Construction of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is expected to be completed in time for it to host games scheduled for both the NFL and NCAA.
Set to open this year, Mercedes-Benz Stadium has encountered a few delays in its complex construction process. In recent months, it has been expected that the facility will open this summer, with an Atlanta United FC home game scheduled for July 30.
That match remains on the schedule for now, but some have expressed concern that the process of constructing Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s roof could complicate matters. Beyond the debut of MLS action at the facility, football games are scheduled to take place beginning in August. The Atlanta Falcons have already announced plans for pre-season home games at the facility in August, and a marquee NCAA matchup between Alabama and Florida State is slated for September 2.
An official involved in planning that game insists that it is on track to take place. Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan does not foresee any reasons to change the schedule at this point, and says that the Falcons are confident that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be ready in time. More from AL.com:
“We have full assurances from the Falcons that everything’s going to be fine with the stadium,” Gary Stokan told AL.com.
He pointed to the NFL’s release of the preseason schedule as a reason for comfort. The second two of the four weeks for exhibition games will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The reason for construction delays, widely reported in recent months, is with the unique retractable roof.
“Yeah, there’s no reason for a backup plan because everything is going to be ready,” Stokan said. “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.”
As for soccer, the MLS is focusing on playing matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at some point this summer, according to an April 11 story from 11 Alive:
MLS Commissioner Don Garber also mentioned MLS moving into Mercedes-Benz Stadium in September while speaking at Atlanta United FC’s opening of its training facility in Marietta. He later told the media he misspoke.
“When you speak as much as I do, September was a month I said that has no connection to exactly where we are. We are still focused on getting in as planned. The goal is to be into the stadium by late summer. So don’t read too much into my comments,” he said.
Meanwhile, the process of gutting and demolishing the Georgia Dome is underway. The stadium, which was home to the Falcons from 1992 through last season, hosted its final event in March.
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