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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ten firms submit applications to design new Falcons stadium

The new stadium's designer is expected to be chosen sometime in March

The Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have revealed through official documents that 10 firms applied to design the new Falcons stadium.

The list comes three weeks after the team and GWCCA approved non-binding terms for the stadium, which could open in 2017. A new facility for Atlanta's NFL team would likely cost more than $1 billion, with an estimated $300 million coming from public funding generated by a tax on motel and hotel rooms.

The firm that eventually designs the stadium would receive a cut from the remaining $700 million. That exact fee hasn't been shared yet, but WSB-TV says that similar stadiums have run upwards of 9 percent. As for which design company will win the job, stadium procurement director Richard Sawyer says that several key factors would inform who will get the chance to build the Georgia Dome's replacement.

"Generally we're looking at a combination of stability, experience, suitability for this project and really we're going to be look[ing] at past performance as well," Sawyer told WSB-TV.

The architecture and design firms that have submitted proposals for the new stadium include:

*360 Architecture
*Eisenman Architects
*Ewing Cole
*HKS Inc.
*RGC Stadium Design
*TVS Design/Heery/Gensler
*Woods Bagot

It's a strong list of candidates that likely lives up to Arthur Blank's call for requests from some of the "best architects in the world." HKS Inc., who worked on the $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium that opened in 2009, could be a viable candidate for the job given its past experience with the state-of-the-art facility in Arlington, Texas. They also constructed Coolray Field, the Gwinnett Braves' home in Lawrenceville that holds more than 10,000 people.

London Olympic Stadium designer Populous is also in the running after submitting an application. The Kansas City-based firm helped the Falcons and the GWCCA on a 2011 study that looked at possible locations for the new building.

The Falcons and the GWCCA are expected to announce who wins the design job sometime in March.

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