Falcons getting closer to a deal for a new stadium


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.

14 responses to “Falcons getting closer to a deal for a new stadium

  1. How old is the dome ? Its not THAT old that they already want / need a new stadium.

    Who is paying for this ? Is the state of Georgia awash in money ?

    No atmosphere ? Ok. But there has to be an alternaive to spending 1 Billion on ANOTHER football stadium, when this one is fully functional and in very good shape.

  2. The primary reason the Georgia Dome was built was for the 1996 Olympics. At the time the NFL and the Falcons were delighted and over the moon with the Georgia Dome because it was such a vast improvement over Fulton County Stadium. FCS was a baseball stadium first and a poor football stadium 2nd.

  3. The Dome was pretty much completely renovated in the last few years. Arthur Blank still has connections to Home Depot. Get some power tools and cut off that roof! Problem solved.
    I don’t mind replacing it, as long as they can extend the roof when it rains. I don’t need my beer getting watered down.

  4. Wow, been to the Georgia Dome and it’s pretty nice. I guess the NFL will bring up Los Angeles so the taxpayers in Georgia take a huge hit on building Mr Blank a palace ala Cowboys Stadium. Hold on to your wallets!

  5. The “problem” with the Ga. Dome is that the Falcons don’t receive the majority of the revenue. While the Falcons initially said that they wanted an open air stadium the latest plan if for a retractable roof on the new stadium.

    The dome was built in 1992, not 1996 and was built after the Falcons threatened a move to Jacksonville and had nothing to do with the Olympics.

    Though the building is only twenty years old it is the 11th oldest stadium in the NFL. When the new stadium is built the Georgia dome will be demolished.

  6. I think the Georgia Dome is really nice and very clean. I’m glad they decided on a retractable roof. Just don’t charge me any PSL’s.

  7. Nice! Let’s get the Chargers and Raiders’ lack of new stadium deals over with so that the NFL back in LA overkill can be done with!!!

  8. rajbais says: Nice! Let’s get the Chargers and Raiders’ lack of new stadium deals over with so that the NFL back in LA overkill can be done with!!!

    Um . . . what?

    Not sure what you’re suggesting, here, raj.

  9. Would love to see the Falcons in an open air stadium, as the Georgia Dome is 2nd only to the Super Dome as a dreary atmosphere…..however, it’s tough to justify a new facility after only 20 years…..

  10. No atmosphere? Doesn’t the fans and team create the atmosphere? I’ve had season tickets for 34 years and remember the old “open air” stadium…no thank you, hot at the start of the season, cold at the end and wet most of the time. most folks haven’t been going long enough to remember that.

    Blank is licking his chops to force seat licenses on 70,000 people and you can bet that is a motivating force. how about Mr Blank guaranteeing his teams own loan and keep his mits out of the pockets of Georgians. There’s a lot of other things this State needs more than filling Blanks already full pockets even more.

  11. If they are going to go with a retractable roof just replace the roof at the Georgia Dome and make a few other changes and you would save a ton of money. An open air stadium makes far more sense in Atlanta. Even though I am a much bigger NFL fan than college fan, I think part of the atmosphere problem goes from the fact there is a much more festive atmosphere at Georgia games than Falcons games. They need to find a way to add some new traditions in Atlanta (pretty bad pro sports town if you think about it, the Hawks games can be pretty dreadful in terms of atmosphere too) and get rid of any kind of a roof. You don’t need one in Atlanta.

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