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Think You've Got Problems? Falcons’ Stadium Costs Soar With Over $200 Million In Construction Change Orders

No sooner than Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United of MLS, announced his plans in 2013 to build a new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome, Atlanta sports fans found themselves abuzz with anticipation and excitement. Not only did the new stadium (now known as Mercedes-Benz Stadium thanks to a lucrative sponsorship deal) promise to be a state-of-the-art facility that would be the envy of teams from around the world, but there was also the added bonus of the bulk of the stadium’s costs being covered by private funding.

As some of you may know from your own experiences in working on large projects, a lot can happen over the course of the construction of a stadium. A month of bad weather can lead to months of delays further down the road, and in the case of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, its elaborate design, while revolutionary in many ways, has proven to be problematic at times as well.

Perhaps, then, it is the sheer amount of change orders requested during the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium that truly highlights, in black-and-white terms, just how challenging the construction process for Atlanta’s new crown jewel has been. According to Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, changes orders as of July 2016 had swelled to a sum of almost $209 million. With the initial price tag of the stadium already in the neighborhood of $1 billion, adding another 20% to the project’s cost is simply dumbfounding to think about!

While the $208 million in construction change orders is a staggering total in its own right, it’s even more astonishing to think that $101 million of that sum came in May 2016 alone. Tucker explains:

“Of the $101 million in change orders issued in May, $87.6 million was attributed to costs associated with accelerating work to achieve the June 1, 2017 completion target, according to records previously obtained from the GWCCA. Most of that involved steel work, the Falcons have said.”

Reading about some of the details and intricacies surrounding Mercedes-Benz Stadium really made me curious about what some of you may have encountered with change orders on your own projects, whether large or small. What are some of the most interesting stories regarding a change order that you have to share? In addition, how have ConstructionSuite and ConstructionOnline helped you to keep your change order management organized?

Send your change order stories our way, and we’ll share some of the best ones soon!

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