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Mercedes-Benz Stadium Roof (Finally) Opens

Mercedes-Benz Stadium Roof (Finally) Opens
By Atlanta Falcons [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
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ATLANTA (CelebrityAccess) One of the most state-of-the-art facilities in the world, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, is finally just about fully operational with the successful opening of its roof July 25.

The new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, which is also seeing record attendance for its other tenant, Major League Soccer’s Atlanta United, has a “petal-style” roof – eight gigantic petals that open and close like the shutters on a camera lens. However, it took 11 months after the arena officially opened for the roof to finally work.

The Falcons expect more than 50,000 fans to visit the stadium on Sunday, after a team practice, for the official roof-opening ceremony, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The roof worked smoothly during yesterday’s media event, with the structure opening and closing faster than promised.

It’s all by a push of a button – make that a click of the mouse.

“Everybody likes to say there’s a button (to open the roof),” Mark Silvera, president of Uni-Systems Engineering, which designed the roof, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There’s sort of a button.

“At the operator control station, there is a PC where the operator interfaces with the control program that runs it. And through that PC, it’s mostly mouse clicks that you use to set up the moves.

“Once you get the moves set up,” Silvera continued, “there’s an infrared sensor that you put your finger in. That’s your actual button. The sensor is there so the operator is required to stay at the station. If he takes his hand out to go somewhere else, then the roof stops. It’s not a button that you depress; it’s just a sensor, a little cradle that senses (the operator’s presence).”

The four other NFL teams that have retractable roofs open them for about one-third of the games but the Falcons and Atlanta United claim they will exceed that ratio.

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