New Falcons stadium falls behind schedule


New Falcons stadium falls behind schedule

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Kent D. Johnson
This model of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is in the Falcons’ stadium preview center. (KENT D. JOHNSON/

Construction of the downtown stadium that will become home to the Atlanta Falcons and a new professional soccer team won’t be completed in time for a long-planned March 2017 opening.

The new target date for completion of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is June 1, 2017. That would result in the stadium opening in time for the start of the Falcons’ planned first season there. NFL exhibition games are played in August, and the regular season opens in September.

But the delay means Atlanta's new soccer team won’t have use of its home stadium for the first three months of the 2017 season, slated to be Atlanta United’s debut season. MLS teams’ 34-game schedules run from early March until late October.

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