As of Thursday, March 7, 2013
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
General view of the Georgia Dome prior to the NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49ers. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and mayor Kasim Reed are expected to announce an agreement to build a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.
The deal was first reported by FOX5 in Atlanta.
Reed accelerated the city's efforts to complete a deal for a stadium that will replace the Georgia Dome since Falcons team president Rich McKay made comments in early February that the franchise was open to relocating to the suburbs if the city couldn't meet its needs.
Those needs specifically include a price tag of an estimated $1 billion for a retractable roof stadium that would help the city retain chances at major sporting events, including the Final Four, Super Bowl and other sports such as international soccer.
The Falcons and NFL, through a stadium expense program created to fund construction and renovation projects, would likely be responsible for as much as $800 million of the estimated bill.
There was no vote from the state legislature -- nor is one required -- but many in the state have been vocal in opposition of any public funding for the new stadium. Reed said in February the city would be able to come up with the $200 million required through bonds and supported by a hotel tax.