Mercedes-Benz Stadium is destined to become one of the best and most visually striking stadiums in sports when it finally opens. When the stadium will open, however, is starting to become a talking point, as the date has been pushed back again to Aug. 26.
The $1.6 billion-stadium, designed by HOK, was originally planned to open on March 1, 2017. Since that time the opening has been delayed three times to June 1, 2017, then to July 30, 2017, and more recently (and hopefully finally) to Aug. 26, 2017.
Originally, it was thought the delays were related to issues with getting the unique retractable roof to work correctly. While retractable roofs aren’t new to sports stadiums, most slide open like a large garage door. The roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium takes a more complicated approach and opens in a circular motion, more closely resembling a blooming flower than a garage door.
Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Group, the stadium’s owner, addressed concerns about the roof in a statement after the most recent delay. “No concerns about the operability of the roof have ever been expressed to us by the design or construction teams,” Cannon said in the statement.
Cannon went on to explain the reason for the delays. “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.”
The 71,000-seat stadium will be home to the Atlanta Falcons and the Atlanta United. It will also host the NCAA Peach Bowl and the Celebration Bowl. The stadium will host Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019.
HOK collaborated on the design with tvsdesign, Goode Van Slyke Architecture, and Stanley Beaman & Sears. BuroHappold Engineering and Hoberman Associates handled structural engineer duties for the project.