Bad news for Atlanta United fans: The new Mercedes-Benz Stadium won't be ready in July due to construction delays, the team's website announced.
The good news is the stadium should be ready for the Falcons in lateAugust for late preseason games.
Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of AMB Group, LLC, was quick to dispel the rumors that the stadium's retractable roof was the cause for the delays.
“No concerns about the operability of the roof have ever been expressed to us by the design or construction teams," Cannon said."It is a complex, original design that is going to be spectacular and operate as designed. That’s the bottom line.
“The reason for a revised timeline is quite simple: normal surveying and analysis of the roof structure, as well as steelwork in the roof, have both taken longer than planned. Those two things have had a cascading effect on overall workflows related to the roof and that is the reason for the new timeline."
For now, Atlanta United will make its home debut in the stadium on Sept. 9. Originally, the team was slated to open the venue on July 30, but will instead play in Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium on July 29. Both of United's home games have been played at Bobby Dodd Stadium to sold-out crowds.
Atlanta's two home games on Aug. 13 and 19 against Minnesota United and L.A. Galaxy, respectively, will be rescheduled for later dates.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium's official opening will be for the Falcons' preseason game against the Jaguars on Aug. 26.
College football games in the new stadium are also scheduled to go on as planned, withAlabama facing Florida State and Georgia Tech playing Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Gameson Sept. 2 and 4.