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Delays in construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium make Georgia Dome de facto “insurance policy”

Fact: the Georgia Dome cries itself to sleep at night

NFL: NFC Divisional-Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons will at some point before the 2017 season begins open their new stadium. That’s a fact. Whether there will be additional delays, costs, or kooky roof malfunctions between now and then remains to be seen. All we know is that the stadium is now not scheduled to open until August 26th when the Falcons will play their third preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals. Should be lovely; buy your tickets now.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jeff Schultz wrote a hilarious piece today juxtaposing the Falcons’ new stadium with that lovely baseball utopia just up the road, SunTrust Park. (Please excuse the lengthy block quote; I didn’t want to cut out any of Schultz’s comedic flair.)

Blank can’t help but notice the Braves’ new SunTrust Park is playing to rave reviews. Also, it’s open! Yes, the area surrounding the stadium still includes rubber cones and construction directional signs, dug-up roads and pedestrian walkways and many unfinished buildings ... [t]here’s a significant difference between the two stadiums obviously. The Braves’ venue is open air. The Falcons’ venue has more moving parts with a retractable roof, and one that has never been designed to open or close like this. So now it won’t open. Or it won’t close. We’re not really sure. It’s the sports-venue equivalent of pushing the button on your garage opener and the blender turns on.

The fact that the Georgia Dome is now functioning as a de facto insurance policy is a little disconcerting, especially given all the fanfare surrounding its retirement. Do I think they will make the deadline? Absolutely. But they sure know how to dramatize a construction project.

Your thoughts?