Season ticket holders for Major League Soccer franchise Atlanta United have received a partial refund after the opening of the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium was delayed again.
A 10-per-cent credit was placed into fans’ accounts after the announcement that the July match against Orlando City, which was meant to be the 71,000-seat stadium’s opening fixture, will now be played at United’s current temporary home, Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – which will have a capacity of 40,000 for MLS games – will now open a month later than expected due to delays with the construction of the venue’s retractable roof.
The $1.6bn (£1.3bn/€1.5bn) stadium will also serve as the home of NFL American football team the Atlanta Falcons, and their preseason fixture against Arizona Cardinals on August 26 will now become the venue’s first public event.
After originally being scheduled to open in March, the partial refund was an extension of the 10-per-cent credit that was given to fans after the stadium’s first delay. About $12 per ticket was the most any season-ticket holder received.
Team owner Arthur Blank said last week that he was hearing feedback from the fans, but nothing that was negative.
According to the Atlanta 11Alive news website, Blank said: “Every game has been sold out. So we’re thrilled. We couldn’t have asked for a better response from our Atlanta United fans that we’ve gotten. They’ve been incredible.”
Despite this, 189 fans have signed an online petition asking for 25 per cent refunds on all games not played at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium after July 4. The petition also requests that season ticket prices are frozen up until the 2020 season.
One signatory, Brenda Rodriguez, told Atlanta 11Alive: “The reason we bought the tickets, was so we can be the first ones in the Mercedes-Benz stadium. I don’t see way we can’t just get refunded, move or tickets when they actually get done with the stadium,” she posted.