Stadium deal could have Falcons back outside by 2017

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

The Falcons cleared a major hurdle today in their quest for a new outdoor stadium.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the team have entered into one of those “memorandum of understanding” about the project.

Here is the stadium that Falcons provided to the AJC about the matter.
“The Georgia World Congress Center Authority commissioned and has received the results of the study performed by Populous regarding the potential for a new stadium on the Authority’s campus.

“The Authority has shared the report with us as part of our joint exploration of development options. The report addresses a number of topics that will be considered by the Authority and the Falcons as planning discussions move forward.

“We appreciate the Authority’s diligence in working through this process in a thorough and thoughtful manner. We continue to have open dialogue with the Authority on a range of topics and options, with the shared goal of working toward an agreement that is in the best interests of the community, our fans and all other stakeholders involved. At this point, no decisions have been made; therefore, we will have no further public comment at this time.”

Here is the news story on the stadium.

Check out the master plan, here.


Bundle up y’all, the Falcons could be back outside by the 2017 season.

372 comments Add your comment

wow

February 22nd, 2011
4:19 pm

wow

February 22nd, 2011
4:21 pm

Oh hell yea!!! Who is the man??? Yes I am…. Go me Go me Go me.. Oh this is a Ledbetter article that means nobody comments….

Ed Zachary

February 22nd, 2011
4:24 pm

If it were truly in everyone’s best interests, nothing further would happen. What a load of monkey poop.

Arthur Blank

February 22nd, 2011
4:32 pm

SORRY FANS ITS I WHAT I WANT. I WANT A SUPERBOWL HERE IN 2018

the real Old Gold

February 22nd, 2011
4:38 pm

Does this include the city keeping the Dome for events? I sure hope so. I love that building.

jt9000

February 22nd, 2011
4:40 pm

Open air stadium is the worst idea ever. It’s blazing hot here through late October so even when its not raining- its too hot to sit in the sun; especially if you have younger kids. I also don’t think they are going to gie Atlanta a super bowl with an open air stadium, especially after what happened in Dalls. I don’t understand Arthur’s thought process on this at all.

Season Ticket Holder

February 22nd, 2011
4:40 pm

I will not renew for an outdoor stadium.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Clay Waterfill, Nubyjas Wilborn and Brandon Baker, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Stadium deal could have Falcons back outside by 2017 http://t.co/nLB7OUR [...]

jt9000

February 22nd, 2011
4:41 pm

D-Led- have you heard any discussion about PSLs in connection with the new stadium?

NO

February 22nd, 2011
4:46 pm

Let Blank pay for and build a stadium if he wants one. He can have one of those Saturday classes at Home Depot such as “How to Build a Complete NFL Stadium”, “Building out a Luxury Box”, or “Adding Escalators to Your Abode.”

FEAR THE TALON

February 22nd, 2011
4:51 pm

SCREW AB & HIS “BOOT LICKER POSSE”!!!!!!!!! THAT’S IT FOR ME BEING A SEASON TICKET HOLDER!!!! (AS PROMISED BY YOURS TRULY) WHEN THIS IGNORANT IDEA WAS FIRST MENTIONED IN THE AJC!!!!!!!!! STILL MY TEAM JUST NOT @ THE STADIUM!!!!!!!!

Rell(Chris)

February 22nd, 2011
4:59 pm

Why do they want an open air stadium? I havent meet a fan yet that wants to sit in the elements to watch the Birds play….. Bad idea if you ask me

Who Dat Nation

February 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

New Stadium same Noodle Arm QB, I hope he can throw hard in the wind

Go Saints

John

February 22nd, 2011
5:01 pm

On a day when the state has decimated the pre-K program for four year olds and cut the HOPE scholarship program, we talk about funding a stadium we don’t need while we have a better facility already in use. Does that make sense to anybody?

Cary

February 22nd, 2011
5:02 pm

I’m not wild on the site for the Stadium. It’s too far of a walk from MARTA.

I say keep the Falcons in the Dome and do a retractable roof if you really want the option of outdoors.

I agree with the sentiments above about outdoor football in August/September and December/January. Who wants to do that?

Allen

February 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

No John, it doesn’t.

But it probably sounds good to the folks who will receive this corporate welfare (while simultaneously calling for tax cuts for themselves).

day old fries

February 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

i dont care what you play in….just bring us a ring!!!

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:08 pm

Only in Georgia!!! SMDH!!! The Georgia General Assembly is a joke!!! The people at the GWCC have absolutely no backbone!

Scott

February 22nd, 2011
5:10 pm

Why don’t they just build it where the old Atlanta-Fulton Stadium was? It is just a parking lot now. Enough space for a stadium, great location, just build some parking decks.

LongTimeFan

February 22nd, 2011
5:11 pm

I for one have gone to my last Falcon game if they play outside. Who wants to sit in heat, cold & rain? Not me.
Sorry Mr. Blank, you’re way off with this one.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:13 pm

Arthur Blank
February 22nd, 2011
4:32 pm
“SORRY FANS ITS I WHAT I WANT. I WANT A SUPERBOWL HERE IN 2018″

A Super Bowl? Where? After the fiasco in Dallas, do you think that’s still in the pipeline with an open-air boon dongle? Welcome to being as irrelevant as the stadium in Charlotte after December 20th!

gadawgs

February 22nd, 2011
5:14 pm

Seriously???, give up your season tickets if the Falcons move into an open air stadium?? Are you kidding me? I for one would love to go back outside. This is from someone who has had season tickets for the Falcons at the Dome and at the Stadium. By FAR the better game experience was the outdoor stadium not even close. Fall football in the South is incredible(yes even winter football too). Not to mention better tailgating possibilities with the new site. I am all for it and for all of you FOOTBALL fans who cannot handle the outdoor elements to watch a game you need to go away and let some real football fans have your seats. This is not a tennis match for goodness sakes it is FOOTBALL!!!!!

BirdFanscout

February 22nd, 2011
5:16 pm

I believe football is suppose to be played outside. In fact I went to the last game the Falcons played at Fulton. Glandville and the Back in Black Falcons beat Seattle.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 22nd, 2011
5:17 pm

Not that they should be building a new stadium anyway, since it will inevitably involve a ton of public money that this city and state can’t afford, but if they do they would be foolish not to include a roof of some kind, retractable or otherwise.

And hopefully they don’t make the same mistake so many of these other new stadiums do, where they forget about acoustics and end up negating the impact of home crowd noise. The New Meadowlands is notorious for this.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:18 pm

Scott
February 22nd, 2011
5:10 pm
“Why don’t they just build it where the old Atlanta-Fulton Stadium was? It is just a parking lot now. Enough space for a stadium, great location, just build some parking decks.”

Because part of the agreement that got the Olympic Stadium (now Turner Field) built excluded the building of a 2nd Stadium in Summerhill… The City of Atlanta destroyed a once vibrant neighborhood to build that outside toilet bowl in 1966 and the 75/85/20 interchange…

yuzeyurbrain

February 22nd, 2011
5:23 pm

I would say “fun and games for the masses” while Rome burns, but it is even worse. It is “fun and games” for the wealthy and $$$$$$$$$$$ for Artie Blank, poor sole while Georgia “reforms” its HOPE Scholarship, all to be paid for by you and me.

First Fan

February 22nd, 2011
5:30 pm

I have been a season ticket holder since 1992 when they built the dome I will not renew to sit in the heat or cold I will still support the Falcons on TV but not in person and I know at lease 45 people who fill the same way no dome or retractible roof no me the only Superbowl I care about is the one that the Falcons are in so I could care less if we hosted one I can`t beleive you are still going on with plans to build an open air stadium with the extreme weather we have don`t you know that why the dome was built in the first place you need to put some thought in keeping your fan base and not running them away I will still be A season ticket holder until 2016!!!!!!!!!!!

gadawgs

February 22nd, 2011
5:32 pm

Unless you play in Minnesota or freakin North Dakota football is supposed to be played outdoors period. Green Bay outdoors, Chicago outdoors, New England outdoors, Philadelphia outdoors, New York outdoors, Pittsburgh outdoors, Denver outdoors, Buffalo outdoors. Do you know what all of these and many more outdoor teams have that we don’t? Super Bowl Championships(except for Buffalo but hey they played in four straight). Dome teams do not win championships. If fans from these truly COLD weather cities heard the pansy a** talk from our fans they would laugh their a**es off.

Birdbrain

February 22nd, 2011
5:33 pm

If Blank pays for most of the cost say 50% then maybe, if he pays 100% then heck yea!!! The issue will be what to do with the GA Dome, it was build in 92″ so its not like its obsolete.

gadawgs

February 22nd, 2011
5:35 pm

First fan…I was a season ticket holder that building the DOME ran away along with alot more than 45 people. I lasted two years in that environment and could not take it anymore.

blazerdawg

February 22nd, 2011
5:38 pm

Love it! Hope they improve some of the surrounding area for tailgating as well. Night games are going to be awesome with the skyline peering over the east side of the stadium.

Ace

February 22nd, 2011
5:39 pm

Seriously! When is the last time an SEC team built a “new” stadium? Sure additions, renovations, etc. have taken place, but almost every freaking SEC team is in the same home they have been in for the past 50 to 100+ years; they pack in on average 10 to 20,000 more fans per game than Artie’s new playground; not a one is surrounded by 20,000+ parking spaces, yet everyone manages to find a spot to park and tailgating isn’t even comparable it is so much better; fan base is more loyal; and the program largely functions on donations from alumni and ticket sales! Granted they don’t ‘pay’ their players, but build a winning team, some history and tradition, and you don’t need a crappy new stadium that drains the tax base for the next 20 years! IF FALCON’S FANS WANT A NEW STADIUM, LET THEM AND ARTIE PAY FOR THE FREAKING THING THEMSELVES!!

Birdbrain

February 22nd, 2011
5:39 pm

The clowns that are whinning about Hope, what did people do before the scholarship, they paid for classes like I did with student loans, financial aid, and working full-time and parttime. The hope is a joke, you have high-school graduate getting hope that take remedial classes. Many lost hope after the first 2 semesters when reality kicks in and they understand college professors do not have to pass them!!! They will give you a F, and won’t think twice about it. We know the grades are inflated just to get student into the Hope program so this way the best students will have an opportunity to get a free education. There are other ways to pay for college, join the military and sign up for the GI Bill. This generation is lazy, college is not a right, you earn it through hard work, sweat equity, and financial equity. You want to go, no hope you pay for it.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:40 pm

GA Dawg…
You’re so out of touch with reality it is laughable… Those communities sans Buffalo were willing to use public monies and maintain public control over those stadiums. And go ask the people of Oakland County Michigan of what is like to be stuck with municipal debt for the next 20 years with a white elephant because a greedy owner expects to subsidized in order to make money on top of $9 billion in profits they alone share? You don’t have a clue!

Pay Up!

February 22nd, 2011
5:42 pm

The city of atlanta needs to break the bank and give Blank whatever stadium he wants—if not, he may get mad and move the team to some bigger market with more money, like LA or Vegas. Just jack up taxes and ticket prices for a few years to pay for everything—it will be worth it in the long run.

fish2774

February 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

Well, I’ll hold on to me tickets until we move into the outdoor stadium. For those that said football is for outdoor you really haven’t experienced outdoor football until you go north. I’ve been to D.C., Baltimore, Philly, and New York for games and it’s not even funny watching parents carrying blankets for their kids. Better yet try walking from the concessions with coco and the crap is cold before you get back to your seat.

I love m y Falcons, but I’m just like a spoiled athlete I feel as if I’m entitled to sit in luxury with a roof over my head since that’s what I’ve been accustom too. Hey, let’s just round up all the season ticket holders and file a greivance with the fan union against Arthur Blank for failing to provide luxury to his shareholders with this open stadium idea………….. LOL

KnightInATL

February 22nd, 2011
5:43 pm

An Open-Air stadium is the ONLY WAY TO GO!! Football was meant to be played outdoors, not in some air conditioned box. For those complaining about the heat, they seem to be able to put up with it in Miami, JAX and Tampa without crying about it.

KnightInATL

February 22nd, 2011
5:46 pm

Funny how some are complaining about an outdoor stadium because it’s too hot in Atlanta….and some are complaining about it being too cold. What a bunch of crybabies.

JASon

February 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

How is it okay for them to tear down a perfectly good facility that is less than 20 years old? Yet everyone is supposed to do their part to take care of the environment. We are all supposed to buy fuel efficient cars, and invest in these stupid light bulbs, yet its okay for them to do this.

Anyway But Downtown

February 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

My opinion. Arthur Blank, GET OUT OF DOWNTOWN! If they want you to pay for a lot of the stadium, build it yourself and reap the benefits of everything. Move it somewhere, ANYWHERE but downtown. What a ghetto.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:47 pm

“There are other ways to pay for college, join the military and sign up for the GI Bill.”

What planet do you live on? BIG CUTS are coming in entitlements and defense. The days of getting an education on Uncle Sam (the new GI Bill) are about to come a screaming end… By the way, the reason so many people were hit like tsunami by this recession was because they never had a chance to clear of all of that bank subsidizing welfare debt pretending to be a student loan program… Now instead of leading in post secondary education, we are 5th in the industrialized world!

Anyway But Downtown

February 22nd, 2011
5:49 pm

PayUp, Sorry but Vegas is 25% the size of Metro Atlanta. LA, well that’s another thing. But Metro Atlanta is the 8th largest city in the USA.

gadawgs

February 22nd, 2011
5:51 pm

JSS..You apparently do not have a clue. I was not discussing the financing of the facility in my posts. I was addressing the fact that people were complaining about the WEATHER and they do not want to be hot or cold while watching a football game. The financial aspect is a whole different ballgame. My point is outdoor football is better than indoor football as I have paid to watch both therefore, I have earned the right to voice my opinion. And my opinion is you and all of the other people on this blog who don’t want to go outside should keep their candy a**ses at home and watch the game under your roof. There will be plenty of people to buy up your tickets to BRAVE the elements.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
5:53 pm

PSL or not, it takes twice as long to pay off and service debt on a outdoor stadium because it lacks any other revenue streams and uses. And if that field is natural grass, “Kathy Bar The Door!” It is going to be a mess!

blazerdawg

February 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

Everyone should read the stadium plan DOL provided the link for before commenting….they are not going to demolsh GA Dome; it will be maintained for other sporting events/conventions/concerts. Having both will be a unique amenity and the financing will be a continuation of the existing bonds that are due to expire early in 2016 (+/-). The state makes as much on these facilities as it paid to build/maintain.

PMC

February 22nd, 2011
5:57 pm

Lots of interesting stuff in that report. Unfortunately, doesn’t do much to fix the poor ingress/egress or tailgating situations.

PMC

February 22nd, 2011
5:59 pm

I know this is several years down the road, but without significantly reworking the area around whatever stadium I don’t see it being any better of an experience than was the Ga Dome.

JSS

February 22nd, 2011
6:01 pm

“There will be plenty of people to buy up your tickets to BRAVE the elements.”

You didn’t do it from 1966-1990 and for all of your BIG TALK, you’re not going to do it now! It is financial, demographic, and economic boon doogle! And nobody is scared of cold, I went to college in Michigan… But there is a difference between snow and freezing rain! There is a difference between heat stroke (as many of us remember from the toilet bowl) and being a drunk and stupid college football fan…

And if you’re NOT thinking about paying for that mess, then you need to close the page…

PMC

February 22nd, 2011
6:02 pm

In order to do a stadium the way they want it, they need, lots more open parking spaces directly adjacent to the stadium.

This would be a farther walk than it is now from even Marta…. and I don’t see anywhere they are improving parking.

Doug Hall

February 22nd, 2011
6:07 pm

Does anyone but me think it is totally crass that on the same page as ajc.com trumpets a new stadium for the Falcons, Gov. Deal is announcing drastic cuts to the HOPE scholarships? If this is what the Republicans and conservative see as progress, Lord help us.