Note that this deal is far from done until the financing is approved by leaders and obtained from banks. This controversy may spark a referendum vote in Cobb County. If there is no rail access to the stadium from Midtown then I guess i'll continue to not go to Braves games.
@Cassie I agree that lawsuits will make NFL and amateur football more expensive but I disagree that the sport will become less popular over the usable life of the new Falcons stadium. But, this is not a critical point as the stadium will be used for other sporting events including basketball, soccer, moto cross, etc.
One argument against refurbishing the Georgia Dome is the increasing cost of maintenance over the remainder of its usable life. Also, there will be increased revenue opportunities from a new stadium by virtue of hosting the Super Bowl a few times, the new real estate development surrounding the new stadium, increased restaurant & hotel use from greater attendance, and the associated tax revenue with all of these things.
Personally I prefer the Solarium design to the Pantheon design as it seems to allow more natural light and has a better view of the skyline. Which design do you prefer?
@Wesley You're right. The liberal GA State legislature should be ashamed of themselves for approving $200M of tyrrany. By the way are there any Democrats left in the State House or Senate? Just curious. The rest must be 'RINOs' so let's vote out anyone who voted to fund the stadium.
Or, we could enjoy a good example of a public / private partnership to build something world-class owned by the City and shows Atlanta as a leader among our peer cities.
@Wesley The seat licenses will probably be more than $1,000 each but if they are only $1,000 each that would be fine by me. If you do not frequent City hotels then you are not paying any of the taxes for the stadium. Hotels are generally frequented by out of town people. The amount is small enough that visitors likely do not consider it when planning to come here.
@DA It's understandable that legislators in greater Miami are reluctant to pledge more public money since the new Marlins stadium has been such a debacle but the Falcons are a different story. The bond deal that the municipality in Miami got was a bad deal since the credit rating was poor at the time and the economy was not as healthy. Atlanta has a decent credit rating and Georgia has a stellar credit rating. The economy is much healthier now although certainly has a way to go before it is back to where it was before the crash in 2008.
If the Dolphins move to L.A. (or anywhere else) I wonder if the politicians who voted against supporting public funds will be praised or chastised. Either way the stadium is getting built so if you don't like it you know what to do.
@peachtreehillsvoter I think it is hard to argue that Atlanta (or any city with an NFL team) does not get some benefit from the team in the form of jobs, taxes, related revenue in the form of visitors spending money on hotels, restaurants, fuel, car or air travel.
Benefits to the City are justification for the investment. I don't oppose an increased social safety net. These are two unrelated issues.
Owners of NFL teams have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize returns for their fellow investors. If the City chose not to invest in a new stadium there was a good chance that the Falcons may have gone to L.A. This would have likely resulted in a substantial financial loss to the City and local businesses.
If the financing cost to the City is $300M over 30 years which averages only $10M a year or less than 2% of city revenue in the FY 14 proposed budget. The annual financial benefits the city receives from having an NFL team most likely exceeds $10M.
One part of the argument for building a shiny new stadium and demolishing the Georgia Dome is that maintenance costs were expected to skyrocket in the out years of its usable life. Right now the Dolphins are raising upwards of $400M to cover maintenance and upgrades for the aged open-air Sun Life Stadium of which the team plans to cover most of the cost.
This is modernization is expected to lengthen the useful life of Sun Life Stadium by 25 years but were they to put a dome on top the cost would be much higher and building a new stadium would probably make a better business case.
A new stadium is a smart investment for the city and for businesses that operate in the city especially in the service industry. Relative to our peer cities like Dallas ticket prices and the cost of seat licenses, for those who choose to purchase them, will not be that expensive.
Again, if you disagree with the choices of elected government officials please be sure to vote in November. I will be voting my support by purchasing seat licenses and a pair of good seats in the club level.
@Through the Looking Glass - It is true that the City will be paying more than $200M since there is interest on the bonds and maintenance for the stadium which the City will own and the Falcons will lease from the City. But, to clarify the City approved issuing $200M in bonds. The way that works is a bank or group of banks pay the City $200M and the City agrees to pay the debt portfolio back over a different periods of time (2, 5, 10, & 30 year bonds I believe) plus interest. The City then pays the Falcons portions of the $200M as certain milestones of the project are completed. Kinda like the way your bank pays a builder in stages when you get a mortgage for a new house. They are not just depositing the whole $200M in Blank's checking account.
The principle and interest of the bonds will be paid back with proceeds from the fraction of the City hotel taxes for the next 30 years at minimum and possibly longer if the Falcons exercise the option(s) that could retain them for up to 15 years. This money does not flow directly into Blank's checking account. Saying otherwise is misleading. But, it is accurate to say that if the City did not provide this subsidy someone else (maybe Blank's company, another bank, or a naming rights sponsor) would have to fund it.
If you don't live in the City of Atlanta, stay in hotels in the City often, or have a business that depends on low hotel taxes it shouldn't affect you much. But, higher ticket prices and seat licenses are not so great and certainly will affect all fans who would rather attend games in person.
Also, I didn't vote for Ron Paul but I think it is interesting that he and his son like to go against the grain and I feel we'd be better off if more politicians (R, D, I, or other) made bolder choices and worked harder to avoid group think.
I'm not sure why bitcoin matters in this discussion. I don't own any bitcoins but I do find it to be an interesting concept.
For the folks here that are upset about well-off businessmen in Georgia (or elsewhere) having an advantage over the little guy well I don't know what to tell you about that. The well connected and wealthy will always get a bigger bite of the apple in a capitalist society so i'd recommend becoming rich and well-connected or residing in a more egalitarian society like France or Cuba.
Finally, building stadiums are a precarious business that can cause a huge financial burden for many decades if the deal is not good one for all parties. Just ask the City of Miami and their AAA Marlins team how an attendance of 5,000 people per game will affect the business case for the stadium. I guess if you don't like what your politicians are doing you can vote your conscience during the next City elections.
I support Mayor Reed and i'll be a season ticket holder for the new Falcons stadium in 2017.
The city of Atlanta is issuing $200M in bonds to keep the Falcons in Downtown Atlanta of which they will repay over the next 30 years plus interest financed by a fraction of EXISTING hotel taxes. This should only upset you if you were hoping to entice the Falcons to move to Los Angeles.
The $200M loan from the NFL to Blank is separate from the money the City is borrowing and will be repaid to the NFL by Blank & Co. plus interest over the term of the loan they negotiated. Money is inexpensive these days thanks to low interest rates so it makes good business sense to borrow money when it is cheap and use it for what will likely be a good long term investment.
If Blank is a good businessman (he is) he's probably financing the remaining $600M or so through major financial institutions (perhaps Suntrust) besides the NFL and will pay back or refinance the loans and interest as a cost of doing business over the next few decades.
This new stadium project project brings net new jobs, revenue, and real estate investment and development near the stadium. This is a good thing for the City for the next 30 years.
The main bad part will be increased costs to the fan in the form of new seat licenses, higher ticket prices, and concessions may cost more. But, wouldn't it be cool to have the Super Bowl in Atlanta again in your lifetime?
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