Falcons won’t be able to open stadium roof for first games

The retractable roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be in the closed position when the new Falcons stadium debuts next month and for an undetermined period of time beyond that, the CEO of Falcons parent company AMB Group said today.

Steve Cannon said construction delays have the project behind schedule on fully mechanizing the roof.

Therefore, he said the roof will be closed when the stadium opens for a Falcons-Arizona Cardinals exhibition game on Aug. 26 and for the Falcons’ regular-season home opener on Sept. 17.

Cannon said he could not provide specifics on when the first event might be played with the roof open, although he said it would be at some point during the Falcons’ and Atlanta United’s 2017 seasons.

He said it typically takes 40 days to “mechanize” such a roof after its last “contruction move.” Since three more construction moves of the roof are scheduled in the coming weeks, the 40-day clock won’t even begin until after those moves. And Cannon indicated the process could take longer than 40 days because it will be sandwiched around a heavy schedule of events in the stadium.

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Although there long have been questions about whether the roof would be fully operable when the stadium opens, Falcons officials have previously insisted they would have the ability to open the roof for events from the outset.

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