Home of Falcons, Atlanta United will open July 30

Mercedes-Benz Stadium will open with an Atlanta United home match July 30, according to information provided by the Arthur M. Blank Group on Friday.

The $1.5-billion stadium is the home of the NFL’s Falcons and MLS’ Atlanta United.

Construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium was supposed to be finished March 1. That date was pushed to June 1 , and then to the summer because of delays related to the completion of the roof.

Steven Cannon, CEO of the Arthur M. Blank Group, said pace of construction has increased following the erection of the final major steel truss for the fixed portion of the roof. He said that progress is being made on the construction of the retractable portion of the roof and lower bowls of the stadium. Other areas of the stadium (guest suites and locker rooms, as examples) are being completed.

Cannon expects that they will be able to take over the stadium possibly as early as late April to begin preparing it for events. Cannon said there will be a series of small events for varying audiences before and after the Atlanta United opener for tours of the stadium. He wasn’t ready to announce any more details about those events.

Atlanta United will play two other home games in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the middle of August. Dates weren't announced. The MLS schedule is expected to be released next week. T he team will play its home games at Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium from when the season opens March 5 until the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Cannon said there is a good likelihood that Atlanta United will get practice exposure in Mercedes-Benz Stadium so that they aren't playing on the turf for the first time in the opener.

The July 30 opening means the Falcons will play their two preseason home games, and all of their regular-season home games in the new stadium. Those dates will be announced by the NFL this spring.

The stadium will also host the Chick-fil-A Kickoff games featuring Alabama and Florida State on Sept. 2 , and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee on Sept. 4 .

The final event in the Georgia Dome, Monster Jam, will be held March 5. A tear down is scheduled to begin later this year.