After stumbling over a number of hurdles, a deal for a new stadium for the Falcons appears to be getting closer.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a proposal for a $948 million retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta could be agreed to by the end of the year.
The Georgia World Congress Center (the sprawling convention center adjacent to the Georgia Dome) has been negotiating with the team for a year and a half, and it seems they’ve cleared a number of hurdles.
“The complexity of the deal is ultimately driving the schedule, and we do not feel pressured to rush through our analysis in order to meet an aspirational timeline,” GWCC spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster said.
There are still a number of obstacles to clear, including the small issues of where to put it and how to pay for it (details, details).
The initial plan was to build an open-air stadium to operate along with the Georgia Dome, but it didn’t take long for people to realize that wasn’t the best idea ever cooked up by a civic booster whose reach exceeded his checkbook.
The Falcons have always preferred an open-air stadium, and frankly, the Georgia Dome has always been one of the most ill-considered buildings in the league. It’s not a dump by any stretch of the imagination, just never presents much in the way of atmosphere, despite a favorable location downtown. It’s just a charmless large space, like the meeting hall next door, perfectly functional and no more.