Atlanta Falcons: NFL commish Goodell says there’s ‘need’ for new stadium

The question was put to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as he stood on the Falcons’ current field Sunday night.

Why should taxpayers help to foot the bill for a new home for Arthur Blank’s team?

“Well, I think there’s a recognition that they do need a new stadium,” Goodell said before the Falcons played the Cowboys at the Georgia Dome. “The question is, how do you do something that makes sense for the community and how do you combine that with what they want to do with the (World) Congress Center? And do it in a way that’s responsible and creates more activity. That’s what the discussion is on both sides.”

The Falcons are seeking partial public financing for a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta. The new stadium would replace the 20-year old Georgia Dome, which is operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

In 2010 state legislators extended the Fulton County’s hotel-motel tax, which is expected to contribute $300 million to the costs of a new stadium. But the bonding capacity for the GWCCA, which also would operate the new facility, is capped at $200 million.

Raising the cap to allow the GWCCA to issue bonds on the entire $300 million would require an act of the Legislature and the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal. Some lawmakers have said they are waiting to see the details of the final deal between the Falcons and the GWCCA.

The Falcons would cover the costs of the stadium beyond the $300 million. The GWCCA said it hopes to reach agreement with the Falcons by the end of the year.

A new stadium would likely mean significantly more revenue for the Falcons as compared to the Dome and also an increase in the value of the franchise.

“It’s important for the team to have a [new] stadium when you’re competing against other markets when a [new] stadium can generate more revenue,” Goodell said.

The NFL in the past has awarded the Super Bowl to cities with new stadiums for their teams. But Goodell, asked if Atlanta would improve its chances for a Super Bowl with a new facility, said only that it would allow the city to “compete against other markets” for the right.

Atlanta hosted Super Bowls in 1994 and 2000 but failed in subsequent bids after an ice storm disrupted the 2000 event.

114 comments Add your comment

markie mark

November 5th, 2012
12:03 pm

Mr. Goodell, we will be happy to accept your contribution of funds from YOUR league anytime you wish – do what Green Bay did, and ask Arthur Blank to make the Falcons a publicly traded company, and I will be happy to endorse us as fans/stockholders paying for the stadium. As Joe taxpayer, not so much…..


November 5th, 2012
12:03 pm

NO downtown stadium unless and until the City first clears out the homeless and aggressive panhandling problem. No one wants to go down there because you get consistently approached by these people. If New York can do it, so can Atlanta. Just need the political will. SECOND, Underground Atlanta needs to be transformed into something the whole city can enjoy. Not a place for out of work people to hang out every day. THIRD – if Atlanta wants downtown to work, the city council needs to stop being so racially divisive. I have personally attended city council meetings in the past where one council member Derrick B, stated on video, that it was his job to take money from the north party of the city and move it to the south part of the city and it’s hard to see that as anything but racial politics. The Dome has lost significant concert and entertainment revenue to venues in Cobb, Gwinnett and Alpharetta – because downtown is unfriendly to those who drive in and with the availability of alternative venues that don’t have aggressive panhandling. BEFORE the City and State advance 300 million, they need to address the more fundamental problems of downtown Atlanta and NOT make cleaning downtown up a racial issue.


November 5th, 2012
12:09 pm

One last comment – Arthur Blank is a Billionaire. The Falcons are already worth a lot of money. It is an affront to the residents of Atlanta that we have to front 300 million dollars to a billionaire and a huge money making football franchise with tax dollars at a time when the city is hurting so badly. We need to attract business and industry and I just wonder if Atlanta had 300 million to work with to attract companies to the city, what would be the payback and the diversity of employers we might attract. In other words, what is the opportunity cost of giving this to one company, when it could be used to attract many companies. Anyone study this???


November 5th, 2012
12:11 pm

I don’t understand how a new stadium will increase revenue. More seats? For who, the visiting team? I’m not sure all of this year’s seats are sold out. I don’t understand the specifics behind what is wrong with the current GA Dome. I know Arthur Blank doesn’t like it, but I’ve never heard him go into any details as to why.


November 5th, 2012
12:11 pm

No, no, no, Mr. Goodell. The Falcons do NOT need a new stadium — especially one paid for largely by taxpayers. It’s illogical, unfair, bad economics, wasteful,shameful, greedy, stupid. You name it. Unbiased study after study have proven that sports arenas add relatively few dollars to the local economies — it doesn’t add up.

Why should the public pay for a PRIVATE enterprise’s new house — and one that will give back so few dollars to the local economy after WE pay for the millions of $$ of new infrastructure (roads, bridges, utilities, sidewalks, traffic signals, police and fire protection, etc.)? Please, everyone, follow the money. The public does NOT benefit from professional sports teams — leagues and owners do.

Ronald Reagan

November 5th, 2012
12:11 pm

Arthur is a Liberal & he just wants to share some of Atlanta’s wealth!


November 5th, 2012
12:16 pm

You may not think we need a new stadium today, but at some point we will. It will be publicly financed, it will be in downtown Atlanta (if not some other state), and it will be freaking awesome to watch football outdoors again.

As to whether the ROI is there – who knows? You can google and find any numbers you want to find. There’s no doubt that having the Falcons and being the college football mecca is a good thing – not sure if it’s worth $300 mil though.

I’d suggest the politically expedient thing to do would be to get the GWCCA’s obligation down to $200mil and avoid a major obstacle. Kasim Reed & Co. seem to have a knack for finding millions in the couch cushions every time they need it.

tastes like chicken

November 5th, 2012
12:18 pm

“NFL commish Goodell says there’s ‘need’ for new stadium”. Goodell said that? Really? I would have fallen out of my chair had he said anything other than that.

Falcons can build whatever they like and want as long its with THEIR money!!!

DS CE'91

November 5th, 2012
12:22 pm

Please people, no matter your particular political affiliation, DO NOT SUPPORT PUBLIC FUNDING OF SPORTS VENUES!!! Ultimately, the only parties to benefit from such deals are owners and sports leagues. The return for the public is never worth the investment.

Take 10 minutes and read this folks:

And don’t let anyone convince you this Falcons deal will be “different.” Just once, I want to see common sense rule the day….


November 5th, 2012
12:28 pm

Where will the new stadium be and who will run it?


November 5th, 2012
12:33 pm

After going to the game last night, the Falcons need to do something about their season ticket holders. That was a disgrace to the city of Atlanta the way they acted. Especially in section 122. If you don’t want to stand up at a game stay at home and sit on your couch, or since you acted like you own the place buy a suite then. I will not go back to a Falcons game Georgia Dome or new stadium. The NFL is the one sport that staying at home watching it on tv is better than going. Mainly because of fans who think they run the show.

barney fife

November 5th, 2012
12:35 pm

Well then let Goodell & the owners pay for it! I can’t believe anyone would advocate the utilization of public funds for a private entity. Isn’t that a violation of the federal Hobbs Act anyway? I might be ignorant to that legality, but NO MORE TAXES to line the pockets of a few!

John Lovitz

November 5th, 2012
12:40 pm

Let’s see . . . a new stadium built by the low (”qualified”) minority bidder with a qualified Beverly Hills disadvantaged minority partner and we can let the concessions and parking to the Mayor’s friends, family, and political contributors. That’s the ticket. And we can get another Super Bowl? Go fiigure. Thanks, Mr. Goddell for showing us the way.

Falcon Fan

November 5th, 2012
12:43 pm

Jerry Jones got a guarantee of a Super Bowl for his new stadium. This should be a minimum for a new Atlanta stadium. I would start asking for 3 Super Bowls, one per decade. We are not stupid. Also, it cannot be named for a person, otherwise it will be Obama stadium.

Falcon Fan

November 5th, 2012
12:46 pm

If the value of the franchise will increase, then maybe the state taxpayers should get a stake in that. How about 10%?

ellie mae

November 5th, 2012
12:50 pm

The nerve of Goodell, Blank, and the NFL never ceases to amaze me. Plus, the Dome isn’t a bad stadium but it is in the middle of a huge festering dunghole known as the City of Atlanta. Thugs, traffic, outrageous parking, gangbangers, beggars, and other issues plague that area. I wouldn’t go to a sporting event down there for anything.

If they want a new stadium, let them build it with their own money! Not another dime of City or State taxpayer funds should ever be used to finance any private venue! Did the Dome put any money in my pocket? Not a dime- how about y’all? The only ones who benefit from this are those directly involved and the politicians all the way up to the Governor who line their pockets over this deal.

Tapped Out Tax Payer

November 5th, 2012
1:00 pm

Stadiums are a bad investment. You build one & 20 years later the property depreciates to $0. Seriously, the Falcons already have a great facility. Turner field will be 20 years old in four years & it is a wonderful facility as well. the Braves are not lobbying to tear it down.
I love the Falcons & my advice to them is to keep winning. Winning is the best way to keep your high revenue flow. Besides, The GA Dome is great!

Disgusted in Dekalb

November 5th, 2012
1:01 pm

Goodell can pay for the new stadium if he thinks we need one. And NO, everyone does NOT agree we need a new stadium.

Its funny how these owners, who probably are staunch Republicans, always come to state and local GOVERNMENT to fund their stadiums.

And then they want to license the seats. They want us to help fund their stadium and then they want us to buy the right to get tickets to events there. They sure have some balls…..

Gman 84

November 5th, 2012
1:05 pm

I used to think Furman was a crank when he’d argue that Ful Co stadium was perfectly good and shouldn’t be replaced.

Atl-Ful was 26 years old when destroyed but the Ga Dome would be about the same age when replaced. I see his point now. If you are building stadiums to last 26 years, you don’t need to spend $1 B. You should build it out of plywood and aluminum.

Also, PSL for the Falcons?? Are they high?

Juan Carlos Diego Raul Snachez

November 5th, 2012
1:11 pm

a new stadium…not on the backs of the tax payers….this is crazy….if you build it move it OTP…

Let's Be Real

November 5th, 2012
1:12 pm

The new stadium wouldn’t be built with taxpayer money, but Arthur Blank is a billionaire and should be building it with his cash anyway.

Small Business Owner

November 5th, 2012
1:17 pm

I am a small business owner, and own my building, which is over 50 years old and was renovated 29 years ago. I pay Federal tax, State tax, County tax, City tax, Corporation tax, Unemployment tax, Social Security tax, Ad valorem tax, School tax, Sales tax, Property tax, Inventory tax, Business license tax, Utility tax, Medicare tax, etc. While I agree with Mr Goddell that a new stadium would be nice, I would be nice if someone would help me with a new building, or a salary of a fraction of what a NFL player makes. It would also be nice if NFL tickets were priced so we could afford to go to a game.

5150 UOAD

November 5th, 2012
1:21 pm

Reed just said it will ONLY COST VISITORS!
I’ll believe that NEVER.

Please Tell Me

November 5th, 2012
1:28 pm

Will someone PLEASE tell me why Atlanta cant get another Superbowl until they get a new stadium but New Orleans can keep getting them in that dump that is 40 years on they have?


November 5th, 2012
1:37 pm

If the Falcons want a new stadium, more power to them. Go ahead, build as many as you want but not on my dime. The Falcons are a private business venture. Any growth of that business is totally the responsibility of the business owner, not the tax payer. If I’m to help pay for Blank’s business venture then should I not also get a share of the revenue?


November 5th, 2012
1:47 pm

To Disgusted in DeKalb, there are differing factions in the Republican Party. Country Club Republicans, Tea Partiers, Evangelical Christians, Libertarians to name a few. Not all would agree extorting public funding for an unnecessary and redundant sports venue with little to no net benefit to the community is a good thing.


November 5th, 2012
1:57 pm

The studies have been done: nfl football games do not add income to the respectable cities coffers…
In fact(?) I would argue that Atlanta with it’s traffic problems becomes an even more miserable city to drive in during those games. Just ask anyone who tried to get to disney on ice a few Sundays ago.License the seats , make popcorn $20/box, you want a new stadium and YOU want to go to falcon games,have at it….

prof. jess

November 5th, 2012
2:08 pm

As one writer commented, Blank can pay for the stadium and plenty left, if he can get away with it why not sock it to us. Ask him to release a copy of his tax return. I love football but lets be sensible about it.


November 5th, 2012
2:09 pm

Unfortunately, the management of the Falcons know all too well what they are doing. With the selling of seat licenses, they are pricing the purchase of season tickets beyond the ability of the average person to buy them. They will be sold to business owners and then written off as entertainment expenses. I stress again though that if I as a taxpayer have to help build a new stadium for a private business venture, then I must also be eligible for revenue sharing.


November 5th, 2012
2:10 pm

How much $$ is Goodell going to contribute to the cause? Better be a lot.

” A new stadium would likely mean significantly more revenue for the Falcons as compared to the Dome and also an increase in the value of the franchise.” If that is the case, then Arthur Blank has lots of money to do this. Why should the taxpayers pay any of Blank’s cost of doing business? I don’t see the city of Atl or the State of GA contributing to any other business.
The bottom line is that a new stadium is not “needed” it is wanted. And if it is an open air stadium, I sure don’t see the NFL placing another Super Bowl in Atl given the debacle of the ice storm at last Super Bowl here. Does anyone remember all those miserable years of the Peach Bowl when it was played in the old Atlanta Stadium? As nice as the weather is in Atl a lot of the time, it can be, and often is, just plain miserable in January and February.


November 5th, 2012
2:25 pm

Sounds like the police needed $3 million to replace a helicopter 11 years ago. I guess you can’t always get what you want.

Jay Stanhope

November 5th, 2012
2:33 pm

A new stadium specifically used fo football is not needed. The dome is fine. It is time to start letting the GWCC and Ctiy of Atlant hear your voices loud and clear on this issue. A preliminary letter of agreement between the Falcons, GWCC and the City has already been signed. This process already wat down the road and a stadium will be built unless there is much more public outcry against a new stadium

Toughen up

November 5th, 2012
3:01 pm

I get a kick out of the “downtown is dangerous and scary” crowd. Toughen up, wussies.


November 5th, 2012
3:03 pm

If they ever have a referendum on this question – and thy SHOULD – it would lose by 80-20%. And that why they will NEVER allow that to happen. City of Atlanta thug/politicians need a free-be and a place to take their..ahem..’nieces’. The decrepit and crime/drug laden neighbor ‘hood’ needs the infusion so money to buy more guns and drugs so some of the money can be given to the politicians to keep them out of jail.
This whole thing is as slimy and dumb-as-dirt as only a southern city dominated by short-term thinking long-armed, knuckle-dragging politicians and drug lords can make it..
If Mr. Blank wants another stadium for his team, let him build it with his own money wherever he thinks fit.

D Money

November 5th, 2012
3:10 pm

Nothing is wrong with the dome. Forget the superbowl for that matter, we can pull large college championships AND make more money. What’s going to happen is that they price out the people that scrape up enough to go to a game or two. A billion dollars for something we don’t need? If Blank and the city of Atlanta wants improve their chances of a Superbowl, how about improving the infrastructure and the area around the dome? Now, THAT is worth doing and it wouldn’t be a billion dollars.

Delbert D.

November 5th, 2012
3:36 pm

What is Goodell’s pitch to Green Bay (just renovated for $373 million)? Chicago (Soldier field, 61,500 capacity)? Buffalo (40 year old stadium)? Washington (FedEX Field is already 15 years old)? Also, let’s remember that the original NFL complaint against Atlanta getting another Super Bowl was the ice storms in 2000 during the Super Bowl. A new stadium isn’t going to help that. Stop the B.S., Goodell.


November 5th, 2012
3:37 pm

If they (Falcons & NFL) want a new stadium, great! But not with public money.

Delbert D.

November 5th, 2012
3:50 pm

“I get a kick out of the “downtown is dangerous and scary” crowd.”

Do you also get a kick out of ugly, filthy and decrepit?


November 5th, 2012
3:57 pm

The Dome is no more “broken” that the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was. It was torn down in favor of a similiar # of seats with more bling. B.S.

Denver Falcon

November 5th, 2012
4:09 pm

Goodell is the master of Lip Service. It has nothing to do with how antiquated (so they say) the dome is. The superdome opened in 1975 and is still getting Superbowls. It’s because of the storm that crippled the city and the poor logistics and infrastructure. The administrators that run these events have their positions due to nepotism, cronyism, or something else – not their expertise in handling large crowds or scenario planning in case something goes wrong. Look at the Olympics. That’s the first, and only, time the IOCC didn’t say it was the greatest olympics ever. It’s because they did a horrible job of planning. It was a nightmare to get around in, with no alternatives other then sit in gridlock on 75/85. We build a new stadium, we might get one SB, but I wouldn’t expect us to get one every five years like Miami, SD, or NO. Just my two cents worth

i care why?

November 5th, 2012
4:10 pm

go ahead build it…but if taxpayers have to pay for it..then i want ticket prices to drop …and great idea…build in atlanta..more traffic and higher parking prices..blah blah….take the GM plant on 285 and doraville and make it Blank Field


November 5th, 2012
4:23 pm

I will tell you exactly why Blank wants a new stadium, Jerry Jones. He sees Dallas and Jones as his “rivals” Dallas has a brand new stadium and now ours looks outdated and old. Blank probably can’t stand that. Its all about the shine.
Oh, and here is what Dallas paid for their stadium:
Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.15 billion,[17] making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding,[17][18] and Jones covered any cost overruns.

Does Atlanta really want to do that?

Toughen up

November 5th, 2012
4:36 pm

“Do you also get a kick out of ugly, filthy and decrepit?”

No. But I do get a kick out of soft, easily frightened, hysterical people.


Gman 84

November 5th, 2012
5:10 pm

If Blank eventually sells the Falcons and includes the stadium in the deal, does he repay taxpayers for their donation to his personal net worth?

I love the smell of urine in the morning

November 5th, 2012
5:17 pm

Some parents complained that there neighborhood was “too dangerous” for their kids to walk through, so, the already broke school system is spending $3 million to run buses on routes that should be walkable. The police wanted a new $3 million helicopter 11 years ago. It crashed killing 2 police officers over the weekend. MARTA gets worse, not better over time. There are no bike lanes in the city. GaTech and Georgia State students get jacked weekly. The school system is closing schools causing near riots. Criminals walk out of jail due to overcrowding. The city is knee deep in litter. I’ve blown out tires on potholes. A $1 billion + stadium is like not even on the list of 100, or even 500 things I can think of that Atlanta “needs.”

Goodell cares about the NFL. Blank cares about the Falcons. And those two butt clowns are going to force this thing through over the meek discordant objections of millions. We should be milking the Dome for profits, not maxing out the credit card to basically add value to an NFL franchise, a private venture. The Dome is weak because it was a political hack compromise 20 years ago so the GWCC could host Monster Trucks and Bronner Bros Hair. Atlanta had 30 years of unprecedented growth and failed to take care of the basics and now our biggest “public works” project is going to be a stadium for 8 home games and a one and done playoff game, a monster truck event and a hair weave convention? Get mad people.

Falcon Since 1966

November 5th, 2012
5:35 pm

The Super bowl should be at the home stadum of the team with the most wins that make to the super bowl. No one going to a game in N.O. is really there to watch the Broncos play the Giants. just saying.


November 5th, 2012
5:37 pm

Oh good, je can pay for it!

Bravesfan 54

November 5th, 2012
5:54 pm

Falcon Fan- Jerry Jones paid every dime out of his pocket for his stadium – obviously you didn’t know that!


November 5th, 2012
5:57 pm

The Georgia Dome was good enough to host the Super Bowl in 1994 and 2000. Why is it not good enough for Mr Goddell now?

Double Zero Eight

November 5th, 2012
6:02 pm

So we can assume that New Orleans will not get another
Super Bowl until the Super Dome is replaced…..right?
Where is the Super Bowl being played this year? The GA
Dome is a much better facility than the Super Dome!