Non-binding terms approved for new Falcons stadium deal
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board Monday morning unanimously approved terms that are intended to provide the framework for a deal on a new downtown stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.
The board, at a special called meeting, OK’d a 24-page non-binding term sheet that will be the basis for further negotiations toward a more definitive, binding agreement between the GWCCA and the Falcons.
The plan is to build a retractable-roof stadium, with a potential cost of around $1 billion, on the GWCCA campus in time for the 2017 NFL season.
Key business terms approved by the board include:
- The GWCCA, a state agency, would own the stadium.
- The Falcons would operate the stadium under a 30-year license agreement, with options to renew for an additional 15 years.
- A portion of the construction cost would be funded by revenue from the hotel-motel tax in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County; that portion has been estimated at around $300 million. The rest, including any cost overruns, would be the Falcons’ responsibility, although that could be offset by the sale of personal seat licenses.
- The Falcons would pay annual rent of $2.5 million, increasing 2 percent per year, to the GWCCA.
- The Falcons would be responsible for all of the stadium’s operating expenses and would retain all revenue.
- The Georgia Dome would be demolished, and many events held there would move to the new stadium.
- The new stadium would be built on the GWCCA campus, with the final selection from two sites – one just south of the Dome and the other a half-mile north of the Dome – deferred until the negotiation of a more definitive memorandum of understanding early next year.
Next step: issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to begin the process of hiring a lead architectural firm to design the stadium.
Check back later today for further updates.
- Tim Tucker of the AJC staff