Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials said they have adjusted the schedule for Atlanta United home matches due to changes in the timeline of the construction of the stadium.
Steve Cannon, the Chief Executive Officer of AMB Group, addressed rumors about the stadium's retractable roof, which is the first-of-its-kind.
“This is a timeline challenge and nothing else. In fact, installation of the roof petals is ¾ complete,” Cannon said.
Three Atlanta United home matches have been impacted. The Atlanta Falcons' preseason schedule has not been impacted because of the delays.
As of now, the stadium is expected to open in late August. Atlanta United's match previously scheduled for July 30 will now be played at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, July 29 at 5 p.m. Atlanta United's matches originally scheduled for August 13 and 19 will also be rescheduled to dates that have not yet been determined.
Cannon admitted there was an issue with construction of the retractable roof which sources have said the top of the stadium was uneven and off several inches.
“Yes, there was a shimming process that took place, normal steelwork on a project of this size and this complexity and we have completed all of that work and it went very, very well,” Cannon said.
No changes have been made to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic games scheduled over Labor Day weekend.
"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," Cannon said. He also said there are "no concerns about the operability of the roof."
Construction Attorney Simon Bloom said a couple of inches may be within the realm of tolerances on a project of this magnitude. His biggest concern is that the Georgia Dome will remain standing through the end of the year as an insurance policy.
“When they say we’re not going to tear down the Georgia Dome yet, there’s no downside of leaving it up, to me that says yeah we think it’s going to be another 10, 12, 15, 26 days, but we’re not going to throw the life boat overboard before the ship starts to sink. We want to make sure we have that life boat just in case something unforeseen comes up,” Bloom said.
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