Without a new stadium, Falcons will move (elsewhere in Atlanta)


The Falcons continue to push for a new retractable-roof venue in Atlanta.  Team president and CEO Rich McKay told the Atlanta City Council on Wednesday that, absent such a deal, the Falcons will look for other opportunities in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Via John Manasso of FOXSportsSouth.com, McKay said the Falcons have no interest in extending their Georgia Dome lease, which expires after the 2017 season.

We just don’t believe it makes any sense,” McKay told City Council regarding staying in the stadium that opened in 1992.

If sufficient public money isn’t contributed to a multi-use domed stadium with a sliding lid, the Falcons could build their own open-air venue elsewhere.   “That’s just a reality as our lease is going to end and we could do it for a lot less cost,” McKay said of a possible move to one of the various communities surrounding Atlanta.  “I hope you understand we have tried to make it an opportunity for Atlanta.  It’s not a demand-or-else-project.”

Owner Arthur Blank prefers to stay in downtown Atlanta.  A new stadium with a roof could also help lure another Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

So while the Falcons wouldn’t move to a new town, they could end up moving somewhere else before the end of the decade.

40 responses to “Without a new stadium, Falcons will move (elsewhere in Atlanta)

  1. 40 years ago the Patriots moved from Boston to Foxboro, and it hasn’t hurt them one bit. And thats a good 30 miles or so from downtown Boston. The Falcons should not blink on this one.

  2. Owner Arthur Blank prefers to stay in downtown Atlanta. A new stadium with a roof could also help lure another Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

    I think the current stadium has a roof too last time I checked.

  3. I think it has hurt the patriots to be that far outside of Boston. Not recently but that is because of the success they’ve had. The only advantage it has is that there is plenty of parking around the stadium, something fenway and the fleet center does not have.

  4. Why not just get with the architects who designed the Georgia Dome and see if a retractable roof can be placed. If removing a fixed roof is possible it would be less expensive to every tax payer in Georgia. The Georgia Dome is not that old “by architectural standards”, most likely when the original plans were submitted there was a plan for a retractable roof.

  5. roof is not issue…I live here.

    Surrounding counties that are willing is the leverage Falcons have…City of Atlanta has terrible history of mis-managing $ and are greedy. Retractable roof is just a feature of new stadium.

  6. They should move it out to where Atlanta Motor Speedway is. I would guess about a 30 minute drive from downtown? But when I went there, there was alot of undeveloped land. Could make for a great venue

  7. Can’t wait for a brand new stadium with brand new PSL’s, brand new higher ticket and concession prices, and one Super Bowl hosting sometime in the next 10 years that I won’t be getting tickets for. Please use my tax money first!

  8. It looks like 20 years is enough for the owners in one place. Problem is the finacing is set for 30 years on most places. Technology costs communities.

  9. Why do teams want a retractable roof? The ones in Houston and Dallas are never open anyway. The teams (with NFL backing), keep them closed for “noise” purposes…. Uh, Seattle and KC don’t need a roof to have a loud stadium.

  10. What does a roof have to do with anything? It’s in Atlanta! If the Braves can play outside, so can the dirty birds!

  11. That’d be the day when I pay for a PSL. The prices of tickets, parking and everything else are threatening my ability to attend now, a PSL will end it.

    I’m not alone, Roger.

  12. Did I read this correct? They’re demanding public money to build a sliding roof stadium. But if not given, they will build an open air elsewhere? On their own dime? The latter sounds perfect.

  13. Hilarious that someone comments that Atlanta taxpayers are greedy. Hello? Can we talk about the real world? Art Blank is a billionaire. He sounds to be the greedy one.

  14. Ugh. Having new stadium 30 miles outside your city is not better than having a refurbished stadium in the downtown area of a city regardless of the bells and whistles involved. The Landover Redskins are a great case in point.

  15. Would be nice if they could get this worked out – especially if in downtown. MARTA made access to the games so much easier and safer (no drinking and driving). And downtown makes it easier for folks from all parts of the city to get there. Move it out to Dallas or Dacula and it’ll be a pain for a lot of fans to get to. And the Marietta Falcons doesn’t sound right.

  16. So stadiums only last 20 yrs now. How did my grandma live in same house for 50 yrs she has some nerve lol

    I would let them move peace out homie. I understand if u wanna upgrade but to say u need a whole new stadium pls. Hey team owner build it then u got money right oh wait u need the people tax money to help right then u wanna overcharge the taxpayer for tickets.

    When is enough enough. I rather see money go to schools for kids education all that money used for football can go to college scholarships for high school kids who can’t afford it n don’t play sports n lucky to get a full ride scholarship

  17. Tell ’em to win a Super Bowl first. But seriously guys, I hate Tom Benson as much as the next guy. And it took some use of public money to make it happen. But he stayed in the Super Dome. And that stadium has been there since what the 70s? So give me a break this is nothing more than a PSL move. Which if and when it comes to N.O I won’t be in that number. Anyways Who Dat? Not those FalCants.

  18. And what is wrong with the Georgia Dome? If Blank wants a new palace with a retractable roof he can just have Home Depot remodel the Dome. Home Depot can fix anything can’t they. Oh wait, he’d have to find someone there than can actually help him.

  19. Professional sports teams using public money for stadium construction is a financial tool from a bygone era. Arthur Blank needs to build and pay for whatever type of stadium he feels his team needs.

  20. Moving it to where Atlanta Motor Speedway is would be idiotic. As much as I’d love for the Falcons to move elsewhere to stick it to the city, Hampton, GA is about the WORST possible location you could put a new stadium in. It would be OK for fans in Gwinnett or most anywhere on the 85 corridor. But for people in Smyrna, Lithonia, Hapeville, , Marietta etc. AMS would be a nightmare. That’s what makes downtown Atlanta so compelling: it’s centrally located.

    And of course everyone wants a roof. Without a roof over the stadium Atlanta might lose the SEC Championship, Chick-Fil-A Bowl, Final Four and concerts. If the Falcons want to build their own open air stadium at, say, the old GM plant in Doraville, then the GWCC could maintain the Dome for the other events.

  21. @burm61; AMS is in the wrong direction (waaaay southside) and a unholy nightmare for traffic. Most of the money in the ATL is in the northern suburbs spread from Cobb county at 11 o’clock fanning through northern Fulton across the north almost to 2 o’clock or so into Gwinnett county. If the Falcons did leave downtown it would likely be for one of those areas. Their training complex is in Flowery Branch is even further out north in Hall county.

  22. You are correct about AMS being SOUTH of the city. In my post. I said Hampton was north of the city. But I was thinking of Road Atlanta (which is north of the city, near Chateau Elan).

    That’s what I get for moving away 10 years ago!

  23. Another stadium about 20 years young that needs to be torn down for a brand new one. What a joke.

  24. This is dumb. The last thing I would want is to see tax dollars being used on a stadium (that nobody in Atlanta wants) instead of being used to fix a problem in the city, or work on the belt line, or something else that’s good for the people of Atlanta. I don’t wanna pay $100 to sit outside in the heat or cold. I like my football a nice 75 degrees. Maybe if the birds actually win a Super Bowl then we can talk, but until then forget about it.

  25. Only a few years ago that place was considered state if the art. Apparently a place built for millions upon millions only lasts as long as a Toyota.

  26. A venue that opened in 1992… I’ve said it before and ill say it again. With the quality of construction products that have become available in the last 20-30 year’s, you should have no problem getting A LOT more than 21 years out of a structure. What about venues like Wrigley, Fenway and another half dozen other venues that are pushing 50-100 years? They didn’t hardly any of the products modern stadiums have utilized, but they still seem to be doing fine. So what’s the problem here? An extremely unoriginal architect? Even the metrodome has lasted 30 years with its extremely unoriginal design (nothing but concrete and dreary environment). Or is it just a billionaire trying to hold a city hostage so he can increase the value of his franchise a couple hundred mill?

  27. C’mon Atlanta, help an old Billionaire out would ya’. Have you no shame? Jerry got a new toy so give the crybaby what he wants. Everyone else is getting one. Seriously, you don’t want the other Billionaires to laugh and talk behind his back do you? Life is tough in the hood for these poor Billionaires what with keepin’ up with the Gates, and the Murdochs and what not. You REALLY want him to get up and see that he slipped a spot on Forbes richest mens list? Tsk, Tsk, Shame on you.

  28. Total PSL move — nothing more, nothing less. A stadium less than 35-40 years old should never be considered for replacement based on public monies in this economy. Another reason I hope they don’t win a Superbowl.

  29. “If sufficient public money isn’t contributed ”

    Every time an owner does not get his way, they threaten to move to a new venue, and they want the public to make it right. All the while salaries go up, tickets go up, and billionaires get richer. When I read stories about NFL players now broke after having the time of their lives paid for by HUGE salaries, owners who brag about how much money they have and then do this to loyal fans, it makes me sick, really sick !
    All this is, is a shell game to MILK more money from the fan bases around the country. The average fan can not afford to see a game, but yet are asked to pay for a new stadium with tax dollars. What do the people who pay for the stadium, threats to move if they don`t cough up the money. Disgraceful !

  30. I not sure but the outdoor Stadium they played in before wasn’t in Atlanta was it. Anyway, I’m a big time Saints fan. And, I remember before Katrina Tom Benson got mad and said the he was moving the team to Mississippi. Everyone got upset. And, I remember getting mad and thinking then take the damn team and leave. I forgot who the governor was at that time but he stepped in and worked out a long term deal to keep the Saints put. Then, when our next governor took office she realized that the state couldn’t afford to stay in the origianl lease and the state tried to back out of the agreement. The point is that agreeing to these long term deals can possible cripple the states ability to sustain themsleves. Atlanta may be facing a hard choice but I would encourage the citizens of the state not to agree to something that in five years you may not be able to afford

  31. No one loves the NFL more than I do, but this holding cities hostage for new stadiums is ridiculous. It is bad enough the average fan can afford to go to a game and then teams want the city to pay for stadiums. It is out of control and I will be glad when a city puts its foot down and says no.

    Like others have suggested, if a retractable roof is all they want then simply tear off the roof to the Georgia Dome and put one in. Surely that could be done cheaper.

    Have you ever noticed domes and retractable roofs seem to need repairs much more quickly than an outdoor stadium? If Atlanta insist on a new stadium build an open air stadium and it should be on the Falcons dime.

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