Atlanta Falcons: Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium issue

Atlanta Rotary club president Steve Hennessy, Wes Durham, Arthur Blank, Roger Goodell and Rich McKay today.

Atlanta Rotary club president Steve Hennessy, Wes Durham, Arthur Blank, Roger Goodell and Rich McKay today. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/

After speaking with fans, business and political leaders, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is optimistic that the Falcons will get a new retractable roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome.

“There is a recognition that it’s the right thing to do and they are going through a very healthy process to find a solution that is going to work for all parties,” Goodell said after speaking to the Rotary Club of Atlanta on Monday.

Goodell met with fans before the Falcons played the Dallas Cowboys at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.

He met with Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Monday morning to discuss the stadium issue.

The NFL and the Falcons are interested in a public-private partnership that would help the Falcons generate additional revenues through a new stadium.

Goodell said new stadiums built for the Cowboys and the New York Jets and Giants are state of the art and have essentially made the 20-year old Georgia Dome obsolete.

He also acknowledged that personal seat licenses have been a great way for teams to raise part of the revenue needed to fund the new stadiums. He did note that some stadiums have sections of seats that are not subject to a seat license.

“When you are going to approach a complex project like this, there is always a lot about what is the right thing and the wrong thing,” Goodell said. “What should be the participation level in the public-private partnership? Where to build it? What to build?”

Goodell’s optimism is based on the meetings he had with several of the involved parties, including Deal and Reed.

“I think their process over a long period of time has been very healthy,” Goodell said. “There is a good opportunity and the NFL wants to be a part of creating something very special. We want to be a part of this community for a long time. We hope that wherever they put the stadium, they make it a bigger and better place.”

Goodell has been the commissioner of the NFL since 2006. Under his administration the league has negotiated a 10-year labor agreement with the players, recently settled an eight-year agreement with the officials and has negotiated multi-billion dollar television deals with their media partners.

“We now are in a better position to be able to provide league-wide funding to help Arthur Blank’s private contribution,” Goodell said. “That will be coming from 31 other owners, which is unique to football.”

Blank introduced Goodell at the luncheon.

“This commissioner spends time with the fans, talking to them, listening to them and responding to them and being honest with them about the state of the game,” Blank said. “The other thing that I’ll say about this commissioner is that it’s a very difficult job. I appreciate his ability to lead and his ability to listen before he makes decisions.”

Blank was understandably giddy about the 8-0 Falcons, the league’s lone remaining undefeated team.

“People are always asking me ‘how does it feel to be undefeated?’,” Blank said. “If you’re 8-0 and you can’t be happy, you have a real serious problem. I’m very, very happy.”

Before meeting with Deal and Reed, Goodell had breakfast with several retired NFL players.

“It’s been a very successful last 24 hours,” Goodell said. “I’ve been able to get a very good understanding of what’s going on here in Atlanta. Obviously, when you’re 8-0, that helps everyone’s attitude.”


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48 comments Add your comment


November 5th, 2012
8:09 pm

Can’t we look again at putting the new stadium at the old GM plant in Doraville? It’s an ideal location.


November 5th, 2012
8:10 pm

I can barely afford to go to the dome. But big business won’t be stopped. Oh well, my Falcons are 8-0 and I still can watch on tv.

atl be hood

November 5th, 2012
8:12 pm

Just too many other things we need. Stadium does not make cut, sorry.


November 5th, 2012
8:18 pm

I swear, that dilapidated old Georgia Dome building is just close to collapse. Should be imploded soon.


November 5th, 2012
8:31 pm

Seat licenses………………why don’t they just raise the ticket price to a gazillion dollars??


November 5th, 2012
8:33 pm

atl be hood
November 5th, 2012
8:12 pm

Just too many other things we need. Stadium does not make cut, sorry.
No it really doesn’t make the cut but they will get their stadium no matter what the greater % of the public thinks.

Tom P

November 5th, 2012
8:34 pm

If Arthur Blank and the Falcons want a new stadium, let them obtain the property, build it and PAY FOR IT. No taxpayer money, not even one public penny. Not a proper function of government to pay for a place of business for a private concern.


November 5th, 2012
8:58 pm

Why don’t you build the stadium north of Atlanta and get it out of the $#it hole city where people can go and not worry about thugs, bums, and parking.

Billy T

November 5th, 2012
8:59 pm

I would love to hear what parts of the dome are obsolete. I was at the game last night. Seemed to work just fine.


November 5th, 2012
9:35 pm

This is B.S. The Georgia dome is not as old as the Superdome. It’s good enough for the SEC championship. There are a lot of people hurting in this economy, it is just not the right time to use public funds to replace a good stadium. Let Goodell, the NFL and Arthur Blank pay for it if they have to have it.


November 5th, 2012
9:41 pm

Agreed jimbo. The Dome is fine. Atlanta has many more pressing issues in infrastructure than a new ball field. Corporate Atlanta has never been “all in” with the Falcons . If it goes on a ballot, it loses…..and please, don’t ask people in Savannah,Valdosta and elsewhere around the state to pay for it.

Wess Durham

November 5th, 2012
10:01 pm

Does this jacket make my A$$ look big.

LOL at the Aints

November 5th, 2012
10:02 pm

Nothing wrong with the Dome,, Agreed,, compared to ole Atlanta Fulton County stadium its a palace.

Big Crimson 75

November 5th, 2012
10:22 pm

Do not for one second believe this is Roger Goodell’s wish.
Goodell could care less if we play in the Ga Dome, Turner Field, Sanford Stadium, Dodd Stadium…..

This is all Arthur. 100%.
Goodell is doing what Commishioners do, follow the orders of his boss(es) — the NFL Owners, in this case Arthur Blank.


November 5th, 2012
10:32 pm

Goodell is using Jerry World and the brand new Giants stadium to claim the Georgia Dome is obsolete? By that warped logic, every other stadium in the NFL is also obsolete. Public participation to make Arthur Blank even richer should be a big fat zero. Let him move the team if he can find another city to shake down.

Mora less Petrino

November 5th, 2012
11:54 pm

Good blog going here!
A. The argument that the Dome is fine is probably correct.
B. There probably are better uses for the money, especially in the current economic conditions.
C. If a new stadium is built, I hope it is located in a more convenient location, as in the outskirts of ATL. I like going to games, but rarely go because I hate getting to and from the Dome. Hate it!
D. If Blank and ATL are serious about bringing MLS to ATL, a new dual purpose stadium would be a plus. Seattle’s stadium has been a success for the Seahawks and Sounders.

Time and politics will tell the story.

Falcon James

November 5th, 2012
11:55 pm

Could someone explain what a “seat license” is about? Never heard that before.

P Rose

November 6th, 2012
2:36 am

Here we go again with the build-it-in-the-suburbs rap.

Get this: it’s the ATLNTA Falcons. It’s not thebDoraville Falcons, or the Alpharetta Falcons.

All roads lead to downtown. I-75, I-85, I-20, U.S. 41 and U.S. 29 all go through Atlanta. The airport is close and there’s public transportation.

Just because it’s not in your back yard in the suburbs is not a good reason to build it there, just so it’ll be more convenient to you.

Don’t tell me you’re afraid of the crime, either. I’ve lived in a loft downtown, just a half mile from the Dome, for ten years now, and have never even victimized, knock on wood.

If they built it in Doraville, or Alpharetta, folks from the south side or the west side would have to go through or around the city to get there. Believe it or not, the center of Atlanta is not east or north of the city where you live. It’s downtown.

And to you brainwashed Reaganites who have been programmed to freak out every time you hear the word “taxes,” they’re talking about a hotel tax. That means the conventioneers, vacationers and the Packers and Steelers fans who come here and spend the night will be the ones paying for it, not you. After all, you don’t come downtown anyway, because you’re afraid to, remember?

Some of us love football, and we want the Falcons to stay here, and to be competitive, and to be a place where great players will want to come to play.

The rest of you can go back to your sewing circle and let the big boys decide this issue.

Herbert Hoover

November 6th, 2012
4:02 am

Money is green. No matter where it comes from, we have other places we should spend it. We just had a 30 year boom and have nothing progressive or foward looking to show for it.


November 6th, 2012
7:34 am

Arthur’s new young girlfriend has expensive tastes—he needs a bunch of new cash flow to take care of her “needs” — the atlanta chumps will have to pay up and buy seat licenses for a couple of thousand each to see a game in his new palace. he’s a billionaire and gets what he wants. Roger will help him.

Section 236

November 6th, 2012
9:20 am

If the stadium plans move forward with $350 million from public funds being okay’d, Blank can take the team, my season tickets, and my support and shove it up his ass.

Falcon Since 1966

November 6th, 2012
9:31 am

ATLANTA — With so much noise developing about the potential for a new Falcons stadium, and who it would benefit, we decided to cut through to what’s really at stake: the big business and big numbers behind the big deal.

Negotiations have been going on for nearly two years between the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which owns the Georgia Dome and would own a new stadium as well.

The following breakdown is to serve as both an update and a clarification for those who have seen many different numbers flying around.

According to the most recent estimates, the stadium will cost slightly more than $1billion.

At the end of August, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority released the latest analysis from the Barrett Sports Group. The analysis put the overall cost at $1.032 billion; it estimated the public contribution to be roughly $331 million. Most of the public money would be from the hotel/motel tax.

The hotel/motel tax is not a tax on residents… but does affect them.

This tax places an 8% surcharge on all those who stay in hotels in both Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton County. In theory, these would be visitors to the area, not residents. This is why stadium proponents argue that residents’ taxes will not be raised to make the deal happen. Instead, they say, they will only be taxing out-of-towners.

However, while the money doesn’t necessarily come from residents, it can still be spent however the legislature and various parties choose — meaning the state doesn’t need to sign off on spending roughly $300 million on a stadium. Opponents argue the money would be better spent on more pressing needs for the region.

So when people talk about “taxpayer money” in this case, it’s a somewhat ambiguous term. Residents don’t pay the taxes, but they do receive the benefits of them — depending on how that money gets spent.

That $300 million figure? It’s actually higher than that.

Those on all sides of the deal agree that the public will likely need to pay roughly $300 million from the hotel/motel tax. However, that’s not the whole story.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority will have to borrow, likely taking out bonds, in order to cover the $300 million up front. This means the Authority will have to pay interest, as well. Think of it like a home mortgage; you wind up paying far more than the principal cost.

This means the public cost will wind up being substantially higher than $300 million. No one can give exact terms yet.

Compared to other stadium deals, this is actually a good one for taxpayers.

Since 1995, 20 NFL teams have built new stadiums; on average, the public paid for 48% of the costs. In fact, take out the two most recent and most expensive stadiums — Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and the Jets’ and Giants’ MetLife Stadium — and the public contribution rises to an average of 62%.

By those numbers, the potential Falcons’ deal looks far more favorable. The public, under the Barrett Sports Group’s analysis, would pay for 32% — less than a third of the cost.

The Falcons stand to gain a whole lot of revenue.

So why would the Falcons spend at least $700 million? Because, as any sports economist will tell you, they stand to make a whole lot more back.

Right now the Falcons are basically a tenant; the GWCCA runs operations at the Georgia Dome. The latest term sheet says the Falcons “will have the rights to all revenues generated” from a new stadium “and will pay all related costs.”

This will enable the Falcons to control revenue streams that don’t have to be shared with the NFL or the GWCCA — streams like adveritising, personal seat licenses, concessions, and luxury boxes.

On the whole, the debate has gotten much more public in the past few weeks, and it will intensify further when the state legislature votes on whether to approve the public spending by the GWCCA. That will have to take place in either the 2013 or 2014 sessions in order for the Falcons to open the new stadium by their target of 2017.


November 6th, 2012
10:20 am

I suppose all the redneck teabangers don’t consider this Arthur Blank mooching for welfare for old gray faced rich guys with $2 haircuts. What a joke. If Blank can back Teabanger politicians like a junior Koch bro, let him build his own stadium. Just listen to RMoney and fire some teachers and first responders, those leeches. The stadium cash won’t be a problem.


November 6th, 2012
10:38 am



November 6th, 2012
10:40 am

If they give Nathan Deal a big enough slice of the pie, the stadium will come.

No Urban Stadium

November 6th, 2012
11:06 am

You’re right Esquire, the old Oldsmobile plant is the way to go. I went to ONE game in the GA dome and I said never again, maily because I had to mingle with the urban filth……and I’m not going to mention the MARTA ride

Ray Reed

November 6th, 2012
11:41 am

Has the Church agreed to the sale of their building? If not, how does the State take someones property even at fair market value and have a private Owner benefit from that eminent domain process?


November 6th, 2012
12:23 pm

I think the stadium is a garbage idea right now when the city has SOOOO many more real and pressing needs. No one will benefit from this except Blank and Co.
@No Urban Stadium Urban filth? Seriously? Please, you’re probably about as clean as a sewer. Its people like you that make the world a worse place than it is. I hope one day you have everything taken from under your feet….we’ll see how filthy it is then.
@Big Crimson 75 and Section 236 Well said gentlemen.

The G

November 6th, 2012
1:33 pm

The stadium will be built no matter what. What should concern season ticket holders is the personal seat license; it means our prices will go up. I cannot and will not pay substantially more for tickets. I live two hours away and can watch every game on TV if need be.

hind tit

November 6th, 2012
2:18 pm

Has anyone said if the current dome has been paid for and if not will the debt be rolled over into the debt. If they were to decide to build at the old GM site you would hear Reed start hollerin we don’t need a new dome the one we got is just fine if he thought they were going to move. Just because they build outside of town don’t mean you can’t call them the Atlanta Falcons. The Dallas Cowboys are halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth but their still called the Dallas Cowboys. By the way Blank backed Obama in 08 look it up!

Mora less Petrino

November 6th, 2012
3:01 pm

The New York Jets and Giants play their home games in New Jersey. I’m sure that any location in the metro area will make the Atlanta Falcons name satisfactory.
I don’t care if a new stadium is built or not. If one is built, hopefully there will be a lot of thought put into it. Making it dual use as Seattle did is one way to help pay the cost.

Time and politics will tell the story.

Bill Ingram

November 6th, 2012
4:03 pm

I’ve been a seson ticket holder for 10 years, I love going to the games, but if they start charging for “seat licenses” on top of the $2800 ticket prices, its the large screen tv at home for me!

And there is nothing wrong with the Dome!


November 6th, 2012
4:08 pm

Are people seriously suggesting the stadium be built right next to spaghetti junction? That is one of the worst if not the worst traffic areas in the metro area. Also… ATLANTA Falcons.

I love listening to these clueless suburbanites cry about having to drive to the actual city that they tell everyone not from here that they live in. Heaven forbid you see a neighborhood that wasn’t built in one week, a black person, or a non-chain establishment on your terrifying trip to the big city.

Also, thanks to “Falcon Since 1966″ for posting actual information on the situation instead of nonsense.

Toughen up

November 6th, 2012
4:45 pm

Amen, Enkinan, amen.

Toughen up

November 6th, 2012
4:45 pm

Amen, Enkinan, amen.


November 6th, 2012
6:53 pm

I’m a season ticket holder since 1996. The falcons will price me out if the want me to pay the psl. I’ll stay home and watch the falcons play on tv.

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]


November 7th, 2012
10:50 am

Enkinan you are just as bad as the people you are attacking with your assumptions and sterotypes. Fact is the Dome location is not ideal for fans. Does that mean you have to move it out of the city? no, you can build a stadium and entertainment complex anywhere. There is no perfect location, but stereotyping and name calling just makes you and the people who do the same look stupid.


November 7th, 2012
12:11 pm

Thank goodness for High Definition Big Screen TVs

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]

[...] Goodell met with Gov. Deal, Mayor Reed to discuss stadium deal [...]