The Panthers and Dolphins are learning how hard it is to finagle public funding for a new stadium absent the threat of relocation.
The Falcons, on the other hand, are making it look easy.
Not long after it looked like Arthur Blank’s team would be building its own open-air venue in the suburbs, the Falcons have struck a deal that will result in the construction of a retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta, with taxpayer money of course.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city’s economic development board voted 8-1 to approve the issuance of bonds that will provide the public contribution of more than $200 million. The project will include improving the neighborhood around the planned location of the stadium.
“We realize we can’t take a deep breath yet,” Falcons president Rich McKay said. “There’s a lot of work to be done [and] we need to do it right.”
But the hardest part apparently has been accomplished. With no threat of leaving town, the Falcons have managed to get a large chunk of public money for a stadium that the team would like to christen by 2017.