Where’s league push for Arthur Blank Field @ Bon Jovi Park?

101024 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner breaks a tackle as he slips away from Bengals cornerback Leon Hall for some of his 121 yards during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010.    Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

101024 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner breaks a tackle as he slips away from Bengals cornerback Leon Hall for some of his 121 yards during 2nd half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Oct. 24 , 2010. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his recent op-ed piece restated the league’s need to have some new stadiums built.

In the piece, which you can read on NFLLabor.com, he notes that the current collective bargaining agreement expires March 4. Goodell says he “cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then.”

This is actually good news for citizens across America, who have funded a lot of these new stadiums through various taxes. Instead of coming to the taxpayers, the league is  trying get the capital off of the players.
Goodell says owners need more money to offset “costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums.” He adds: “We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.”

Hmmmmm, not Atlanta?

I’m sure that was an editorial oversight by the commissioner.  Jeff Pash, the league’s executive vice president, did mention Atlanta needed a new stadium during Super Bowl week briefings.

I just heard back from NFL spokeman Greg Aiello:

“It was not meant to be an exhaustive list. They are examples. We could have included Atlanta, St. Louis, and Buffalo as well.”

The Falcons have stated their preference for an open-air stadium downtown. They consider the stadiums in Seattle and Philadelphia to be models.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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47 comments Add your comment

Falcon Fan

February 17th, 2011
10:10 am

No to open air downtown.


February 17th, 2011
10:17 am

Yes, to open air downtown.

Common Sense

February 17th, 2011
10:21 am

NO to open air. Yes to retractable roof.


February 17th, 2011
10:30 am

Goodell is an idiot, and talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says Atlanta needs an open air stadium to get a Super Bowl. This past Superbowl would have been played on a sheet of ice in Dallas, if it was in an open air stadium. Why does the old Superdome keep getting Superbowls then? I have been a Falcons season ticket holder for ten years and the fans complain about the tailgating weather if it is above 85 degrees or below 50. Keep the Dome or we will have a half empty stadium during the down years.


February 17th, 2011
10:30 am

No to open air. Yes to just keeping the dome.


February 17th, 2011
10:35 am

Alot of Falcon fans sold their PLAYOFF TICKETS beacuse it snowed five days before the game. Good luck on getting those sissies to watch football outside. A retractable roof would be great. DOL, Why does a retractable roof cost as much as the stadium itself?? Sounds like GOODELNOMICS to me.

Curious George

February 17th, 2011
10:38 am

Will Rev. Jackson lead a protest rally and mug for the cameras under the false guise of “oppression” once many of his millionaire followers in the NFL stop getting their paychecks when the lockout begins?


February 17th, 2011
10:39 am

Been to games in Fulton county stadium and the Dome , lets just keep the Dome.


February 17th, 2011
10:44 am

I say retractable roof


February 17th, 2011
10:53 am

Yes to retractable roof.


February 17th, 2011
11:04 am

Careful DOL, you may be letting the NFL hoodwink you! Mark my words: even if the NFL gets all the money that they want from the players, they will still go back to local governments for funding stadium projects. Look what is happening in Minnesota, where suburban communities are being used as pawns to incite a bidding war for government funds. Do you think that behavior will suddenly stop, if the owners get more money? Please. Wolves do what is in their nature…


February 17th, 2011
11:05 am

You do realize that the streets around Atlanta were barely passable in some area right? Blame Atlanta for not being prepared for a little bit of snow, not the fans that were not willing to risk driving in unsafe conditions.


February 17th, 2011
11:06 am

I’m all for a Retractable Roof, that allows for the city to still draw in different events for the 350 other days out of the year when the Falcons are not playing.


February 17th, 2011
11:12 am

I would hate to own a sports team in Atlanta. The “fans” are more concerned with what school some 14 year old is considering than with seeing real football. No wonder they are afraid to sit outside during a game. They would rather the stadium be built next to their favorite mall. LOL. Look! an Gyro Wrap!!!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 17th, 2011
11:32 am

I just heard back from NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:

“It was not meant to be an exhaustive list. They are examples. We could have included Atlanta, St. Louis, and Buffalo as well.”

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emily Smith, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Where’s league push for Arthur Blank Field @ Bon Jovi Park? http://bit.ly/fwaCzR [...]


February 17th, 2011
11:35 am

FALCONFAN not a die hard

It snowed on Sunday and we played on the following Saturday night. That gives you six days to figure out how to get out of your semi-wet drive way to a Marta station. Our tailgate was going at 3:45 for the 8:00 kickoff game. Everybody survied.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 17th, 2011
11:45 am

Rikus: I’m sure they’ll still go after the infrastructure (roads as such) money. But they can’t very well ask the public to keep funding the construction of stadiums. Then the public will have money left to buy those $8 beers and $6 hotdogs.

Falcon Fan

February 17th, 2011
12:04 pm

steeldawg…Falcon fan 8 years without missing home game at one time. Whats not diehard?

Whats your record?


February 17th, 2011
12:15 pm

It’s going to be an open air stadium; a retractable roof is just not economically feasible.


February 17th, 2011
12:54 pm

hahahah unsafe conditions?? thats a joke. We were out there at 10am prior to gametime (in ponchos). Atlanta needs an open air stadium, 95% of the season we have literally the best football weather in the country. I would even consider utilizing the old GM factory site so that there would be easier access for OTP fans. Either way, the Falcons need a new stadium, it is a travesty that football is played outdoors in Georgia.


February 17th, 2011
1:06 pm

@GoBirds…Doraville said no to that idea months ago. The county and the city of Doraville apparently want to go the route of an Atlantic Station type development.

Retractable roof is too expensive, it’s either going to be outdoor or indoor or go with the original plan and completely overhaul the Dome which would probably be more expensive than either option. Who knows? I don’t care where you play…just build a defense and win games for god’s sake.


February 17th, 2011
1:25 pm

What about the other old gm location on Mcdonald blvd. near the federal prison. that land is still undeveloped and should be able to be used for a stadium. A lot of the infrastructure is already in place to move traffic throughout that area, and a spur could be built from 75-85 or lakewood freeway!!!!


February 17th, 2011
1:28 pm

or the old ford plant on 75 south in Hapeville?


February 17th, 2011
1:48 pm

I’ve been a season ticket holder for about 10 years. I know one of the reasons I like going is because it is an indoor stadium. I can never understand how people pay in other cities to go watch football outside in the cold. Yes, keep it downtown. But I wouldn’t want to go to every game if it was an open stadium.


February 17th, 2011
1:50 pm

No to outdoor stadiums in Atlanta and Champ Bailey joining the team


February 17th, 2011
2:03 pm

If we are building a new one, yes to retractable roof. GA sweat is worse than cold to me.

And what is the deal with Bon Jovi? “A little bit of Jersey” amidst the peaches? Better than Kardashians … and Cardassians for that matter.

I think it is great to pull in new investors. I didn’t follow the amount or details to know if it was a good deal since it seemed to be flushed away pretty quickly.


February 17th, 2011
2:24 pm


What about the OTP fans that live south of the city? Moving the stadium to Doraville will turn a 30 minute drive into an hour drive for them? The stadium belongs downtown and with a retracable roof so that you can experience a game played outdoors and still attract other clients that need a roof over their heads.


February 17th, 2011
2:52 pm

yes to retracable roof

Greg from Marietta

February 17th, 2011
3:07 pm

A purely open air stadium would be a very dumb move. In order for a stadium to be a multi-use facility it needs a roof. The retractable roof idea is an excellent alternative. As a Falcon season ticket holder for over 10 years I will tell you right now that I have no desire to sit in the cold or the rain. Professional football is a form of entertainment and as a paying customer I prefer to be as comfortable as possible. These idiots who think that it is some sort of validation of their masculinity to brave the harshest of elements to watch a football game need to progress beyond the adolescent stage of development. I played football in High School and College and I can speak as a player when I say that it is no fun nor is there any advantage to playing the game in miserable weather. So if the Falcons do decide to build a new stadium an open air would be nice but a retractable roof would most certainly be a necessity.


February 17th, 2011
3:21 pm

Yes to Open Air! Let’s play some real outside football! Retractable roof is acceptable too

Come on Man!

February 17th, 2011
3:31 pm

Greg from Marietta- Really? You want to be as comfortable as possible to watch your entertainment? Maybe you should go see a movie or something. Let the REAL FOOTBALL fans watch their team slug it out in the bitter elements! I do agree about the retractable roof being needed for multi-event facilities. But I think your point about watching Football inside is balderdash! Grow a pair and let em drop Greg!


February 17th, 2011
3:46 pm

No one but an idiot, or one who has no other choice, wants to go to an event and be miserable because of the outside elements ie; cold, wind, rain, snow/sleet. How does those conditions make the experience more fun? For all of the pro , teams that play in the elements, i’ll guarantee that their next stadiums will have a roof, witness what happened when the vikings wanted to play at the Univ of Minn., the field was unplayable. If you’re in so. Fla and don’t mind the rain, then by all means build an outdoor facility, but every stadium north of no. Fla needs a roof overhead.

Captain Kirk

February 17th, 2011
4:00 pm

This is LUDICROUS!! symptomatic of why this nations financial house is close to collapse! spend, spend, when you have a perfectly workable stadium in place..

SO what are Atlantas citizens supposed to do with the Dome if a new stadium was built? Is it sposed to sit for wrestlemania every 5 yrs, or the SEC basketball championships every 5 yrs?

Stadiums used to last forever…now it seems as if stadium life is pegged at maybe 20 yrs for such an enormous financial undertaking and for waht?? whats the GD bottom line?? huh? 10 more luxury boxes for the elites? so they can relieve themselves in gold toilets ala Pharoah?

Its insane.. Of course King Arthur wants new digs to separate his reign from the Moras, Reeves, Campbells, Jones, & Glanvilles of yore…

its still insane

mark my words


February 17th, 2011
4:04 pm

i cant afford season tickets but if i could i would be at every game in or out doors is for the love of football and the falcons as a kid in the snow was the best time to play football all we needed was a field big and wide enough to play on


February 17th, 2011
4:31 pm

Marcus- I’m with you! Football is meant to be played in the elements!
I’d take a retractable roof, but if the choice is outside or inside for Football, outside is the choice!

Hoof Hearted?

February 17th, 2011
5:53 pm

It’s not rain, sleet, snow, or ice that bothers me sitting outside. It’s the 95 degree Sunday’s in September that I will have a problem with.


February 17th, 2011
5:56 pm

Keep the Georgia Dome!!!


February 17th, 2011
5:58 pm

By the way, if you build a retractable roof, it will always be closed for the home field “loudness” advantage. Believe it.


February 17th, 2011
6:18 pm

Instead of a new stadium, y not invest some of that money in getting some quality players so we can be a bigger threat in the playoffs. If they do that then it will lead to bigger ticket sales increasing which could eventually invest that money into a stadium


February 17th, 2011
7:45 pm

Sitting in the cold, rain, snow, or heat, to watch a football game is just plain ignorant.
Even watching a game on TV, that is played in adverse conditions, is not nearly as enjoyable, as watching a game that is played in perfect conditions.


February 17th, 2011
7:48 pm

We need to change the mentality of our players, who rely on the comforts of the dome. Rip the roof off the dome, and make them play like MEN and allow the real fans – not those who leave in the mist of the fight – RISE UP!

Bill Beckham

February 17th, 2011
10:19 pm

There are two Sundays a year when it is safe to play football in Georgia daylight; only three when alcohol should be allowed to fans.
Retractable roof is way too costly; what is wrong with spending $100 M of Arthur’s money to revamp the dome?
I love Deion’s house!
And please, Mr. Blank; restore the original Falcon emblem!
Irish Bill


February 18th, 2011
8:26 am

I fondly look back on Falcons games at open air Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Monday nights were great too, sometimes a little chilly. But with a roof you can get more from the 12th man and look at how many teams close their retractable roof for the 12th man advantage on a perferctly gorgeous day. Just think of the Fly Over by Navy F-18’s when the new open air Coca Cola Stadium hosts Super Bowl LIX. I mean, what’s the point of a Fly Over on a stadium with a roof, you could put a vid on the High Def big screen and who would know the difference.

But still, just look at the Georgia Dome, that old dilapidated building is barely standing, I’m just not even sure it is safe. We can’t put sports fans at risk with a venue teetering on the verge of collapse. Enter at your own risk for sure.


First Fan

February 18th, 2011
8:49 am

Yes to downtown NO!!!!!!!!!!!! to open air stadium you wil lose 70%of your senior age fans me included for those of you on the Falcons staff still trying to push for and open air stadium look at this pass year the New Orleans game and the playoff game would not have sold out because it was to cold we will not sit in the cold or heat for the Falcons or any team that was the purpose of having a dome our health is more important than any football game and you will not replace a die-hard Falcon senior with some bandwagon jumping fan.

Arthur Blank

February 18th, 2011
5:33 pm

What Arthur wants Arthur gets


February 18th, 2011
8:48 pm

im getting older not going to renew if it open air sound good but bad weather the fans want come