Atlanta United FC fans will have to wait a little bit longer to step inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
On Tuesday, the club announced that, due to construction delays centered around the stadium’s first-of-its-kind retractable roof, three Atlanta United matches will be revised or rescheduled.
With the state-of-the-art downtown stadium now set to open in late August, rather than the initial July 30 target date, Atlanta United’s previously scheduled match vs. Orlando City on July 30 will be moved to July 29 at their current home of Bobby Dodd Stadium, and will remain on FOX.
“This is a very normal procedure for Major League Soccer where they’ve had to flex schedules based on incoming teams and stadiums that don’t always stand up at exactly the date you want them to stand up,” Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Group, LLC said in a conference call with media. “They’ve been an incredible, flexible and helpful partner.”
Cannon, who oversees business operations for Atlanta United and the Atlanta Falcons, was confident those two MLS games won’t need to be held at another location, saying there’s “no contingency” once their contract with Bobby Dodd Stadium runs out at the end of July.
As it stands now, the first public event at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be an Atlanta Falcons preseason game on Aug. 26. Atlanta United’s Sept. 9 game vs. FC Dallas will not be affected by the revised timeline.
“We can’t wait to throw open our doors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium,” Cannon said. “We are striving for the best fan experience in the world. Our team is gonna be ready, they’re gonna be trained. And we hope to just electrify Mercedes-Benz Stadium with that. We’ve done everything in our power to advance this project as fast as we can. It’s a complex construction project. It’s one of the largest construction projects in all of the United States of America.”
Cannon said the club has tried to be transparent with the fan base but encouraged anyone who has a ticket to a rescheduled game to reach out with any concerns by visiting www.atlutd.com/tickets/faq or by emailing their ticket rep at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He also tried to ease any worries about the stadium construction, saying the revised timeline was due to “normal surveying and analysis of the roof structure, as well as steelwork in the roof.”
“There have been some pretty wild rumors about the roof design,” Cannon said. “I’m here to tell you those are false. Yes, we have a complex design. We have a complex building. But there has never been any concerns about the operability of the roof. This is a timeline challenge and nothing else.”