NFL wants open roof for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta



ATLANTA – The NFL wants the retractable roof at the $ 1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta open for the next Super Bowl, weather permitting.

Super Bowl LIII is scheduled for February 3, 2019.

"Certainly, where we have been in stadiums with retractable roofs, our preference is always to open the roof," said Peter O & # 39; Reilly, Senior vice president of NFL events. "We did that in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX in a model where they do not normally open the roof for a stadium, but we open it for the Super Bowl.

Falcons president Rich McKay says he "would love to see" the retractable roof open for Super Bowl LIII next February in Atlanta. Vaughn McClure / ESPN

"In our opinion, [an open roof] creates great energy in that building. Obviously, we will be disappointed by a series of Falcons games. And I know that the plan is to be open, waiting for the weather. So we will evaluate it and we will see it & # 39; & # 39 ;.

Falcons president Rich McKay firmly believes that the retractable 14.5-acre roof will be fully functional for the 2018 football season after construction problems kept him closed for most of season 17. The Falcons played only one game with the roof open: Green Bay's opening win last September at Green Bay in a clash on Sunday night.

"I'd love to see it open," McKay said on the roof of Super Bowl LIII. . "That would mean we're having a good climate."

Roof opening is a 12-minute process, McKay said, which must be decided 90 minutes before the start. In relation to the Super Bowl, the decision to open or close it depends solely on the NFL. Officers will not leave the 90-minute window.

The last time the Super Bowl was in Atlanta was on January 30, 2000, when an ice storm paralyzed the city when the St. Louis Rams topped Tennessee Titans, 23-16, inside the Georgia Dome . The owner of the Falcons, Arthur Blank, described the elements as "one of those abnormal things in 1 of every 100 years." It is unlikely that they will happen again. Two seasons ago, the Falcons lost to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLI at NRG Stadium in Houston. The retractable roof was closed due to moisture, said O & # 39; Reilly.

`'Again, except for the weather, including the temperature, we would love to have the roof open and really show the building to the fullest, & # 39; & # 39; Or Reilly said about the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

On Wednesday, the league awarded the Arizona Super Bowl 2023 to Arizona, offering another opportunity to open the retractable roof at the University of Phoenix Stadium for the NFL's biggest event.

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