After already undergoing two delays due to the intricacies of the retractable roof, the new home for the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC may experience another delay.
The roof is reportedly causing problems on the building crew in Atlanta and has caused the opening to be delayed twice, from its original opening date of March 1 to June 1 and then to July 30. As of now, no delay has been made but that could change once an update on the situation comes within 7-10 days.
“No announced event dates have been changed, and work is moving forward at a rapid pace,” Steve Cannon of the Falcons said. “Many areas of the building are finished, and others are nearing completion. We are routinely working through the construction timelines with our partners, and with any building this size, scope and complexity, adjustments to construction timelines are expected.”
While it seemed like time was built into building the stadium to compensate for delays, Atlanta kind of have their backs to the wall with this July 30 opening date that they can’t really afford another delay. MLS’ Atlanta United FC was set to open the new stadium July 30 against Orlando City SC on broadcast Fox. The March 1 date was meant so Atlanta United could play in Mercedes-Benz Stadium from the start of the season but they were able to make plans and play at Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium in the meantime.
But now that Georgia Tech would be getting back to playing, Atlanta United’s home may not be available. There are also two big college football games featuring Alabama vs. Florida State and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee in September.
Not to mention the Falcons would need to play there at the start of September. Since the NFL schedule hasn’t been revealed yet, there’s a chance they could jam pack the start of the Falcons season with away games. But considering scheduling 32 teams is an intricate process, the NFL probably already has the schedule set and switching one game involves a “butterfly effect” of being forced to move other games throughout the league in order to make that work.
Hopefully Atlanta United and the Falcons don’t need to delay opening Mercedes-Benz Stadium because that could cause a lot of headache for organizers, anger for fans and a whole lot of lost revenue.