If you’re wondering what’s going on with the roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has become a punchline at this point, 11Alive sports has the skinny. As you might imagine, it has to do with the complexity of the thing.
The new stadium was on display for media yesterday, and as you saw earlier this morning, it looked awesome. The only item on the checklist appears to be that roof, which is supposed to open and close automatically in just over ten minutes. We’re not there yet.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium officials purposely put roof on hold to have rest of stadium completed on time: https://t.co/K81WqqpI1d #Falcons pic.twitter.com/6uEkl56sPi— 11Alive Sports (@11AliveSports) August 15, 2017
Basically, the reasons for that seem to come down to a desire to avoid wear-and-tear on a very complex system, and because not everything is working exactly the way it’s supposed to just yet.
Along each section of the rails, crews are determining if weight needs to be added or reduced from the panels on each side. While the rails are straight, there are dips and hills in them to help balance each panel as it moves. Correct measurements will help the automation mechanism last for years to come.
"All the work we’re doing now, it has nothing to do with the safety of the roof. This is all about the lifespan of the-- it’s a complicated and expensive mechanism that moves the roof," Egan said.
Currently, it takes eight different people to control the movement of each panel as it moves. Manually, it's down to four hours to open or close the roof. Eventually, all eight panels will be programed so they can be controlled by one button that will open the roof in just over 10 minutes.
This all sounds pretty reasonable, even if it appears to have arisen because of an underestimation of just how complex the system would be. If the roof can be opened manually in about a four hour timespan, they should have no problem having open air for Falcons games in the fall. The hope, as detailed in the article, is that sometime this fall the thing will open automatically the way it’s supposed to, allowing the Falcons to react to weather as needed.
Go read the whole story if you’re interested in learning more about the roof. It’ll at least set your mind at ease that nothing’s going to cave in while you’re attending a game.