Falcons may have a hard time getting a publicly-funded stadium


The Falcons had been making progress toward striking a deal for a venue that would replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome with a building that would be partially funded by public money.

That could be changing.

Greg Bluestein and Leon Stafford of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explain that public resistance to the use of taxpayer funds will make it harder to get a deal done.

“It’s hard to get lawmakers to vote for something that’s polling 70-to-30 no,” Governor Nathan Deal said.  “They need to directly communicate with the public.  Either way the public attitude has to be significantly changed from where it is now.”

The team could be planning to do that.  Falcons President Rich McKay said the Journal-Constitution via email that “we do plan to take a more direct and aggressive stance with Georgia residents and their legislators in the coming weeks.”

For the Falcons, the “or else” won’t be the time-honored threat to move.  Instead, the team’s Plan B would be building an open-air facility of its own, which then would compete with the Georgia Dome directly for other events.

27 responses to “Falcons may have a hard time getting a publicly-funded stadium

  1. First, the Georgia Dome isn’t that old and is no dump. Second, I don’t think taking an “aggressive” stance with the taxpayers is such a great idea. I think the Falcons should build their own stadium if they don’t like the facilities they currently have.

  2. Fans and citizens are just tired of our city leaders mismanaging and wasting taxpayer money. Football is a private business and stadiums should be built with private money.

  3. Of all the priorities that a city has, building a new stadium for a privately owned company to use 8 times a year has got to be bottom of the list.

    20 years is hardly ‘old’

  4. “For the Falcons, the “or else” won’t be the time-honored threat to move. Instead, the team’s Plan B would be building an open-air facility of its own, which then would compete with the Georgia Dome directly for other events.”

    Yeah right. Only way the public gets behind public funding is if the SEC pushes for the same for their championship game which will not happen due to the dome aspect.

    Fact is that the Georgia Dome is not yet considered “old” by a city where pretty much everything is new.

  5. I had to read that twice…”20-year-old Georgia Dome”. These teams are crazy.

    I don’t think fans can relate to the idea of tearing down your home every 20 years & getting someone else to foot the bill for building a new one.

  6. As a Chargers fan, I wish our building was only 20 years old. What’s wrong with the Georgia Dome?

  7. I live in ATL and the Georgia Dome is great, it’s in a central location, has two train stations, 2 interstates and it was built in the 90’s.

    Unemployment in Atlanta is ridiculous. Taxes are already high, and political corruption is worse. TAKING money from taxpayers, while keeping all the profit the stadium makes is near criminal. PLUS, having a stadium funded by taxpayers has never resulted in decreased ticket prices. So we’re double screwed either way.

    DON’T do it!

  8. Why do teams still insist on public funds paying for their expensive stadiums? Because they know they can bend them over a barrel, as they’ll threaten to just leave. It’s about time the public starts demanding these teams use private loans. And don’t tell me it would be harder for them to get the money. The NFL basically prints money, banks would be more than happy to lend out the money to an NFL stadium because they know they’ll get the money back.

    If the St. Louis Cardinals, mid-market team in the MLB, can privately fund a stadium (with the exception of about $30 million), then an NFL team definitely do it.

  9. Why doesn’t the Georgia Republican Party (the majority party in Georgia) speak out against the use of public funding for a new stadium that is ONLY twenty (20) years old? Where is the Tea Baggers or are they just afraid to go against their Wealthy Donors?

  10. I was just in the Georgia Dome back in December 2011 It is perfectly fine. And I’ve been to a number different stadiums.
    It’s one of the Youngest dome stadiums So the idea of replacing it before the Superdome or Metrodome is ludicrous.

  11. Rich McKay should talk to Bob Kraft. He’ll explain how to do it without public money OR PSLs.

  12. “LA Falcons”. The threat may come ATL fans. Dont buy it cuz they will never move. They just want u to pay for the stadium, at least a good portion of the funds. The art of negotiating.

  13. Have they considered a renovation to update it to state of the art? There probably is nothing wrong with the structure. Everyone hates waste of taxpayer dollars.

  14. Well idk what all was done but between the when I went up for a game in 03 or 04 & last year in 11 it’s was like Night and day. Because we even joked in 03/04 The Seats in which we sat in were Teal. Little atmosphere just a crap Load of Vick jerseys. Now when we went up in 11 it was awesome All the seats were red and black they had the “Rise up” thing going just a lot More energy The stadium looked cleaner And had bigger screens in each Endzone. So It looks like It’s had some work In recent years.

  15. It’s about the $$$$

    They want more box seats and the quickest way to turn a profit is to get someone else to help pay the startup costs. I don’t think we should do it but thought for sure liberals on here would understand something about expecting a handout.

  16. As someone who has tried multiple times to get seats for Sunday’s game, the reports are wrong, this game has been sold out for weeks. The unsold seats were sold and now fans with a surplus or the hope of making a quick buck are trying to sell on the NFL ticket exchange and stubhub. I got my tickets through the exchange. I tried through ticketmaster on the day they went on sale 3 weeks ago but all pairs were sold out already. This game like every game of this regime has sold out.

    This city is behind this team. Wins in the playoffs won’t hurt that 30/70 split mentioned above.

  17. You think 20 years is too soon? Sonics renovated their stadium in 1995…with taxpayer money, was praised by David Stern on being a state of the art arena. Then in 2005 it wasn’t acceptable for the NBA model and the rest is history.

  18. It might be a little too early to replace the Georgia Dome. If I were the Falcons, I would prove why the Dome is inadequate to begin with. As a Vikings fan, it took a long time to put together – especially since we had an inadequate number of bathrooms, narrow concourses, and obstructed viewing prior to our inflatable roof collapsing. But we still fought and (finally) got a stadium bill passed in the Legislature last year. More importantly, we convinced skeptical lawmakers that a new stadium was needed and why. I wish the Falcons and their fans the best of luck heading into this battle.

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