The latest update from the Atlanta Falcons indicates that construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is on schedule, allowing the team to plan for 2017.
Originally slated to open sometime in the earlier phases of 2017, subsequent changes to the schedule have forced Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s first events back to the summer, most likely after June 1. Further delays would start to complicate the NFL schedule, especially given that the Falcons have plans to begin gutting and demolishing the Georgia Dome as early as next summer.
However, the Falcons and their parent company–the AMB Group–say that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be substantially complete by early June. It would then host its first events within a few weeks and be ready in plenty of time for football season, according to AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon. More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In any case, Cannon was unequivocal in saying the $1.5 billion stadium will be open in ample time for the start of the Falcons’ 2017 season, including exhibition games, and for the two Chick-fil-A Kickoff college-football games (Alabama vs. Florida State on Sept. 2 and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4.)
Cannon said stadium construction is proceeding well, with a milestone scheduled Oct. 14: the installation of the final major steel truss for the fixed portion of the complex roof. The retractable portion of the roof will begin to be installed “at the end of this year into the first quarter of next year,” Cannon said.
The major implication is the schedule of Atlanta United FC, the MLS squad that will share Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the Falcons. The early portion of the United’s season will be played at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium. While the United would like to play its first game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in June 2017, the club has a contract with Georgia Tech that runs until late July in the event that move to its new home is further delayed. Our sister site, Soccer Stadium Digest, covered this story earlier today.
RELATED STORIES: Falcons Confident in June, 2017 Opening for New Stadium; Falcons Plan for Delays in Opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Falcons: New Stadium Will Open in June 2017;Falcons Spend $200 Million Extra on Mercedes-Benz Stadium Construction; Future Super Bowls to Showcase NFL’s Finest Stadiums; Falcons Cooking up Concession Deals for Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Mercedes-Benz Stadium construction schedule slips; Preview: Mercedes-Benz Stadium