A new mixed use development will soon open across the street at Moreland and Seaboard, bringing a lot more people, eyes, and cop callers. One of the best deterrents to crime is simply visibility.
New life is coming to a pretty blighted corner, and the Moreland corridor is rapidly changing.
Hey guys, I'm happy to have a debate about the stadium and I think all your points are valid. I'm just giving my opinion as a fellow Atlantan and I appreciate the opportunity. Of course I see that my post isn't very popular! You may well be right. Time will tell.
I think I answered most of the questions in my original post but I'll add a few things to clarify then I'll check out of this topic and let you guys have at it:
I would agree that the 200 million would be better spent elsewhere. I would prefer the tax to go the Beltline or other infrastructure projects. By no means do I think the stadium deal is the best use of 200 million ATL dollars. The problem is that the tax won't happen without the stadium deal. So I would simply prefer something rather than nothing, which is what we'll get if the stadium doesn't happen. I felt the same way about T-SPLOST. I agreed it had its' problems but I thought it was better than nothing. Everyone voted it down, as was their right, but now we have nothing. If it's coming out of hotel taxes, so being paid mostly by people from out of town..why not?
While there have been failures, there are examples of sports facilitles having a transformational effect on their neighborhoods. The anchor of the Cubs helped finally turned around Wrigleyville in Chicago. Anyone that went to a game there in the 80s, knows what a hellhole it was..and it is now awesome. It takes time, sometimes a long time. Camden Yards has been good for Baltimore, Coors Field has been great for downtown Denver, New stadiums in Cincinnatti and St. Louis have been good for their downtowns. I absolutely believe that one day the Turner Field neighborhoods will be great..you can see the potential there. Will the new downtown stadium help Vine City/English Avenue? I have no idea. But again, I think something is better than nothing. What's helping them now?
There is a lot of potential there, and I think the negative response to the stadium is probably a good thing because if it does happen, they will be all the more aware of their responsibility.
"Do people go to New York, D.C., San Francisco, Chicago, Miami to see a new stadium". Probably not, but it's worth noting that the all those cities either built a new facility or did a massive renovation(Chicago) in the last few years. The NY Jets have a brand new stadium, new Yankee stadium opened in 2009, Mets also got one in 2009, and Brooklyn has the Nets coming. Washington Nationals in 2008, San Francisco Giants got a new ballpark in 2008, Chicago Bears in 2003, and the Miami Marlins opened their new ballpark just last year.
Great cities have great facilities.
Thanks for reading.
Please forgive me for the long post, but I see a lot of negativity here and I'd like to respond.
I believe the the new stadium will be great for the city. Here's why:
COST: It won't directly cost taxpayers a dime. Of the billion dollar budget, 200 million will come from a hotel/motel tax and the rest will be paid by the team and the NFL. Yes, we are making an investment in a private enterprise and yes, there will be some dirty deals (always and everywhere), but think about the potential of a project of this magnitude. The impact could go on for decades.
NEIGHBORHOODS: In a time when a lot of stadiums have moved out to the suburbs (like Dallas, New England etc.), it's great that the Falcons are committing to downtown. If you think that the new stadium won't help Vine City, English Avenue and the other neighborhoods, ask yourself how it helps those neighborhoods to NOT have it. Somebody mentioned Turner Field and how nothing much has happened over there. But give it time, I think eventually that neighborhood will turn around like Wrigleyville did in Chicago. Nothing happens overnight, as much as we might want it to. But it happens, and the city is still growing.
A new stadium could mark the beginning of something really great for downtown and the west side. The area is ready for it, the time is now.
THE OWNER: Arthur Blank and the Falcons have been pretty good ATL citizens. Blank is a hometown guy, he's Home Depot, not some out of state corporate owner looking to move to Los Angeles as soon as he gets a deal. Let's give them a chance to do this thing right.
THE GEORGIA DOME: It's true that the Dome isn't that old, and I hate the idea of throwing things out so quickly. I get that arguement. But the Dome suffers from bad timing. It was built before we culturallly embraced new urbanism and changed how we build centers of activity. Imagine a big shopping center project built in 1990. It would probably have been a huge mall with a giant parking lot, little if any outdoor space and probably zero accessablity by bike or foot. Food choices would have been hamburgers or hot dogs, not korean tacos or vegan offerings. More and more now, we are building with transit, pedestrians and bikes in mind, apartments or living spaces included in the mix. It was also built before retractable roofs became the standard, which is just sad with our gorgeous fall weather. Our parents' dream was a big house in the suburbs, driving in for the game on Sunday. But young people today are more likely to live in the city, rent, and have families later. They want entertainment that is accesible, and a game day experience that includes more than just a game and sitting in traffic for three hours.
TECHNOLOGY: In 1990, the technology boom had barely begun, most people didn't even have email. Now we are constantly connected and technology has dramatically changed how we live our lives. When we can watch the game at home on a 50" HDTV, the NFL knows they have to offer more if they want people in the seats. The new stadium would offer a level of technology consistent with how we live today. Atlanta is home to Georgia Tech and many world class tech companies, we should show that face to the world on Sundays.
ATLANTA: 1990 was before the Olympics and Atlanta's renaissance. In short, the Dome doesn't reflect Atlanta as the city it is now, but what it was in the late 80's/early 90's, and everyone knows that is a very different thing.
Even if we sometimes don't see who we are, others do. In an article about potential new stadiums, ESPN analysist Albert Breer said " the Falcons are probably the most likely to have a new stadium built at home. Because it's Atlanta, it makes sense for the city, with SEC title games, Final Fours, the new college football playoffs and Super Bowls a potential payoff for this Southern capital."
Let's keep working to improve the city. Let's have a downtown that reflects who we are now. Please support the new stadium project.
The new stadium will
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