Atlanta, May 24 (EFE).- The National Football League (NFL) said it wanted the retractable roof open for Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, next year.
“Certainly, where we’ve been in stadia with retractable roofs, our preference is always to open the roof,” NFL senior vice president of events Peter O’Reilly said.
“We did that in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX in a model there where they typically don’t open the roof for a stadium, but we opened it for the Super Bowl.”
Super Bowl LIII will be played at the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 3, 2019.
“In our mind, (an open roof) creates some great energy in that building. We obviously will be down for a number of Falcons games this fall. And I know the plan is for it to be open, pending weather. So we’ll evaluate it and watch that,” O’Reilly said.
The roof at Mercedes-Benz Stadium has only been opened once since the Falcons began playing at the facility on Aug. 26, 2017, because of construction problems.
“I would love to see it open,” Falcons president Rich McKay said, referring to the 14.5-acre (5.9-hectare) retractable roof. “That would mean we’re having good weather.”
McKay said he expected the problems with the roof to be fixed in time for the 2018 season.
The Falcons played just one game with the roof open last season, a Sunday night match-up against the Green Bay Packers.
Opening the stadium’s roof takes 12 minutes and NFL officials must make the decision to retract it at least 90 minutes before kickoff.
Atlanta last hosted the Super Bowl on Jan. 30, 2000, when an ice storm paralyzed the city. That game was played at the Georgia Dome and featured a thrilling ending as the St. Louis Rams held on to beat the Tennessee Titans 23-16.
In other NFL news, the league has awarded the 2023 Super Bowl to Arizona and the 2024 Super Bowl to New Orleans.
Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, will host the 2020 Super Bowl, while Raymond James Stadium in Tampa will be the venue for the 2021 game.
Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, which is under construction and will be the new home of the Rams, will host the Super Bowl in 2022.