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Falcons owner, Atlanta mayor reach deal on downtown stadium

the-georgia-dome-hosted-events-during-the-1996-olympics AP

With the mayor of Atlanta on board, the Falcons have taken a big step toward getting a new downtown stadium.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank appeared together at City Hall today and said they’re both on board with a plan that would feature the city paying $200 million toward the $1 billion cost of a new stadium to replace the 21-year-old Georgia Dome.

“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, via FOX Atlanta.

Blank praised the deal as a “win-win,” while the city stressed that the $200 million would come from taxes on hotel rooms, rather than taxes from Atlanta residents.

Before the Falcons officially have a deal in place, they also need the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the Fulton County Commission and the Atlanta City Council to approve. But it appears that the biggest hurdles have been cleared, and the Falcons are getting a new downtown stadium.

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29 Responses to “Falcons owner, Atlanta mayor reach deal on downtown stadium”
  1. raiderufan says: Mar 7, 2013 3:31 PM

    Went and watched my Raiders play the Falcons in Atl in 2004 and it was obvious that stadium needed some help. The fans and the people there could not have been more pleasant to my friends and I and I’m really happy this could be done without all the ugliness of other teams and negotiations.

  2. fuglyflorio says: Mar 7, 2013 3:32 PM

    Why do these billionaires always need bags of taxpayer money?

  3. keiteay says: Mar 7, 2013 3:35 PM

    The Georgia Dome’s only been around for 20 years, yet it’s already outdated, and therefore needs to be replaced. Lol, welcome to professional sports in the 21st century.

  4. trollhammer20 says: Mar 7, 2013 3:36 PM

    This is one I just don’t get. The “old” stadium was built only two decades ago. Did they really just screw it up that badly they had to replace it so soon? Hell, even the Kingdome lasted longer, and it took falling roof tiles that threatened to kill someone to finally get that place closed.

  5. slder78 says: Mar 7, 2013 3:38 PM

    Seriously? 21 years makes a building obsolete? I could see a 50 year old building, but c’mon man!

  6. jimbo75025 says: Mar 7, 2013 3:40 PM

    Yes, because the neigborhoods around the Dome and Turner Field have become completely revitalized by the stadiums and I still remember these arguments then.

  7. bucrightoff says: Mar 7, 2013 3:41 PM

    Yup, never happy to hear any government fold to a billionaire. They can afford their own stadiums, but socialism for the rich continues. God Bless America.

  8. thehuckster404 says: Mar 7, 2013 3:42 PM

    I attended some of the last Detroit Tigers games at Tiger Stadium. It was a dump in its final years. It NEEDED to be demolished. The fan experience at Comerica is far and away better than the old facility, minus some “olden days” charm and history from the corner of Trumbull and Michigan Ave.

    Can anyone give me some input as to how the fan experience will be improved with a new facility in Atlanta? What is so bad about the GA Dome currently? I get that Blank doesn’t want to pay the city every year per the lease agreement, and that he wants to host a Super Bowl. He’ll probably raise concessions, parking, and ticket prices, not to mention adding PSL’s to the mix to help recoup that $800 million he’s laying out. But is the fan experience and stadium atmosphere SO BAD at the Dome that this project is necessary?

    If it is that bad, someone should tell the NCAA. They still have time to relocate this year’s Final Four, the Fall kickoff game of Alabama and Va Tech, etc.

  9. Kyle Orton's Hangover says: Mar 7, 2013 3:45 PM

    Why do these billionaires always need bags of taxpayer money?

    —–

    It’s how they stay billionaires.

  10. bigmikeatl says: Mar 7, 2013 3:57 PM

    Has anyone commenting about the stadium’s age (or lack thereof) actually BEEN to the Georgia Dome?

    The first time I stepped foot in it, I wondered how old it was since it’s a near carbon copy of the Silverdome (which was built in 1975).

    Mind you, there’s nothing WRONG with the Georgia Dome, it’s just a boring, gray slab of concrete with a circus tent on top.

    There’s a reason it was built so cheaply. It has no amenities whatsoever and is too damn big to sell out.

    Falcons fans deserve better and now we’ll get it.

  11. cameron poe says: Mar 7, 2013 3:59 PM

    For all of those complaining that the current stadium is only 20 years old, its not so much about a “falling down” building. Its more about the fact that the area around the stadium is a nightmare. Very little parking or tailgating areas. Very hard to get in and out of. And not a place you want to be late at night.

  12. azarkhan says: Mar 7, 2013 4:09 PM

    “…will lead to revitalization of some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods…”

    That’s what they all say.

  13. denverwally says: Mar 7, 2013 4:16 PM

    For everyone who thinks the city of Atlanta didn’t need to kick in 200 million, you are wrong. Blank could build a stadium financing it by himself, but it made no sense to do it alone in downtown Atlanta where the real estate costs 3 times as much as building it just 10 miles away in the suburbs. So if the city of Atlanta truely wanted to keep the team “downtown”, it was on them to pony up and make it worth it for the team to stay downtown. The area was not going to lose its team, but the Falcons had every right to look elsewhere in the metro area for a more affordable and accessable location to build their self-financed palace (just like the Patriots did in Foxborough).

  14. EJ says: Mar 7, 2013 4:23 PM

    I remember back in 1996 working in Downtown Atlanta on a few houses that were in view of the Georgia Dome… Man was it a slum! Drugs, hookers, crime going on during the middle of the day, It was bad. I hope they decide to pick a better spot, maybe somewhere near the new Aquarium or Olympic Park? At least there its a little safer. I absolutely loved living in Georgia, Gwinnett County to be exact, but hated going any farther Downtown than I had to. I’m glad they are keeping the team in Atlanta, just wish they could put the stadium closer to their Training Camp instead of Downtown. Its all about the money though.

  15. mydroopysack says: Mar 7, 2013 4:37 PM

    raiderufan says:
    Mar 7, 2013 3:31 PM
    Went and watched my Raiders play the Falcons in Atl in 2004 and it was obvious that stadium needed some help. The fans and the people there could not have been more pleasant to my friends and I and I’m really happy this could be done without all the ugliness of other teams and negotiations.

    23 2

    ————————

    Raiders fan saying Falcons stadium needs help? Pot, meet kettle?

  16. weepingjebus says: Mar 7, 2013 4:40 PM

    These people get new stadiums more often than I get new cars.

  17. marvsleezy says: Mar 7, 2013 4:42 PM

    Im confused, some commenter said they need a new stadium cuz the current one is in a bad neighborhood.

    Yet the mayor said he is putting the new stadium in a historical neighborhood to revitalize it.

    But if stadiums revitalize neighborhoods then how is the current stadium still in a bad neighborhood?

  18. northeastkiller says: Mar 7, 2013 4:56 PM

    If it’s still going to be downtown, aren’t Falcons fans still going to point to the bad area for reasons why they show up late/not at all to games?

  19. therolandobottom says: Mar 7, 2013 4:56 PM

    Ej, they are putting the new stadium a few blocks down from the dome off Ivan Allen Blvd. and that horrible dump you were referring too is The Bluff, and nothing has changed one bit.

  20. larryed says: Mar 7, 2013 5:10 PM

    well that settles that, we’re going to look at hotel sales taxes before deciding what city to hold our convention in! I have no interest in supporting the owner of the Falcons!

  21. Tom in Desoto, TX says: Mar 7, 2013 5:36 PM

    That’s awful nice of the people of Atlanta being so well off they buy a billionaire a stadium for his play toy hobby. I’m sure they will build a replacement before this new one is paid for. And people wonder why municipalities do not have funds for schools and the like.

  22. midwestwarrior says: Mar 7, 2013 6:07 PM

    arthur blank looks like ben stein without glasses

  23. dannythebisforbeast says: Mar 7, 2013 6:37 PM

    Hotel taxes pay for the city’s portion so it’s not on Atlanta taxpayers. Atlanta taxpayers your property taxes are going up (insert percentage) to cover $200 million shortage in budget for (schools, pensions etc). So again tell me how taxpayers aren’t always footing the bill? Sheep

  24. cameron poe says: Mar 7, 2013 6:45 PM

    How many of you would be this “outraged” if your team was getting a new stadium? I seriously doubt many. Some come on cut the faux anger.

  25. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 7, 2013 7:47 PM

    I would feel very upbeat about this article if I weren’t a Jets fan stuck in Atlanta!

  26. dfpoor says: Mar 7, 2013 8:33 PM

    Saw my first game in 94 when it was practically brand-new. Saw Ironhead (RIP) pound the Eagles. The Dome is fatally flawed because there are 2 levels of luxury boxes plus a private mezzanine. The upper level is really far from the field. The players look really tiny, it’s hard to tell the linemen from the cornerbacks. The Dome has a good side though. There is a huge foodcourt around the lower level. Any fan can stand behind the lower level and use it as SRO. There are some pretty good sightlines there. Sad to see a stadium get wasted after only 20 years. But I can’t blame Blank, the old regime made this mistake.

  27. mannyicey says: Mar 7, 2013 10:17 PM

    Gotta follow the money, because there’s an economic benefit to having a new stadium.

    See, the very next thing you’re going to see after it’s built is a petition for a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl brings in big bucks to the City.

    After that, you will see a push for other big events and conventions. That’s how they get their money back and make a profit. Heck, there’s even been talk of another run at the Olympics.

    So if you see the government give a billionaire some money, the government normally gets their money back at a profit.

  28. badintent says: Mar 7, 2013 10:21 PM

    I’ve read 3 problems on this blog. Parking , tailgating and urban blight/crime.

    Cheap solutions
    One, tear down many of the old crack infested buildings under eminent domain.
    Two, New invention : street lighting.
    Three: More cops with a small new police station with horse stables for patrol
    Cost: about $100 million

    No need to jack up hotel taxes, that drives future conventions away to cheaper venues.

  29. pftstory says: Mar 8, 2013 6:41 AM

    The city wants the stadium downtown. A stadium downtown costs more than a stadium not downtown. This is due to property costs and requiremts the city will have that suburbs will not.
    So if city wants the stadium, why should it not pitch in to help handle those costs?

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