Falcons will remain dome team to start 2017 season

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The Atlanta Falcons will open their new stadium this month, a $1.6 billion facility that makes the departed Georgia Dome look quaint and ancient (quancient?) by comparison.

We already knew about the 360-degree video boards that left Matt Ryan -- outfitted in an appropriately awkward construction hat -- gawking in awe. But the crowning feature of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the unique retractable roof.

Here's what it will look like:

Closing the roof, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta

Here's another look, this time soundtracked by funky Eurodance music last heard at an East Berlin nightclub in 1990.

There are issues, unfortunately. The complex nature of the roof -- a first-of-its-kind structure made up of eight petals and designed to open or close in approximately eight minutes -- has led to a series of expensive delays and postponements.

The Atlanta Falcons' new home, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is coming together quickly. Take a peek through the Falcons' new digs.

Steve Cannon, CEO of the Falcons' parent company, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution last week that the roof has yet to be mechanized and won't be ready for the Falcons' preseason home opener on Aug. 26 or the team's regular season opener on Sept. 17.

"As we come into new information and new obstacles, we figure out what impact it's going to have on schedule," Cannon said. "It became clear, based on the construction moves of the roof we have had, based on some of the delays we have had, that we didn't have time to automate the roof."

Things could be worse. There were some initial concerns that delays could force the Falcons to find a temporary home until the new stadium was ready. That won't be the case, but Falcons fans who haven't attended an open air home game since 1991 will have to sit tight. The roof will open ... at some point.

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