Posted March 07, 2013

Falcons reach deal with Atlanta mayor on new downtown stadium

NFL
The Falcons and mayor of Atlanta have reached an agreement about a new stadium to replace the 21-year-old Georgia Dome. (Ken Levine/Getty Images)

The Falcons and mayor of Atlanta have reached an agreement about a new stadium to replace the 21-year-old Georgia Dome. (Ken Levine/Getty Images)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed reached an agreement about the construction of a new stadium, reports NBC Sports. The new stadium will cost an estimated $1 billion; the city will pay $200 million. The city said the $200 million would come from taxes on hotel rooms rather than from Atlanta residents.

“I am pleased that we reached an agreement that will ensure the Atlanta Falcons remain in the heart of our city for many years to come and will lead to revitalization of some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods,” Reed said to FOX Atlanta.

The Falcons still need to get the approval of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Fulton County Commission and the Atlanta City Council for plans to move forward. But obtaining the Mayor’s backing was the biggest hurdle, and it is likely the other organizations will follow suit.


42 comments
BestoinkDooley
BestoinkDooley

They tore down the perfectly good and long paid-for multi-use 27-year-young open-air Atlanta Fulton county stadium(deemed outdated,tacky,not fancy enough) to build the Dome. All the Power Suits were giddy clamoring all over themselves to rush to build a fancy new Domed stadium. The reason they didn't build a retractable roof stadium in '92 was it was considered a too expensive option. They just wanted A DOME and they wanted it NOW! yeehaa. But now that's old hat. After wasting all the money building the Ga. Dome which we'll still be paying for after they tear it down? Why didn't they get it right back in '92? Excuses,excuses. Such extravagance. No, the hotel tax won't cover the public's share.This is going to have a negative economic impact and the end result will be ever steeper Atlanta property taxes. You'll see. It's happened elsewhere. Time to move.

Redwings1926
Redwings1926

Following this trend, the Lions will be due for a new stadium in 10 years. 

 

Seriously, when I look at the fact that the Tigers played at Tiger Stadium from 1912 to 1999, the Yankees at Yankee Stadium from 1923 to 2008, and the Red Wings playing at the old Olympia from 1927 to 1979, this just looks ridiculous. 

 

 

Redwings1926
Redwings1926

Why do they need a new stadium? The Georgia Dome is barely broken in!! It opened in the 90s!!

 

Don't tell me they're going to bulldoze a perfectly good building to the ground that wasn't even around hair-bands and t-tops were in!! 

 

This is getting ridiculous. Next thing you know, they're going to want a new stadium every 5 years...

Action
Action

So what are the odds that Pepsi will get the naming rights on this stadium?

RichW
RichW

The city of Cincinnati will be paying dearly for decades due to our ill conceived stadium deal. Other cities should learn from our mistake.

Bazelope
Bazelope

This should have been the Mayor;s answer:  "Good luck in Los Angeles Mr. Blankstein.   We aint funding no MF stadium so you can pad yo pocket with mo money, mo money and mo money,  Now get out my face whitey!"

JJ8
JJ8

I live in a city that's has a horrible stadium in a horrible location . I would love a new one in a new location , BUT there is no way our city can flip a $200 mil bill and I know we have more money than atl . Good luck.

CameronPoe
CameronPoe

So how many of you that are "outraged" are residents of Atlanta or the state of GA for that matter?

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Sounds like a sports franchise blackmailing a city for a new facility to me.  

JayZ
JayZ

The NFL, and every team that is part of the organization, is an absolute cash cow........why in the world do cities or regions have to build teams new stadiums every 15 or 20 years? 

 

What would $200 million in taxes generated by new hotel surcharges do for the Atlanta schools, hospitals, bridges, roads, and other facilities that are shared by the entire community?  Isn't it enough that the cities have to foot the bill for new transportation facilities (roads, ramps, subway stops. etc.) to allow people to get to the games?

 

And, can anybody prove that having a major league team in a city actually boosts the local economy by any appreciable amount?  Can anyone who has been to the South Bronx honestly say that the Yankees have magically transformed that part of NYC?

 

If major league teams can pay milliions for utility outfielders, second string tackles, and the 10th guy coming off the NBA bench, they can certainly pay for their own arenas.  $200 million would certainly be better spent on the needy citizens of Atlanta than the 50+ guys who suit up eight Sundays a year for their three hour games.   

salvaje50
salvaje50

I have been to the Georgia Dome several times.  It has its issues but I don't get why it needs to be changed out for a $1B facility. 

CameronPoe
CameronPoe

Have you ever been to the stadium?  Logistically its a nightmare.  Hard to get to, hard to get out of, very little parking, and not a place you want to walk out of late at night.  Its not so much an issue of the stadium falling apart as it is the location, location, location.

 

DavidSarich
DavidSarich

Why does a 20 year old stadium need replacing?

Oh really
Oh really

 @Redwings1926  Very good point.  I live in  Atlanta,  and I'm pissed.  There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Dome.  Kasim Reed is a joke of a mayor.  If Mary Norwood would've been elected,  I guarantee this would not have been agreed upon. 

issac
issac

 @Redwings1926

 I hope not, but they can sale the dome to Birmingham and get some of the money back, if they  buy it LOL.

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @RichW the details of this deal are much more sound than the ones in the Cincinnati deal. Atlanta deal is the basically to extend a tax on the hotels in the city- a tax that has been successful in paying of the Dome through the booms and busts over the last 15-20 years. I do feel bad for Cincinnati though, the residents specifically, because of that stadium deal. Yall got hosed

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @CameronPoe this is craziness, you and me seem to be the only ones that like this deal. Are we the only ones that realize the city was gonna have to fork over this $200 to put a new roof on the stadium in five years anyway lol?

jeffcooper71
jeffcooper71

 @Rickapolis That is what I thought. But it is hard to make that case if tax payers are paying 200 million, which is around what we paid for the GA dome, and the remaining 800 million is privately funded.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @JayZ So you are okay with excessive taxation as long as you get to choose where the money gets spent?   Do realize that the city will also collect taxes from events at the stadium and from the athletes playing there?   That is called a return on investment, something you do not get with your cash giveaway plan.

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @salvaje50 its about Super Bowls and Final Fours, Dome "apparently" is too old to be considered for these events, or at least that is what is being said. The Dome is still very much a fine stadium for a football game

DavidSarich
DavidSarich

 @CameronPoe Location should have been considered 20 years ago. I have never been to Atlanta, never mind the Georgia Dome, but there are many places where facilities are in rough neighbourhoods. I'm thinking of the Prudential Center in Newark as an example. Not saying there was any back room dealing, but if influence was used to get the Georgia Dome built where it was, that is a problem for Atlanta to deal with. If a new stadium is desired, then that should be on the Falcons and perhaps the NFL to foot the bill, not the taxpayer. We have these same discussions in Canada, and they generate a lot of anger. Look up the situation in Edmonton or Quebec City to see how people feel about taxpayer financed buildings. 

davefoxIP
davefoxIP

 @DavidSarich Agreed.  This is ridiculous.  1992 is relatively modern as far as stadiums go.  By that time, concerns regarding luxury boxes, sight lines, facilities, and concessions that were present in older stadiums had been resolved.  Candlestick Park needed replacement.  The Georgia Dome did not.  What a waste of money.

geeon1
geeon1

@DavidSarich Needs replacing because other teams have newer more modern facilities: it is all about keeping up with the Jones. What I dislike about this is the increase on hotel rooms. Why should I as a business man be forced to pay for the new stadium when I come in for business? Worse yet EVERYONE IN America is paying for their stadiums. As a business man I get to write off the costs to stay in hotels. The Tax payers are paying for the new stadium

issac
issac

 @Oh really  @Redwings1926

 but she didn't. so now the hoods that needs fixing up will get it thank god, and I live in atlanta too.

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @jeffcooper71  @Rickapolis not even paid by GA tax payers, but by the people that stay in hotels in the city of Atlanta. It really is not a bad idea at all, but you have to get into the details of the deal to understand that. Most people think that the city/state will pay for the whole $1 billion project. They won't even read the story enough to discover that Blank is fronting 80% of the money for the deal, much less read the details on how the city planned to pay its portion of the deal.

bubmmfdx
bubmmfdx

 @JoeCabot  @JayZ I bet the tax doesn't add up to 200 Million and I also will take taxation if it improves lives in a VISIBLE and tangible way.  Pump it into schools, college scholarships

NoSaint
NoSaint

@BryanCustard1 @salvaje50 The Super Dome just hosted a Super Bowl and in is almost 40 years old.

CameronPoe
CameronPoe

 @DavidSarich  @CameronPoe Location was considered 20 years ago.  But in 20 years things change.  City demographics shift.  The city was in major clean up mode due to the '96 olympics.  Then things change.  The economy changes.  You say you have never been to Atlanta so honestly you really don't know the location.  The Dome is not the only major landmark in the area.  You have the GA Congress and Convention center there too.  Which played a major role in the location of the dome.  Like I said its not about a building falling down.  Its about the city falling down around the building.  And the "taxpayers" of Atlanta are not footing the bill.  They are using hotel taxes to pay the portion the city has promised.  So unless all those folks living in the city of Atlanta are staying in hotels in Atlanta on a regular basis their pockets are none the lighter.  And if influence was used for the first location, it would seem the city of Atlanta is dealing with the problem now, by building a new stadium using hotel tax dollars.  I am also aware that there are many places with stadiums in bad places and that is a problem for those teams and those cities.  But again I stress that you have never been to Atlanta nor do you live in Atlanta so you really do not have a dog in this fight.  So, really your outrage is unwarranted.

geeon1
geeon1

The Atlanteans should be paying the costs not visitors.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

 @bubmmfdx  There is currently more money being given to our education system than ever and it is still failing.   More money does not guarantee results.

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

 @bubmmfdx   wanna bet? because the tax money generated from playing just one final four or super bowl, the reason the stadium is being built, would bring in more money in tax revenue to the city than $200 million. Remember, the city would tax every person that stayed in the city money for food, alcohol, gas, lodging, etc. while also collecting tax money on the players game checks themselves for playing in the city (not sure if any bonuses that are secured during the winning of a championship in the city would be taxable or not, but if they are that's the game check plus the bonuses on 53 players and coaches, plus the game checks of the other teams players and coaches, referees, and any other personnel working the game. Bet that comes out to a pretty penny in state income tax from non-residents). Major events coming into a new stadium would generate enormous tax streams, as Mr. Cabot was saying. If you wanna argue that we (I live in Atlanta) don't need a new stadium because the Dome is viable, I whole could see you point, but not if you are arguing that the city will not have a return on its investment into this new stadium.

RobertG
RobertG

 @DavidSarich  @CameronPoe The Falcons are covering the other 800 million plus any costs that goes over budget.  All and all a good deal and the team is wanting to do something similar to how Turner Field was updated from Fulton County Stadium so the overall experience for us season ticket holders and Falcons fans should be much better.

DavidSarich
DavidSarich

 @CameronPoe The problem is this fight will be repeated in other cities. Bank on it. I'll grant you that demographics change, however, these stadiums are getting more and more expensive and can't switched out like a smartphone that doesn't run on the best network connection. Taxpayers will be paying for it in some way, outsiders via a hotel tax, and I suspect Atlanta residents through infrastructure. Also, the article doesn't state where exactly the other $800,000,000 is going to come from. I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but this also is not going to be the last time we hear about a newish stadium being "too old" and therefore needing replacing. I'm not outraged, just curious. 

IdDoHannahStorm
IdDoHannahStorm

 @geeon1 Visitors will pay because politicians don't have to answer to out-of-towners.  All in favor of levying a tax on people who don't live here, say aye.

CameronPoe
CameronPoe

 @geeon1 Regardless, if the money is going to a stadium or not you will still pay a hotel tax in city you go to.