Atlanta Wins Big With Stadiums

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The Atlanta Braves and the Atlanta Falcons… The last time we spoke about these teams was during the construction of each of their respective stadiums (The Falcon’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, and the Braves’ SunTrust Park). We touched on the possibility of how scarce resources may come into play and add additional pressure to the already complex projects for both parties.

So how did things fare for both mega sports franchises?

Good to say the least! Both teams saw their projects finish within the realm of their stated deadlines and without any harrowing hiccups or setbacks. However, both teams did face a few minor upsets.

Photo credit: Kristi Dosh
Photo credit: Paul Abell via AP


The Setbacks:

SunTrust Park’s original cost estimates of $672 million exceeded to about $700 million. SunTrust Park also experienced slight seating issues prior to opening. Some fan seats were reportedly off by about 1/32nd of an inch and had to be redone— now there’s a project manager that takes pride in precision! Chris Britton, a project manager for SunTrust Park’s construction mentions during our next episode of Manage This podcasts (going live on November 21st) that it requires strong communication and a good team to make feats like this possible.

Mercedes Benz Stadium also experienced some fumbles of its own. For instance, overall costs were originally projected to be $1.2 billion, but instead amounted to a total of $1.6 billion. Another unexpected issue that arose had to do with the stadium’s retractable roof (a key feature of the stadium), which prevented it from functioning during opening day. Now, this is currently undergoing quality assurance and is expected to be functioning in time for next season.

The Wins:

Even with the minor setbacks presented during construction, it’s safe to say that both projects were a success.

SunTrust Park was called a “gem” by Hardball Times, noting the “compact beauty of the stadium and its exciting approach to combining baseball business and social activities”. Baseball America praised the stadium for “excellent sight lines for pretty much every seat” and the fast Wi-Fi for attendees.

The Mercedes Benz Stadium ended up becoming home to not just the Atlanta Flacons but also to Atlanta United, which is Atlanta’s first major league soccer team and is also owned by Falcons owner Arthur Blank. Stadium goers have been impressed by the architecture of the venue itself with Yahoo Sports calling it “a visual marvel” and a “brilliant edition to the city’s skyline”. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the Mercedes Benz Stadium offers low pricing for high quality food and drinks, which Sports Illustrated called both “affordable and delicious”

Curveballs and interceptions are to be expected within the sport and construction industries. What matters most is not which team experiences the least amount of disturbances, but rather how they can adapt to and overcome them.

Talented project managers are like skilled coaches that can lead their team to victory. In this case, it’s clear to see that both the Atlanta Falcons and Braves are winners.

Let us be your coach by joining one of our 4-day PMP® prep classes and become a winning project manager!