Long Waits, Leaky Roofs at Stadium for National Title

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Copyright 2018 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, fans contended with long lines. Inside the new stadium, water dripped onto the field from a leak in the roof.

Those appeared to be the two main problems at Monday night's big game.

Adam Cohen had a plan all mapped out in hopes of avoiding those long lines: Take MARTA to the Vine City station, across the street from Gate 1. Good idea, but Gate 1 was closed to accommodate President Donald Trump's arrival.

So he was directed to the human wall that formed on the opposite side of the stadium.Two hours later, with game time rapidly approaching, he was still waiting.

"I don't know what the problem is," Cohen said as 8 p.m. drew near. "Between the electronic ticketing system and the president, it's just devastating."

Others were much luckier.

At the point of entry closer to the Georgia World Congress Center, the waits were considerably more manageable.

Meanwhile, inside the stadium, the roof leaked in at least one spot.

"It's dripping," Mercedes-Benz Stadium general manager Scott Jenkins confirmed.

A slight stream of rain water was falling on the field near the 25-yard line, on the side with "Georgia" emblazoned across the end zone.

It's at least the third event at which the stadium roof is known to have leaked.

Two Georgia players and a UGA official were spotted checking out the leak on the field.

Asked last week if he was concerned about potential roof leaks in the event of rain, College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said: "We have been told the roof is in great shape, and we're not worried one bit about that."

The roof of the new $1.5 billion-plus stadium is supposed to be retractable, but it has been open for only two events -- one Falcons game and one Atlanta United match -- because of problems.

AJC reporters Tim Tucker, Stephen Deere and Christian Boone contributed to this article.

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January 9, 2018


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