With construction continuing on Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta Falcons officials are unwavering in their confidence that the stadium will open on June 1, 2017.
In terms of size and scope, Mercedes Benz-Stadium has been a major project from the start, and the Falcons have made some adjustments during the construction process, most recently spending $200 million on changes relating to the steel supports for the retractable roof. Since January, it has been clear that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will not open on originally intended date, March 1, 2017 but will instead debut about three months later.
During a recent media tour, Falcons officials said that the progress being made should allow the stadium to be ready by its target date. More from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
One of the highlights of Thursday’s stadium-in-progress tour was the view of the Atlanta skyline from a towering wall of windows on the east end.
The pre-cast concrete risers for the middle and upper seating bowls are in place, but the lower bowl can’t be built until multiple cranes, temporary shoring towers and steel can be moved off the field level.
“Everything is pointing to June 1 (of 2017),” said Steve Cannon, CEO of Falcons parent company AMB Group. “We’ve still got buffers built in there that we’ve got the ability to accelerate if we need to accelerate. We’ve got enough control of the levers that lets us confidently say to you that June 1 is the date.”
Given the scope of the project, construction has taken time to unfold, as crews first began working on the stadium back in 2014. A 2017 opening has always been the target, and there is no indication at this point that the stadium’s opening will be delayed to the point where it would affect the Falcons.
What is unresolved is the status of Atlanta United FC, the MLS team that was to begin play at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the spring of 2017. While no official decision has been made, Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay reiterated that owner Arthur Blank is looking at a variety of options, including having the United begin the season on the road or hosting home games at a temporary venue.
The final price tag for Mercedes-Benz Stadium is expected to be around $1.5 billion.
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