The view from the roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium earlier this month, looking down on what will become the playing field. Curtis Compton/

Falcons’ McKay: Stadium will ‘be ready to go Aug. 26’

Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay strongly reiterated the organization’s plan, announced last month, to open Mercedes-Benz Stadium in late August.

“We’ll be ready to go Aug. 26th,” McKay said in an interview that aired Thursday morning on Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports Radio.

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“The building is in a good place. We’re in the final stretches. With the roof steel complete, now we know we’ll be ready to go.”

McKay also said the retractable roof will be fully operable for the first event, an Aug. 26 exhibition game between the Falcons and the Arizona Cardinals.

“When we open on the 26th, if it’s a good weather day, it’ll be open,” McKay said of the roof. “If not, it’ll be closed. We’ll be able to operate the roof.”

Falcons and Atlanta United parent company AMB Group said on April 18 that the stadium’s opening date would be pushed back from July 30 to Aug. 26, the third such delay, all attributed to issues related to roof steel work. Demolition of the Georgia Dome has been put on hold as an insurance policy against further delays.

McKay’s comments echo those of Bill Darden, president of Darden & Company, the project management firm overseeing development of the stadium for Falcons and Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank. In an AJC report Sunday about a trip to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof, Darden said the stadium and the roof will be ready for the Aug. 26 preseason game.

Project manager Bill Darden discusses the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium from the top of the retractable roof on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Atlanta.

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