NFL team Atlanta Falcons unveil incredible new retractable roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (VIDEO)
There's a new candidate for the title of the most most technologically advanced stadium in the NFL, as the Atlanta Falcons unveiled a stunning new retractable roof which can open fully in just over eight minutes.
The Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz stadium now joins the likes of the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, with its basketball court-sized high definition video display, as being one of the most futuristic (not to mention expensive) stadiums in the US.
The time the roof took to fully retract beat even the expectations of its architects, who had estimated that it would take closer to 12 minutes to open. The roof closes even faster, at just over seven minutes.
The stadium was formally opened last August after the completion of the $1.1billion project, though unforeseen problems with the construction of the retractable roof meant that its formal ‘opening’ was delayed until recently. It was certainly worth the wait.
“It's great to have it finished,' said Mike Egan, a senior vice president of the Falcons.
“It was never a question of the roof being broken or unsafe. It was literally just a question of needing to get the balance (of the roof) right so the propulsion system would achieve its desired life.
"It took as long as it did because this is a busy building and we had to work around events," Egan continued. 'It's a relief, but we really never had any doubt we would get to this point. It's more just a feeling of exhilaration to see it working the way it is supposed to.'
Around 60,000 fans are expected to attend a public ceremony to officially mark the construction of the retractable roof on Sunday.