, who took to social media to vent." Atlanta United President Darren Eales said, "From our perspective, we completely understand that the fans are disappointed. We are disappointed." An Atlanta United spokesperson in an email said that season-ticket holders will "receive a credit for each seat they own" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/19).
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