ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons’ new retractable-roof stadium is ready to open.
The roof, that is.
After dealing with construction and mechanical issues that delayed the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and forced the first five games to be played with the roof closed, officials said it could be open for Sunday’s prime-time contest in which the NFC champion Falcons host the Green Bay Packers.
It will depend on the weather, of course, but the long-range forecast looks extremely promising: a high of 85 during the day, with mostly sunny conditions, and a low of 64 in the evening.
The Falcons haven’t played an open-air home game since their finale at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on Dec. 15, 1991. The team moved into the Georgia Dome the following year for a 25-season run.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened last month with a pair of Falcons’ exhibition games. The $1.5 billion facility has since hosted two college football games, as well as Sunday’s Major League Soccer match between Atlanta United and FC Dallas. But the unique roof, which resembles a camera lens, remained shut while officials ensured that it could open and close within about 12 minutes.