Atlanta United will have to wait just a little longer to play in their brand new stadium than expected. AMB Group CEO Steve Cannon announced that Mercedes-Benz Stadium will not meet the previous expected July 30th opening, but instead open on August 26th with an NFL preseason game between the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cannon also revealed that Atlanta United’s match vs. Orlando City SC has been moved to July 29, but be played at Bobby Dodd Stadium instead. It will kickoff at 5:00 p.m. and be televised on FOX.
The next two home matches leading up to the MBS opening, Minnesota United on August 13 and the LA Galaxy on August 19, will be rescheduled for later dates to be played at the new stadium. So, this news just adds one more game to the Bobby Dodd Schedule with the remainder to be played at MBS beginning on September 9 vs. FC Dallas.
“No concerns about the operability of the roof have ever been expressed to us by the design or construction teams. It is a complex, original design that is going to be spectacular and operate as designed. That’s the bottom line,” said Steve Cannon.
“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.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last few weeks to find any possible avenue to meet the July 30 timeline, but have not been able to do so. Our construction partners have now worked through re-sequencing the remaining work and are very confident we’ll be ready for live events beginning with the Falcons game on August 26.”
The concern for Atlanta United now is how the fixture list could become congested on the back end of the schedule with two home matches having to be rescheduled. We’ll have to wait and see just how the shake-up affects the overall match load.