Sources: Georgia Dome Demolition Could Be Moved From Summer To End Of This Year
The demolition of the Georgia Dome "initially planned for this summer could be moved to the end of this year," according to sources cited by Sams & Wenk of the ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE. Changing the demolition schedule would come as Falcons ownership "faces questions about whether the one-of-a-kind retractable roof on the team’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will function as expected by the first college and pro football games in the building later this fall." Sources said that the dome’s demolition would now "likely take place sometime between October and December" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/17). AMB Group Senior VP & Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes said, "There’s no date set for the demolition." In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes issues associated with Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s "complex retractable roof already have delayed the opening twice" and "now threaten another delay" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 4/18). In Birmingham, Michael Casagrande noted Peach Bowl President & CEO Gary Stokan, whose organization also runs a pair of college football opening weekend games in Atlanta, "isn't worried" about the delays. Stokan said, "We have full assurances from the Falcons that everything's going to be fine with the stadium." He added, "There's no reason for a backup plan because everything is going to be ready. The roof is going to be fine and really that's the only thing ... construction-wise everything else is ahead of schedule or on schedule" (AL.com, 4/17).
ALMOST TO THE FINISH LINE: SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Terry Lefton notes Mercedes-Benz Stadium is a "sponsor away from completing the sale of its founding-level sponsorships." It has "not been as easy to attract top-level sponsors for the remaining category, health care/hospital." AMB Sports & Entertainment Senior VP & Chief Commercial Officer Tim Zulawski said that it is possible health care "might not be a top-level sponsorship." Sources said that even without the health care component, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is 95% of the way to its originally stated goal of $1B in "contractually obligated revenue." The price tag for founding-level sponsorships ranges from $3-10M annually. Founding-level sponsors in the fold so far "include Mercedes-Benz, AT&T, American Family Insurance, SunTrust, NCR, Coca-Cola, Equifax, Novellis, Home Depot and IBM" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/17 issue).