• Arthur Blank reflects on 'amazement' of new stadium ahead of big weekend

    By: Justin Farmer

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - There’s a big weekend ahead for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

    Atlanta United hosts Orlando City on Saturday in a game expected to break an attendance record.

    The Atlanta Falcons will play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the first regular season game at the new stadium.

    Weather permitting, the roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be open for the first time Sunday night.

    Channel 2's Justin Farmer sat down with Falcons and United owner Arthur Blank for his first in-depth interview since the stadium opened. 

    "This Sunday, weather permitting, will be the first time the Falcons have played at home in an open-air stadium in 25 years. We're excited about that," Blank said. 


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    Blank said there are many factors that go into opening the roof. 

    "The original design goal was to open and close it within 12 minutes, which I think we'll eventually get to that. Each of these eight petals weighs 550 tons, so it's a huge amount of weight," he said. "They have to open and close exactly in sync together, and we wanted to make sure that initially the building was dry and could operate correctly with a closed roof and now we'll start to open it for a variety of events." 

    Blank told Farmer he feels both amazement and gratitude when he comes to the stadium.

    "Everybody that's been part of the design, construction, support, our staff, everybody else's staff, our fans have been beyond incredible in their support of the building," he said. 

    The 2 million-square-foot building has 27,000 tons of structural steel. Its environmental design will earn Mercedes-Benz Stadium a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. 

    "I think for our fans to come here and it's magnificent-looking and it was built responsibly is way more important for all of our fans and we want to be able to tell that story as well," Blank said. 

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