Megatron’s Butthole is leaking

And speaking of unfortunate headlines, here’s one from yesterday’s Kansas City Star atop an AP story ahead of last night’s College Football Playoff title game at the Atlanta Falcons‘ new stadium:

High-tech Atlanta stadium a hit with fans after early woes

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is about to be on perhaps its largest national stage — Monday night’s College Football Playoff title game — and fans say Atlanta’s new $1.5 billion facility is living up to the hype despite a series of construction setbacks that delayed its opening…

So far, the stadium is winning attendees over despite its signature feature, the retractable roof, being opened a couple times during events since the opening in August. The roof, which opens and closes like a camera lens, is one of the many attractions of the stadium including the massive 360-degree, 63,000-square-foot halo video board and cheap food pricing.

So those construction delays and malfunctioning retractable roof are all a thing of the past, and everything works great now! Except maybe you might have wanted to wait for the game actually to be played before writing that headline:

The roof of Atlanta’s $1.6 billion stadium is leaking at the CFP title game
With rain hitting Atlanta on Monday, reporters at the College Football Playoff national title game noticed a stream of water pouring in from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium roof.

And:

Fans frustrated after long waits to get into Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The lines were constant, no matter how early fans arrived. By 5:30 p.m., nearly three hours before game time, the wait to get into the stadium was running about an hour.

And worst of all:

President Donald Trump arrived in Atlanta on Monday night to attend the National Championship Game between Alabama and Georgia.

Okay, so Trump’s presence can’t actually be blamed on the new stadium, except inasmuch as that if Atlanta hadn’t gone and helped build it, they probably wouldn’t have gotten to host the CFP championship game and then would have been spared the president’s presence. (Is this what economists call an externality?) The leaky roof is a bigger problem, and it really might be time to ask whether spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a cool-looking retractable roof is worth it when it doesn’t retract and also doesn’t really work as a roof. Though I guess it did earn the stadium an awesome nickname, and what price can you put on that?


11 comments on “Megatron’s Butthole is leaking

  1. They got called out for it on last night’s ESPN2 “Homers” broadcast – the announcers work the sideline, and during the third quarter as they were moving to follow a play, Joe Tessitore stopped, turned to his color guy (Alabama alum Landon Collins), and asked, “Did I just get rained on in here?”

    Yep, they were standing under one of the roof leaks.

  2. Talk all you want, but New Georgia Dome is the best stadium I’ve been to, and I have a hard time believing that it’s not the best in the world. The roof will probably never work, but who cares? The location is superb, the building looks beautiful, the concessions are so cheap it shocked me, crowd flows are the best I’ve experienced (obviously I went when our President wasn’t there), the sight lines are great (even from the upper bowl) and that scoreboard is just perfect.

    • Who cares?

      Well, I imagine that the lawyers for the design company, the construction companies, the funding ‘partners’ and the tenants will all ‘care’. Some will care a great deal.

  3. Is there any word on when the amazing roof might actually become functional and thus be more, sort of, amazing?

    Or are they on the verge of pulling a Pittsburgh and just welding the theoretically opening roof closed to avoid having it stuck permanently in a partially open position?

    Thus far, the new building appears to combine all the disadvantages of a fixed roof along with the relatively small number of disadvantages of a roof-free stadium.

    “Good job, Brownie!”, as the man said.

  4. Worry not about the, what, $300m? roof failure.

    At the rate that stadia are being declared obsolete, Falcons fans will only have to put up with it for another decade and a half at most before they are prevailed upon to pay for a new building… maybe one with a cutting edge design roof that actually works, who knows.

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