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.

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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

kerry

December 10th, 2012
9:32 am

billyt

December 10th, 2012
9:33 am

kerry

December 10th, 2012
9:33 am

ya new stadium im sooooooooooooooooooo happy

falcon

December 10th, 2012
9:33 am

unnecessary waste of money

Tea Party Meber

December 10th, 2012
9:34 am

PSL = season ticket sales at 10,000 or less. The only way around that is if Obama pays for them……Which he might as he LOVES to raise taxes on the poors.

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 10th, 2012
9:34 am

Why build a retractable roof when the 12th man if more effective with it closed anyway?

K-Ster

December 10th, 2012
9:35 am

Why not build it further WEST into the abandoned former ghetto full of empty lots/homes/buildings/schools?

Niecy

December 10th, 2012
9:36 am

New stadium so not needed. The stadium we have now is only 20 years old. A waste of money going down the drain.

woodrow

December 10th, 2012
9:38 am

As long as it brings in tax revenue instead of costing the taxpayers then they can do whatever they want. If they are going to cost money, then we don’t need it. We need tax revenue to improve infrastructure that this stadium will consume.

Jeff

December 10th, 2012
9:40 am

And people complain about handouts to the poor what about handouts to the rich?! Blank should be ashamed of himself. Let the Falcons go if they don’t want to pay for their palace. The Dome is still a viable and competitive building. Forget the NFL commish and keep the Super Bowl.

Tony C

December 10th, 2012
9:40 am

What a waste. The stadium itself is fine, but the location is just as bad as the current Dome. Why not move it some place where people actually live – like the old GM plant in Doraville, which is closer to a whole lot of the people likely to pay exhorbitant ticket prices?

GWCCC of course has a vested interest in this – it’s all about power, and by extension, money. But that doesn’t make it a good idea or a good location.

And tearing down the Dome? Sure, it’s no beauty, but it seems very strange to demolish a perfectly good structure. Can’t some megachurch make use of it?

Why

December 10th, 2012
9:40 am

Why do the Falcons need a new stadium? Why does it have to be in that location? Where do the fans come from? The north side of the city. The stadium needs to be moved away from where it is to a location in the 285/400 area.

Bobby

December 10th, 2012
9:41 am

Oh Ledbetter, your pansies lost yesterday. And no new stadium is going to help that.

[...] Full Article on AJC.com [...]

Falcons Nation

December 10th, 2012
9:41 am

No More 12th Man huh? This blows.

Ben

December 10th, 2012
9:41 am

Of course it will cost us. Peope are so dumb. Glad I don’t live in that craphole.

Drew

December 10th, 2012
9:42 am

I still think the Georgia Dome is perfectly fine. This seems like a complete and total waste of resources to me, and is indicative of what is wrong with American culture and our economy as a whole. Tearing down the Georgia Dome is flat out WASTEFUL. I guess I can voice my opinion with my wallet by simply watching the Falcons on TV and not spending any of my hard earned money on tickets in 2017 and beyond. Go Falcons!

Falcons Nation

December 10th, 2012
9:43 am

OH and Fans do come from the 75 & 85 area. They’re the ATLANTA Falcons. Not the Doraville or Gwinnett Falcons. Glad they kept it in Atlanta.

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Erin "spike the ball" Murray

December 10th, 2012
9:45 am

watch your wallet Falcoons fans

MoFaux

December 10th, 2012
9:46 am

This is good for the Democratic party in GA. The Republicans will have difficulty explaining why teachers and state employees keep getting furloughed and haven’t had a pay raise in over 5 years, our education and economy remains near the bottom in the country, ditto on transportation…but yet, we have $300 million to spend on a freakin’ new stadium. There will be no super majority for Republicans, or at least it will not last very long if they do get it. 70% of Georgians do not want this deal, Mr. Deal.

Interesting

December 10th, 2012
9:47 am

Let be clear, most falcons fans dont actually come from the northern burbs. The largest fan group is african american and coming from all parts of the city. With the braves one could argue for a move to the northern burbs, but not the falcons. That being said, I dont agree with the new stadium until I see that the city can find a way to fix the infrastructure (add transit).

What a waste

December 10th, 2012
9:48 am

Just like the Hawks and former Thrashers – (80% of season ticket holders lived in the northern suburbs). So why build a stadium in an area of town that no one really wants to go to and when they go takes them way too long to get there? I personally have not paid to go to a Falcons game in at least 10 years. I have not paid to go to a Hawks game in longer. Why do I want to waste all my time getting to the game and back in a terrible part of town. Are there good restaurants in the area? No. It is not a location that is conducive to people wanting to go there other than for the sports game. What a waste.

dobearsbare

December 10th, 2012
9:50 am

With the annual lease payments, the public portion will be roughly equal to the cost of the Georgia Dome. At least it’s not coming out of state tax revenues, but there are much more important things a hotel-motel tax could be used for (roads or schools, anyone?).

Interesting

December 10th, 2012
9:50 am

You honestly think most hawks fans live the northern burbs? No way. think about that one for a second

What a Joke

December 10th, 2012
9:51 am

Why build another stadium in a high crime area with terrible parking

What a waste

December 10th, 2012
9:51 am

80% of season ticket holders. Read please.

Larry

December 10th, 2012
9:52 am

Wow! $2.5 million dollars per year! That will pay back the taxpayers in a mere 120 YEARS!

Nativebird

December 10th, 2012
9:52 am

Life long Falcon fan and season ticket holder. That’s it, I’m out. bye bye. Good riddens.

Simple Truths

December 10th, 2012
9:53 am

It’s comforting to know that the rent the Falcons pay will cover construction costs in about 400 years.

Boom Boom

December 10th, 2012
9:53 am

Look at the Super Dome and it still hold Super Bowls!! I am glad that Arthur bought the Falcons away from the Smiths but the city should give him the finger along with King Goodell. This is not a good business decision for the tax payers it’s a great business decision for the NFL and Arthur Blank.

WE BUILT THE FALCONS YOU DIDN’T!!

daroosta

December 10th, 2012
9:54 am

This will be the end for our family after 35 years of commitment. The stadium will be for the corporate people who only look at sporting events as a perk and a leisure activity. The die hard middle class fans will weeded out and not be able to afford it. Atlanta is a fickle town for sports fans. There will be no home field advantage. Huge mistake!

WalterEgo

December 10th, 2012
9:54 am

Dear Tea Party Meber,

Can you be anymore ignorant?

I realize as a cognitively-lazy, likely closet-bigot you can’t help but vote against your own financial self-interest, but when have the “poor” ever been taxed less (especially relative to other tax brackets) or better off under Republican leadership?

Arthur Blank

December 10th, 2012
9:54 am

Quiet down, my minions. You’ll build me a new stadium for the Falcons to lose in, and you’ll learn to love it. I already have Reed and Deal in my pocket, and the rest of you are cannon fodder for my next new toy. RISE UP, TAXPAYERS!!!

Mike Geigermanease with fiteen year otion

December 10th, 2012
9:56 am

There talking 30 year lease with a fifteen year option and putting it downtown ?
Forgive but no no no no and no !!! Our society is so wasteful.

K-Ster

December 10th, 2012
9:57 am

Mark my words, all these OTP people complaining about taxes being used for the new stadium (taxes of which are NOT in their area, only ATL-Hotel/Motel) will gladly go to the new stadium. It’s the old saying: “if you build it, they will come”.

I just wish they’d build it further west into the Vine City/English Avenue vicinity. This would kill two birds with one stone (no pun intended) by tearing down abandoned structures and moving hoodlums out of the area. Heck, they already force I-75 traffic into that area via Northside Drive!

Tim Mazzetti

December 10th, 2012
9:58 am

so the new stadium is going to be about a 20-minute walk from the MARTA Dome station. That makes a lot of sense. Now people won’t take MARTA to the stadium. that’ll make traffic a lot worse

Greg G

December 10th, 2012
9:58 am

The Goergia Dome is only 20 years old. Do yall really need a new stadium? Really? REALLY!?!

Fun

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

The board of governors of the authority shall consist of 15 members. Each member shall serve for a term of four years, with the beginning and ending dates of terms to be specified by the Governor. All members of the board shall be appointed by the Governor of the State of Georgia = Home Depot cash

All I'm Saying Is....

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

Get with the program people! Facts are our friends and here are the facts:

1) The Georgia Dome is not ‘old’ but it is out-of-date

2) A retractable roof stadium with dozens of corporate suites and all the latest in high tech features is what’s needed for the next 20-30 years if you want to remain a player in the NFL, host other major sporting events (Super Bowl, Chik-Fil-A Bowl, NCAA College Basketball Final Four, College Football Season Opening Games, etc.) and support all types of convention events.

3) The City of Atlanta hotel/motel tax falls squarely 99% of the time on tourists and visitors – not residents

4) Spending the hotel/motel tax on “something else” was never going to happen and ripe with political problems with the only other option for the tourist tax being eliminating it which makes no fiscal sense

This is the best outcome if you want to keep your NFL franchise and want to keep the Georgia World Congress Center competitive in the convention hosting business.

sliderule

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

Folks, the payoffs have been set; we’re moving on!

ATL1

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

To people who propose to move the stadium to Doraville/285 – Do you have any idea what kind of a gridlock it will create on 285 and 400? Especially, with all the lane closures that seem to happen every weekend and the Thursday night Falcon games which will interfere with regular commuting. This will be worse than LA and I will be moving to a different city.

Bubba Bean

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

the Falcons are going to pay for about 70% of the cost of the new stadium, and out-of-towners are going to pay for the rest of it via the hotel/motel tax. So tell me again why this is a bad deal for local taxpayers???

Interesting

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

I read it and dont agree. When is the last time you went to a hawks game?

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 10th, 2012
9:59 am

Kasim Reed, may I sit with you in your FREE luxury suite every now and then. I mean it doesn’t even have to be the inaugural game or anything. Once a year would be fine.

No? What do you mean, try Gov Deal?

WalterEGo the Lib

December 10th, 2012
10:00 am

Walter – Please. When have the poor ever been better off? Correct they pay no tax and in fact receive help from the federal government. What Dems have done is by raising taxes you actually bring in less tax revenue from the payers because they will take their money elsewhere. By the way how is that a tax cut has to be paid for in the government? Who’s money is it anyway – the individual or the governments?

NATIVEBIRD

December 10th, 2012
10:01 am

We are not moving the Dome to the North, forget it. The Falcons belong downtown just like the rest of our pro teams. You guys can’t even keep the Gwinnett Braves stadium full. Enough said about that.

As usual, smarter, diverse, dialogue is the the basis for the city, Falcons, and GWCC’s decision. We DO need a better stadium to compete for the SuperBowl and to keep up with other Elite teams. Great job guys, keep up the good work.

This deal costs taxpayers NOTHING unless you stay at one of the hotels designated for taxing downtown. As I read these comments I can agree with election synopsis’s which said uneducated, misled, rednecks are the majority population in the Northern Burbs and rural GA. YOU WERE WRONG THEN AND WRONG NOW!

Go Falcons, thanks Arthur for having vision and putting a quality product on the field.

ATL1

December 10th, 2012
10:02 am

And the money generated by hotel/motel tax could have been either spent on widening the interstates or improving public transportation. We can now clearly see where the local government’s priorities lie.

Mike Rozier

December 10th, 2012
10:03 am

for those in the northern suburbs (led by your fearless leader, John Kincade of 680 AM), who hate the idea of having to venture downtown to see a football game, there is one big problem with your demand that the new stadium be built in the northern suburbs. …. what neighborhood in North Fulton, Forsyth County, etc. is ever going to allow a huge stadium to be built there??? none