It will be Football Night in America this coming Sunday and the long awaited high tech roof of the new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta will take the field, weather permitting.
The retractable roof is still being worked on but enough progress has been done for the Falcons to open it for the nationally televised game.
Crews have been testing the roof's operations and have opened it eight times but it has taken more than an hour to move the 8 connecting panels that are designed to open in 12 minutes.
The eight panels are in four different sizes and move on tracks at slightly differing speeds. Each panel weighs about 500 tons and measures more than 200 feet long.
The difficulties “had a lot to do with the fact that this roof has never been done before,” said Bill Johnson, a senior vice president of global design firm HOK and the stadium’s lead architect. “We really didn’t have the benefit of other people going before us.”
Bill Darden, president of project manager Darden & Company, put it this way: “If there was some degree of underestimation, it was … how tricky it would be to make it work.”
Here's a look inside: