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.

Should taxpayers help pay for a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons?

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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

342 comments Add your comment


December 10th, 2012
4:35 pm

JerryfromGA, yes, he is a billionaire. Millionaires and billionaires are use to corporate thuggery… that’s how they preserve and increase their wealth. Why, corporate thuggery is as American as guns, god and apple pie. Ain’t this neocon of a country just grand???

Suwanee Falcon

December 10th, 2012
4:41 pm

It’s not an income tax, property tax, luxury tax or anything else GA citizens will pay for… folks visiting will pay for it.


December 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

i stop going no place to tailgate no parking when other things going on . i think it should be put out of atlanta so people can get to it an have lots of parking an tailgating that is why people have stopped coming . i say put it between atlanta an macon . which would be more revenue from that city too

Father of 5

December 10th, 2012
4:51 pm

Here’s the deal: when Atlanta Public Schools improve enough to bring the state rankings out of the bottom 10 in the nation, the democrats running the city get a new stadium.


December 10th, 2012
4:54 pm

From AJC in another article that they SHOULD have quoted this time:

Hotel/motel tax: The GWCCA would contribute, subject to governmental approvals, the proceeds of a revenue bond offering backed by the tax on hotel/motel rooms in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County through the year 2050. The term sheet does not specify the amount that would be raised by the bond offering, although the GWCCA previously has projected the figure in the ballpark of $300 million. The amount “may be positively or negatively impacted” by interest rates and other factors.

So – The Dome lasted 25 years – We’re going to replace it one that takes 40 years of hotel tax. I hope Blank gets a better architect for the Dome than Marcus did for the Aquarium…it’s just a big tank of water – the sweet little Tennessee Aquarium smacks its gonads.


December 10th, 2012
4:56 pm

Don’t you think that if the Falcons appear in 2 Super Bowls (not necessarily win them) over the next (3) years, they will be considered a marquee national team.

The Falcons have to “assume control” of their games and not just hold on by their fingernails both offense and defense. We are not there yet. We have a way to go before the unvestment of this magnitude is warranted..


December 10th, 2012
5:02 pm

Giving pro football teams money, letting movie studios run charges through Georgia for free money by getting, and then selling, their tax credits – for supposedly being a bunch of conservatives, these Georgia government folks sure like to give away money to the rich.


December 10th, 2012
5:05 pm

You may think it’s just out of towners visiting hotels who will pay for it, but who is guaranteeing the bonds? Also, if GA could raise taxes on hotel rooms without affecting their occupancy rates, then why haven’t they done it already? They claim they need the money. Are these those rare taxes that increase business? I didn’t think they existed.


December 10th, 2012
5:25 pm

A lot of folks (like me) are not questioning who/what will pay for it, the question is WHY, when the current dome is only 20 years old. Too many other issues need attention in this city to even consider spending any taxpayer money on this project


December 10th, 2012
5:28 pm

This is NUTS. Id hate to be on the hook for this.


December 10th, 2012
6:01 pm

Atlanta needs a new Dome????? If Atlanta has any tax wiggle room left they need to spend it on new sewerage plants… Everytime it rains raw sewerage is released down stream… They could also spend it on Atlanta’s poor… This is a private business for heaven’s sake.. Taxpayer money should not be involved… The Georgia Dome was financed by Taxpayers.. Tear it down???? Insane….. Let Atlanta’s colleges use it for sports… Make a convention center out of it… The Romans built a stadium and it’s still there 2000 years later.. We can’t have one last 20 years????? The reason the Falcons want it torn down is to negate the possibility of competition.. Same reason they tore down Atlanta Stadium…. Maybe we need it to stand so we could have the possibility of attracting another professional team.. After the way the Falcons played Sunday we need to leave the possibility open.. Leave discussion of this until Atlanta wins another Super Bowl… Ha… Never…


December 10th, 2012
6:08 pm

Anyone saying this is a bad thing has lost their mind. The dome is a complete Dump! The old games in fulton county were so much because it was outside. And dont complain about the cold. Did you see Green Bay last night. Looked so much fun


December 10th, 2012
6:18 pm

It is clear that a large percentage of the current fans will be stuck paying the PSL. It is very interesting that Arthur and Rich avoid saying anything about the PSL. When Arthur purchased the team the metro area bought into his desire to revive the franchise. You do not have another city/team in the NFL that has a such large fan base of working middle class fans supporting the team by buying season tickets. The new stadium (PSL) will drive away many of these fans and turn the new stadium into a country club.

d. barrett

December 10th, 2012
6:38 pm

Well, like it or not, Goodell has already said,”no stadium, no Super Bowl”. And if you say who cares, well the revenue, and recognition from a Super Bowl will prove once again very lucrative for the city. It is far too nice in Atlanta in the fall for a dome, as well as way too hot in the summer for an outside stadium. And what is the talk of losing the 12th man? Look at Seattle….’nuff said!


December 10th, 2012
6:51 pm

The Braves needed to replace Fulton County stadium, the Hawks needed to replace the Omni, but the dome still feels new. Unfortunately the rich and powerful decide how our money is spent, so it’s gonna happen. What I wish is that the Gwinnett Mall would be razed and a new dome could go up in Duluth — if that can’t happen then in the GM Doraville site.


December 10th, 2012
6:58 pm

The country is aleady in the Toilet Bowl with it’s trillion dollar deficits and people want to guarantee a billion dollars to build a dome that might have a super bowl every other decade or so???? How many of you can afford a thousand dollar ticket to go to it anyway?? This is only for the elite (the rich)… We peons have to watch it on tv anyway… Atlanta keeps pricing themselves out of the market and they will end up like the city of Detroit.. This is another example of the tail wagging the dog.. Another expensive toy that is only for the 2% that 98% of us will end up paying for through higher taxes that could be better used for infrastructure that is sorely needed……


December 10th, 2012
7:09 pm

What is the real reason for a new stadium?…can’t be that the Dome is too old…. New Orleans’ dome is many years older….and since the GWCC comes under the state goverment shouldn’t the rest of the countys in the state pay their share of the tax…and finally the Falcons are only paying a small 2.5 million dollars annual rent and getting all revenue….if Arthur wants a new stadium to keep up with Jerry then let him build it himself…..

New stadium to hang your SB banner?

December 10th, 2012
7:18 pm

-said no one ever…

New stadium to hang your SB banner?

December 10th, 2012
7:19 pm

Losers – building a stadium for a team that has yet to win a SB..lmao…


December 10th, 2012
7:33 pm

How about build a team worthy of winning a championship FIRST then comeback to the people with the idea about a new staduim. At the rate these bums are going the season will be over in the 1st rd of playoffs!

Great Falconi

December 10th, 2012
7:52 pm

If you don’t live in Atlanta or Fulton County, why would you even care about this? I don’t live in either place. Go Falcons.


December 10th, 2012
8:04 pm

The Georgia Dome was financed by Georgia taxpayers to the tune of $214 million dollars when it was finished in 1992.. How much of this has been repaid to the state?? If the post on here that says the Falcons pay 2.5 million a year in rent.. Is there a balance sheet showing where Georgia taxpayers from Tybee Light to Rabun Gap stand on their investment??? Is there another private business in the state that is subsidized by taxpayer money?? Tear down the Dome?? That is the same mentality that tore down Atlanta Stadium and made a parking lot out of it.. They spent more to tear it down than they did to build it……


December 10th, 2012
8:08 pm

If the millionair Authur Blank wants a new stadium, then he should fund it 100%. NOT a penny of TAX payer money should go toward this bonds for infrastructure, etc. This nothing but corporate welfare….

[...] From Other Great Blogs issue #1 By NFC South Daily Editor, on December 10th, 2012 Non-binding terms approved for new Falcons stadium deal – 12/10/2012 The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board Monday morning [...]


December 10th, 2012
8:41 pm

If a billion dollars will be spent, please hire a world class architect and make certain it is a building with an aesthetic and environmental standard that makes it a must see.

Make it breathtakingly good.


December 10th, 2012
9:36 pm

Yall see dem pats out dare now dats a real playoff team.

Falcon and Dogs

December 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

Hey look they are going to build a new stadium no matter how much you all bitch. Just hoping they built it close to a Marta Station as lots of fans use Marta…and I sure don’t want to have to walk a mile any stadium in rain or cold weather….

Tear it down???

December 10th, 2012
10:45 pm

I understand Arthur wants to show off with his other rich friends, but why oh why tear down the Dome?

The Roman Coliseum stands for two millennia but the Dome can’t last two score?

Absurd. It could be used by Georgia State football, Monster truck and Motor Cross shows, hippie concerts, whatever.


December 10th, 2012
11:26 pm

Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!




December 11th, 2012
1:37 am


December 11th, 2012
7:33 am

I never respond to this kind of stuff but anyone in our government who votes for this crap will not get my vote for reelection. I don’t care if they are a republican or Democrat and if the governor signs off on this You won’t get my vote when it comes to reelection. Heck I’ll vote Democrat. Deal you better watch out.


December 11th, 2012
7:37 am

The people of Gwinnett got screwed the same way with the Braves AAA Stadium. People of Atlanta if you allow it to happen you deserve it so bend over and take it like a man


December 11th, 2012
8:27 am

PSL’s will not fly here! This ain’t NY. I’m a LONGTIME tix holder and WILL walk. keep the dome or build without PSL’S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


December 11th, 2012
8:55 am

With this kind of money we could buy a super Bowl first. The hell with the stadium.


December 11th, 2012
9:54 am

Bring us a Major League Soccer venue to ATL PLEASE!!!

New stadium approved

December 11th, 2012
1:02 pm

[...] [1] Non-binding terms approved for new Falcons stadium deal … [2] New Stadium Approved ~ Today News Gazette [3] New Atlanta football stadium approved [4] New [...]

Leeeman Bennett

December 11th, 2012
8:12 pm

Waste of money. Bad location. Nothing wrong with the current Dome. Bad parking . High crime area. Money could be really used for other and better purposes. Do you really think people are going to pay more for tickets just to see a new retractable roof stadium. Maybe for a year or two, but after that ticket sales will drop off (especially if the Falcons are not a play off team) and it will take 572 years to pay the thing off. But don’t worry, by that time they will have built 23 new stadia will will neber be paid off.

fair and balanced

December 11th, 2012
8:48 pm

Total waste of money. If they kept the old Fulton County Stadium and renovated it for a 100 million, the crybaby Falcons could have a wonderful open air stadium. Twenty years from now they will be crying that they need a dome- for what? No superbowl champions, no new stadium. Ga Tech will gladly rent them their open air stadium. And why tear down a money making excellent 25 year old domed stadium- for what?


December 12th, 2012
9:40 am

When the Braves & Falcons moved into ATL Stadium in 1966 it cost $17MM to build and when they moved out they still owed $17MM. The City of ATL just serviced the debt and used the money earmarked to pay it off, elsewhere. Turner FIeld was a Quarter Billion-dollar gift from the Olympis but ticket prices rose anyway. Like in NY, you can’t build anythingi in ATL until you pay off the teamsters , the mob and the thugs that run ATL.. Last time we hosted the Super Bowl, someone died.


December 12th, 2012
11:13 am

Good. We need a new stadium. Finally.


December 16th, 2012
10:35 pm

Falcoons sorry anyway a new stonestly i hope they run over cost n bankrupt blank


December 16th, 2012
10:38 pm

the falcoons are sorry anyway a new stadium wont help them win honestly i hope they go over cost n bankrupt blank