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Falcons look to build new retractable-roof stadium

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons want to demolish the Georgia Dome and build a retractable-roof stadium in its place.

The NFL team and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority said Wednesday they are negotiating a deal.

Falcons president Rich McKay said team officials, who previously favored an open-air stadium, now believe a retractable-roof facility is the best solution for all parties. The new stadium would accommodate both indoor and outdoor events.

The Falcons have rejected plans for a renovated Georgia Dome or adding a retractable roof to it, pointing out that 22 teams have moved into new or completely rebuilt stadiums since the dome opened in 1992.

McKay and GWCC Authority executive director Frank Poe say much work remains to be done to reach a deal but said progress has been made.

Last year, the cost for an open-air stadium was estimated at $700 million. But a new analysis commissioned by the GWCC puts the cost of a retractable-roof stadium at $947.7 million.

Poe said the state contribution to a new stadium would be capped at the estimated $300 million covered by the hotel-motel tax extension passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2010.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, during a visit last year, made it clear a new stadium would be needed if Atlanta wants to land another Super Bowl. The Georgia Dome hosted the championship game in 1994 and 2000, but two bids to bring the game back to the city have been rejected.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority run runs the current stadium as well as the massive convention center and nearby Centennial Olympic Park.

If a new stadium is built, the city would have four downtown stadiums seating at least 50,000 within about 2 miles of each other. The Atlanta Braves play at Turner Field, while Georgia Tech's football team uses Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Comments

TOWG 1 year, 11 months ago

Bring home a couple of Super Bowl wins and we'll talk.

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R 1 year, 11 months ago

IF the Falcon players themselves don't invest their monies in this development, WHY should we?

If the state has the money for this, it DOESN'T need my T-SPLOST money MORE than I do ...

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

now you are starting to see the light. All politicians want is more of your money to give away. After they spend your money, you will still have to pay to maintain whatever it is they have done with your money.

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jack 1 year, 11 months ago

Build a showcase stadium that our children will be proud to be paying for long after the team has left for another city.

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teelee 1 year, 11 months ago

Have the Falcon's lost their mind? Tickets are already high enough! Didn't they have an open air venue once called the Fulton County Stadium? The parking was great at the old stadium and people could actually tailgate there. Parking at the Georgia dome is the worst in the league. Why would you want to build it in the same spot anyway? Last time I went to a game I parked in a dark alley and was approached by a homeless man that demanded money. I wish I could take my family to the old open air stadium for half the cost! Guess who will get to pay for this billion dollar house, fans and tax payers.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 11 months ago

"Why would you want to build it in the same spot anyway?"

Ultra-intense political pressure to have the stadium Downtown next to the Georgia World Congress Center where it can be used to lure mega-conventions and mega-sized sporting events (like the SEC Championship Game, the Final Four, the Super Bowl, etc) that help fill-up Downtown hotels.

Also, ultra-intense political pressure to have the stadium at the center of town near a confluence of existing (MARTA East-West heavy rail line) and future rail transit lines (future Multimodal Passenger Terminal at Five Points).

There is a continuing conscious effort by the powers-that-be (State of Georgia, Atlanta Regional Commission, City of Atlanta) to minimize the amount of parking available around both the Georgia Dome and a future retractable roof stadium to make people ride mass transit whether they want to or not.

The most likely scenario for the construction of a new retractable roof stadium is to build it to the south of where the current Georgia Dome sits in the parking area between the GA Dome and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive so as to keep the new stadium close to the GWCC (Georgia World Congress Center), Philips Arena and, especially, the GA Dome-GWCC-Philips Arena-CNN Marta Station....

(...Intown liberals raised hell like you would not and cannot possibly believe when the even the idea or remote possibility of locating a new stadium further than walking distance away form a MARTA Station was broached.)

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teelee 1 year, 11 months ago

I guess I'll watch from home unless they make it a pay per view sport. I am getting sick of the NFL management.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 11 months ago

The most likely scenario for a new stadium also minimizes the possibility of a robust pre-game tailgating experience that much more seeing as though the new site will be even that much more parking-limited than the current site of the Georgia Dome which will be demolished to expand the Georgia World Congress Center to the south towards the new site of the retractable roof stadium.

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NewsReader 1 year, 11 months ago

Hahahaha, get your airport, and you won't have to drive so far to come in contact with a homeless man that demands your money. You'll have the local government do it for you!

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teelee 1 year, 11 months ago

Gwinnett County has more homeless now than ever before thanks to the poor decisions of our local and federal government. If you think that expanding Briscoe Field and bringing in more jobs and prosperity will increase homelessness, then you are either ignorant or a racist.

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suedehead 1 year, 11 months ago

I find it funny that people are scared of DT and the homeless there. I worked DT for many years and was rarely hassled. Maybe it was becasue I didn't carry myself like a scared suburbanite. I wonder where that "dark alley" is near the dome? I can't recall any, unless you mean the parking under the viaducts. Even then, there are usually plenty of people around going to the same event. And heaven forbid a homeless man ask for money! WWJD? Run scared, ignore or assist?

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teelee 1 year, 11 months ago

It was near a gypsy lot that was close to the federal building, you must not go down there much or after dark. The parking is hideous. Trust me if your late for an event like we were during a night event because of somebody else's car accident. The dark Atlanta streets can a scary place especially when you have kids with you. We didn't have that problem at Fulton County Stadium. They had great parking there.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

any sporting venture built near downtown Atalanta will be a waste on money and result in crime and higher taxes at the venues they hold there.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

BUILD IT WHERE THEY WANT A CASINO. (Jimmy Carter Bv)

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

There was once talk of building the new stadium in Doraville, on the site of the old GM plant. I imagine the parking and tailgating would be better there, as no one wants to spend too much time outside their cars in Atlanta. Honestly, among the biggest revenue generating sporting events for Atlanta are the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the SEC championship, and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. If the taxpayer money wasn't too high, I could understand using some public funds for this project, as it would be a boon to the local economy.

The weakest argument I've seen against a potential open-air stadium is the "I don't want to sit outside' argument. People in Atlanta complaining about the weather outside in the fall and early winter. Whenever some in Atlanta complains about sitting outside for a football game in the South, i'm pretty sure the entire city of Green Bay (who sells out every game and has a multi-year waiting list for tickets) laughs at us.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 11 months ago

"There was once talk of building the new stadium in Doraville, on the site of the old GM plant. I imagine the parking and tailgating would be better there, as no one wants to spend too much time outside their cars in Atlanta."

From what I understand though, there was a lot push back by the city of Doraville who was not all that hot about putting a new stadium on the site of the old GM plant because they were (and still are) set on turning that site into an Atlantic Station-type of development.

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jack 1 year, 11 months ago

Duh, didn't Arthur Blank know the stadium had a dome when he bought the Falcons? (And a tip of the hat to the Briscoe privatization supporters!)

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suedehead 1 year, 11 months ago

IIRC, wasn't the Dome built because the NFL said Atlanta can not host a SB because we don't have an enclosed stadium and the weather here in Jan/Feb is "uncertain?" That, and the Smith family threatening to take the team to JAX?

Crybaby rich folks complaining "other cities have new stadiums, I want one!" What's wrong with a retro-fit/remodel of the Dome? Is that not good enough for you, Arthur? Everybody's in a pissing contest with Jerry Jones. You want a new stadium? Figure out a way to pay for it without dipping into our wallets. 300M sure would help our "close to bottom of the pack" schools.

McKay thinks this is the best solution for all parties. Who are these "parties?" The Falcons, the contactors, the politicians? Certainly not most of us. He adds the new stadium will accommodate both indoor and outdoor events. Can someone tell me of an event that will not fit in the Dome and REQUIRES a retractable roof. Skydiving landings? Hot Air Balloon takeoffs? Will the Blue Angels be flying in, do a couple of spins, then fly back out???

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FordGalaxy 1 year, 11 months ago

I believe that was the rationale in the past, that the Super Bowl wouldn't come to Atlanta because of "uncertain weather." Obviously, that's no longer a concern of the NFL, as next year's Super Bowl is in New Jersey and the last "southern" Super Bowl, in Dallas, was plagued by an ice storm.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

why do they need one that opens? This is a little crazy considering most football takes place in the winter.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 1 year, 11 months ago

"Can someone tell me of an event that will not fit in the Dome and REQUIRES a retractable roof."

The volcanic eruption of Arthur Blank's ego?

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

You have to be kidding? Let them move first. Just because they don't like the "old" stadium they think the public owes them more. No SB win, lately can't even stay alive in the playoffs. Have you noticed in the past 3 drafts all the extra millions that the Falcons have been sending on getting young blood into the organization? Failed so far. It never is fruitful for at least 3-5 yrs. Don't think for a second that the taxpayer is not going to be involved in this venture. Look at the Saints. La. made deals with the owner to upgrade the Dome to help the owner get more revenues instead of building a new stadium and it has worked just fine. New Orleans has been host to many Superbowls. Ever wonder why? Folks like what they get when they visit New Orleans. Real food, entertainment, hospitality, to mention a few. What did the Saints do? Won a Superbowl, well before the "rise up" Falcons. IN this economic time, no way should the taxpayers be asked to fork over breaks or money for a $1billion+ project for sports.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

Roger Goodell is just another jerk trying to put pressure on the State. All he is concerned about is his job and big bucks. He wants all the teams in the NFL to belong to rich and large markets. He even tried to persuade the Saints to move the team to LA after Katrina, after Mr. Benson had ideas of moving to San Antonio after Katrina. Goodell is only looking out for Goodell and the big bucks which he likes to obtain by putting on the "ritz." Some even believe this is why he has gone after the Saints when there were many other teams and players involved in bounty deals. Goodell wants to cause them to move to a larger market for his own gains. If Goodell is going to threaten the folks in Atlanta to build such a stadium, they the folks in Georgia should "rise up" against him and the high ticket prices. No way am I willing to pay $50+ for any professional sport. It is only entertainment folks, nothing more.

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kevin 1 year, 11 months ago

"McKay and GWCC Authority executive director Frank Poe say much work remains to be done to reach a deal but said progress has been made." This bunch of idiots are only thinking about themselves, their jobs, not the taxpayer. Typical well-connected class of people.

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