Well, they are certainly aiming high.
Sports fans in the Atlanta area have been following, albeit probably informally, the Atlanta Falcons quest for a new stadium (more money).
A report today spells out what the cost will likely be.
The Atlanta Business Journal says the team and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (run stadium), have agreed the team needs new digs. And those digs, according to a Sports/Entertainement/Buidling design company, will run in the neighborhood of $948 million.
A mere pittance you say?
The new-open air proposal would replace the 20-year old Georgia Dome which while a perfectly acceptable venue to most, is limited on "Luxury Seat Revenue" and to tell you all the truth (look it up), that is the ONLY thing the Falcons or the NFL cares about.
And yes, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has already stated his willingness to open up the cash-starved city's pocketbook.
**Note**--Apparently the city will pay for it through the Hotel-motel tax. So if you come visit, then you are paying for it. And paying for it. And paying for it. And no, it doesn't change the tone of this story.
Read the entire Business Journal story RIGHT HERE
Also read the proposal from the design company Populous RIGHT HERE
We've made our thoughts on moves such of these very apparent in the past...and our position hasn't changed. We certainly respect the Falcons right to build a new stadium, its just the cost and timing we question. If Mr. Blank wants to cough up a check for the new digs. Awesome, we're all for it.
And he might pay for half...which is better than not at all.
We guess in some circles (not the ones we live in), the city of Atlanta must be rolling in the dough. Either that or they've been saving their money for this project.
That's the only thing we can think of that could justify the expenditure. It's not like Atlanta Public Schools are a model of education. Or for that matter the citizens are only paying a small, rather than large fortune to fund the $1 billion water line repairs.
Or maybe its the model mass-transit system that makes this easier to afford.
Our point (again) is that while we aren't against new stadiums, the premise of a cash-starved city forking over at least a half-billion dollars for this kind of project is just plain stupid. We fully realize that it will bring "Some" tax money downtown that wouldn't already be there, but not much more than what the debt service will be. People already come to the games in the Dome. That won't change with a new building.
It isn't that the Falcons are going broke. Or the Georgia Dome is rundown and decrepit.
No, they, like every other team is looking to INCREASE their revenue. And these days the only way to do it is to build a new stadium. Sure, we realize they add a certain amount to the local economy, but how many years debt and how many decades of underfunding infrastructure problems do you sacrifice to help a mega-millionaire businessman (Arthur Blank) make more profit...at your expense?
And oh...by the way; they really don't care if you can afford a ticket to a new stadium or not. They are building it for Luxury Suite and Club Seat Holders. Not the Single Game Ticket buyer.
In the meantime enjoy this "Video Essay" done on the Ga.Dome by the GWCC. Relax to the hotel elevator music while you watch it.
Here's the early returns from our friends at WXIA-TV