LOOK: The Falcons have a 73,000-pound bird statue in front of their new stadium

If you're wondering why the Falcons' new stadium cost nearly $1.5 billion, it's because the team decided to spend roughly half its budget on a giant bird statue. 

OK, that's not true -- the team didn't spend $750 million on a giant bird statue. But there is a monstrous bird statue at Mercedes-Benz stadium in downtown Atlanta, but it probably didn't cost quite that much.

Visitors to the team's new stadium will get to see a 41.5-foot tall statue of a falcon, which is being hailed as the largest bird sculpture in the world. 

The team first announced the statue back in September, and roughly seven months later, the giant falcon was finally put on display this week at the team's new stadium. 

Here's a what a 73,000-pound statue looks like. 

If you're thinking that the statue is bigger than a small pterodactyl, you're correct. According to the Falcons' website, the giant bird statue as a wingspan of over 64 feet. 

The team's website also notes that the stainless steel statue was constructed by Gábor Miklós Szőke of Budapest, and that the bird is "capturing the moment of a touchdown," as you can clearly see in the photo. 

As for the stadium itself, it's expected to be open in time for the Falcons' first preseason game on Aug. 26.

The stadium was supposed to open on March 1, but that didn't happen because the construction team has had a serious problem trying to put together the one-of-its-kind retractable roof, which has delayed the opening of the stadium three times. 

First, the stadium was supposed to open March 1, which then got pushed back to June 1, before being pushed back again to July 30. Now, the team is looking at Aug. 26. 

Fortunately for the Falcons, it doesn't look like there will be any more delays. 

Stadium general manager Scott Jenkins told The Associated Press this week that the building is 90 percent done and that he "expects" it to be ready for the Falcons' preseason opener. 

Everyone on the project has been trying to figure out how to get the roof to open regularly. In a video illustration below, you can see how the roof will open when it actually works. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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