You can buy a lot with $1.5 billion these days. But apparently one thing you can't buy is a functioning roof on your new stadium, something the Atlanta Falcons found out the hard way this week.
When the team's new retractable roof stadium officially opens on Aug. 26, there's going to be one minor issue: The roof won't actually be retractable.
Steve Cannon, the CEO of the AMB Group (the Falcons' parent company), told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week that because of construction delays, workers haven't been able to fully mechanize the roof.
Cannon said the delay means that the roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be closed for the Falcons' preseason opener on Aug. 26 (vs. Arizona) and the team's regular-season home opener on Sept. 17 (vs. Green Bay).
There's also no guarantee that the roof will be functioning by time the Falcons play their second regular-season home game in October. According to Cannon, the roof will be closed for an "undetermined period of time."
Basically, it takes 40 days to mechanize the roof once the construction team makes its last "construction move," and workers still have three construction moves to make before the 40-day clock can start.
Although the roof won't be working when the stadium opens on Aug. 26, Cannon doesn't seem to think fans will mind.
"We are going to give fans a great experience. No one is going to care," Cannon said of the roof, via ESPN.com.
The Falcons originally opened the roof in April, but that took some serious manpower. Cannon recently shared a tweet that shows what the roof looks like when it's open.
After opening the roof in April, the Falcons, so we know it can be done.
The problem right now is that since the roof isn't mechanized, it can only be opened and closed manually, which can take 24 to 48 hours, according to 11alive.com. Once the roof is mechanized, it should be able to open in less than eight minutes.
Here's what that will theoretically look like if they ever figure it out.
Putting the roof together has been so complicated that the opening of the stadium has been delayed four times. First, it was supposed to open March 1, which then got pushed back to June 1, before being pushed back to July 30. Now, the stadium will be opening Aug. 26.
If you're wondering why the roof has taken so long, it's because nothing like it has ever been built. The first-of-its-kind retractable roof is designed to look like camera when it's opening, according to HOK, the company.
"Inspired by the oculus in the ancient Rome Pantheon, the stadium's unique roof opening will provide tremendous flexibility in hosting a wide variety of events in the stadium," the company said when the design was unveiled in 2015. "Eight unique roof petals can open in less than eight minutes, creating a camera lens-like effect that exposes the inside of the facility to the open air on game and event days."
Although the roof won't be working, fans probably won't care too much because they're going to be too busy eating as many $2 hot dogs as possible. I mean, just look at that menu below. Waffle fries for $3 is the steal of the century.