ATLANTA -- With Mercedes-Benz Stadium opening on Saturday despite continuing construction on the retractible roof, it's caused some on social media to ask if it is really safe to open the stadium.
While it's obvious that the AMB Group, who owns the stadium, and the city of Atlanta would never allow thousands of fans in a place that isn't safe, we decided to go straight to the source to help ease people's concerns.
The way Bill Darden, president of Darden & Company which is the project management company, talks about the continuing work on the roof, it would make one wonder about going in.
"It’s opening like a camera shutter," Darden said about the retractable roof, which has caused the stadium's opening to be delayed multiple times. "It actually operates on two rails. One rail actually drives the pedal to open and close and the other rail holds it down so it wouldn’t tip over into the bowl."
The roof is made up of eight pedals, each weighing 500 tons, or a total of 4,000 tons of steel, which is all trying to slide open and close.
Crews are still working on the calibration and weights of the pedals. Fortunately, the roof has opened and closed about four times, and the pedals have not fallen in, so they seem to have conquered that part of it.
Mike Egan, senior vice president and general counsel of AMB Group which owns Mercedes-Benz Stadium, ensures that what crews are working on now has nothing to do with safety and that no part of the roof will come crashing down.
"The last thing we would do is take any compromise in safety. This will be the most safe and secure building in professional sports," Egan said, adding crews haven't cut any corners at any point.
"We’re ready. We’re absolutely ready," he said.
Egan said it's always a scramble to the end, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium is no different.
But the stadium has received its Certificate of Occupancy from the city. So while work continues, there are no safety concerns in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
To read more about the continuing construction on the roof and why it is delayed, click here.PHOTOS | Mercedes-Benz Stadium