‘New arena is vital’ for Atlanta Super Bowl

Mayor Kasim Reed said his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went well Thursday evening but indicated more work needs to be done to bring the Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

“Commissioner Goodell and I had a very good conversation regarding what Atlanta needs in order to be competitive for a future Super Bowl,” Reed said in a prepared statement. “He clearly expressed that a new arena is vital as we seek to host this signature event. I told him that I would welcome the opportunity to compete for the game, and that I strongly support Arthur Blank and the leadership of the Atlanta Falcons in this effort.”

Atlanta hosted the pro football championship game in 1994 and in 2000. Estimates put the value of a Super Bowl to the host city in the range of $500 million, although some analysts question whether those figures are inflated.

Kasim has teamed up with Gov.-elect Nathan Deal to bring the game back to Atlanta. Deal also met with the NFL commissioner Thursday. A spokeswoman for Deal said their meeting went well but that Deal had no new comments to offer Friday.

A spokesman for the NFL said the league also had no new comments about the matter. But while he was attending the Falcons-Ravens game here Thursday, Goodell indicated having a new arena would be key for Atlanta.

“I met with the Governor (elect Nathan Deal) earlier today,” Goodell said Thursday. “I think this is a great community. But as I mentioned to the people earlier today, the competition for the Super Bowl is really at an all-time high, in a large part because of the new stadiums. The provisions that they have for a new stadium in this great community, I think that’s a pretty powerful force. We have a history of going back to communities when they have those new stadiums.”

Goodell hinted that having an open-air arena is critical for Atlanta, said Reed spokeswoman Sonji Jacobs Dade. She shared this anecdote from Reed’s meeting with Goodell at Thursday night’s Falcons game: “The mayor at one point during the conversation said, ‘I really hope you are enjoying the great weather. It was chilly a couple of days ago. It has warmed up. This is what Atlanta is like in November.’”

“The commissioner said, ‘I have been enjoying the weather and I would be enjoying this game even more if I could feel the weather.’”

By Jeremy Redmon

jredmon@ajc.com

Seeking to bring the Super Bowl back to Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed(cq) said his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell(cq) went well Thursday evening but indicated more works needs to be done.

“Commissioner Goodell and I had a very good conversation regarding what

Atlanta needs in order to be competitive for a future Super Bowl,” Reed said in a prepared statement. “He clearly expressed that a new arena is vital as we

seek to host this signature event. I told him that I would welcome the

opportunity to compete for the game, and that I strongly support Arthur

Blank and the leadership of the Atlanta Falcons in this effort.”

Atlanta hosted the pro football championship game in 1994 and in 2000. Kasim has teamed up with Gov.-elect Nathan Deal to bring it back to Atlanta. Estimates put the value of a Super Bowl to the host city in the range of $500 million, although some analysts question whether those figures are inflated.

A spokesman for NFL said the league had no new comments about the matter Friday. But while he was attending the Falcons-Ravens game here Thursday, Goodell indicated a new arena would be key to bringing the Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

“I me

Seeking to bring the Super Bowl back to Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed(cq) said his meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell(cq) went well Thursday evening but indicated more works needs to be done.

“Commissioner Goodell and I had a very good conversation regarding what

Atlanta needs in order to be competitive for a future Super Bowl,” Reed said in a prepared statement. “He clearly expressed that a new arena is vital as we

seek to host this signature event. I told him that I would welcome the

opportunity to compete for the game, and that I strongly support Arthur

Blank and the leadership of the Atlanta Falcons in this effort.”

Atlanta hosted the pro football championship game in 1994 and in 2000. Kasim has teamed up with Gov.-elect Nathan Deal to bring it back to Atlanta. Estimates put the value of a Super Bowl to the host city in the range of $500 million, although some analysts question whether those figures are inflated.

A spokesman for NFL said the league had no new comments about the matter Friday. But while he was attending the Falcons-Ravens game here Thursday, Goodell indicated a new arena would be key to bringing the Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

“I met with the Governor (elect Nathan Deal) earlier today,” Goodell said Thursday. “I think this is a great community. But as I mentioned to the people earlier today, the competition for the Super Bowl is really at an all-time high, in a large part because of the new stadiums. The provisions that they have for a new stadium in this great community, I think that’s a pretty powerful force. We have a history of going back to communities when they have those new stadiums.”

t with the Governor (elect Nathan Deal) earlier today,” Goodell said Thursday. “I think this is a great community. But as I mentioned to the people earlier today, the competition for the Super Bowl is really at an all-time high, in a large part because of the new stadiums. The provisions that they have for a new stadium in this great community, I think that’s a pretty powerful force. We have a history of going back to communities when they have those new stadiums.”

34 comments Add your comment

Ryan

November 12th, 2010
11:27 am

Well, the NFL wants a new stadium, Arthur Blank wants a new stadium and now the city will want a new stadium if it means bringing in the Super Bowl.

I love the Dome. I think it’s a fantastic facility and I’d be sad to see it go.

JD

November 12th, 2010
11:41 am

Blank could build a new stadium with the money in his checking account… If he wants a new stadium, HE can pay for it. The last time a Superbowl was in Atlanta, the actions of a small group of people caused the city to end up killing off the Buckhead club district… so what will the city kill off this time? Please say Underground… please say Underground….

JV

November 12th, 2010
11:43 am

If the NFL and Arthur Blank want a new stadium, let them figure out a financing scheme that doesn’t involve public funding. The Falcons are GREAT, and a Superbowl may be nice, but I’d rather my tax dollars be spent on keeping our city solvent. Just take a look at other cities that have had to fork out billions for new facilities – taxpayers end up paying for decades. And if Goodell wants to “feel the weather,” tell him to walk outside. Atlanta can’t afford his tastes.

red hill

November 12th, 2010
11:46 am

Went to the game last night. The dome is a great venue to enjoy a game. The people of Georgia do not need a new stadium. If Blank, the NFL or the city of Atlanta want to foot the bill for a new stadium so be it. If this is going to take state taxpayer money then the NFL can have the Super Bowl someplace else.

Derp

November 12th, 2010
11:47 am

Read between the lines: Every parent wants the best for their children. Of course the commissioner would want to see every franchise in a spankin’ new arena. All Goodell said was that a new arena would help make us competitive… He did not say it would GRANT Atlanta a Super Bowl. It’s nothing but cronies trying to give these easy-millionaire players and owners a new “home” to show off when nothing is wrong with the one we have now. It makes no logical sense to believe the hype about getting a Super Bowl, when in reality it’s only smooth talking to get people to sucker up money to finance an unneeded accessory. DON’T BE THAT GUY.

JD

November 12th, 2010
11:59 am

Dear Children,

You may have a new stadium after you fix all the bridges and other infrastructure which need repair in Ga ($30 billion), and you make sure we have water to keep the jobs and people we have ($15 billion), and you reform the education system, and you fix the current traffic mess (billions more).

JD

November 12th, 2010
12:34 pm

Besides, the weather may be nice now, because it’s the middle of November… Atlanta in late January isn’t so great… rainy, windy, and cold. Cold rain is MUCH worse than snow when you’re sitting in it…

kmb

November 12th, 2010
12:34 pm

Pardon me for being stupid, but why is it absolutely essential that the Super Bowl in late January be played in an open air stadium? The last time it happened in Atlanta, we had an ice storm that day. This sounds like a shake-down on the taxpapers of Atlanta and Georgia by the NFL. There is no public connection to professional football. The stadiums should be financed privately. The Georgia Done was built as a state of the art facility that was promised to last for decades.

Tucker

November 12th, 2010
12:44 pm

Tear down the state capitol and state office buildings, and build the new stadium in their place. Access to the interstates and airport would be great. We could rebuild the state capitol and state office buildings when we saw the need for them.

bh

November 12th, 2010
3:34 pm

I don’t know, if they can build $47 million east-west streetcar line connecting the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia State University and the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District, why not go hog wild and build a new stadium. Bet more people would use that, than this asinine streetcar line.

Danny Ford

November 12th, 2010
4:16 pm

Has Ray Lewis left town yet?

CP

November 12th, 2010
4:34 pm

How many people here thinks our weather in Atlanta is all that great in late January or February?? Freezing rain, sleet, cold, windy and miserable.

Falcons fan

November 12th, 2010
4:53 pm

Lets burn down that huge piece of junk that is the Georgia Dome. Build it where the Doraville GM plant was. Its convenient to all of metro Atlanta + ample Parking and Tailgating space.

tibi

November 12th, 2010
6:09 pm

Yes!!! an open air stadium.

catlady

November 12th, 2010
6:46 pm

Ooohhh! An opportunity for graft and kickbacks! Think of all the money that could be made by building this on the public dime, with “certain people” skimming the top. Didn’t take long.

rob

November 12th, 2010
7:19 pm

The Dome is less than 20 years old, why replace it.
If the NFL, ARTHUR BLANK & CO. want a new stadium then they should demolish
the old GM plant and build new one there with their own money. Plenty of illegals around there to help with construction.

wondering

November 12th, 2010
8:53 pm

there is nothing Atlanta needs more than a stadium? really? If the falcons want to build a stadium I have no problem. IF Georgia tax money is going to be used, I have a big problem. Course, I have little faith that my concern matters to anyone in the Georgia legislature.

There is a sickness in GA

November 12th, 2010
9:24 pm

Being against a new stadium might be the only thing the right and left in Ga can agree on. I don’t hate on Reed for trying to do this, if Atlanta were to lose the Falcons under his watch he and the city would be in real trouble. Still, I don’t support it and I doubt the Falcons will leave even without a new stadium.

Kat

November 12th, 2010
11:21 pm

I thought that it was our inability to properly drive in bad Atlanta weather (the ice storm of January 2000) PLUS the poor traffic management that took away our hopes for hosting another Super Bowl – not the age of our arena!

FalconFan

November 12th, 2010
11:39 pm

Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was closed 30 years after it opened. In 2020, the Georgia Dome will be 28 years old. Don’t you think by that time a new stadium should be built? I don’t see a new stadium being built within the next 5 or 6 years. Right now the Dome is fine, but in 5 to 6 years, a new Georgia would be needed.

Spfix

November 13th, 2010
12:18 am

It is not the job of the government to pay millions of dollars of public money to support a stadium, especially one whose (potential) benefits go to private individuals.

Burroughston Broch

November 13th, 2010
7:44 am

I am sick and tired of taxpayers being forced to pay for new sporting venues to benefit millionaires. The most irksome part of the process is that the taxpayers have no say in the matter. I think that the team owners and the fans attending the games should pay since they receive whatever benefits accrue. Should Mr. Blank threaten to take his team somewhere else if he is not presented with a new stadium at public expense, I say let him leave. If he gets a new stadium at public expense, hell will freeze over before I darken the door of a Home Depot again.

Dan

November 13th, 2010
9:35 am

Kasim Reed wants a new stadium

I want a new Mercedes

Neither of us can afford what we want – unlike Mr. Reed I have to live within my means rather than expect the taxpayers to buy new toys for me

Do these politicians get the fact that the decisions tat are going to have to be made involve cutting back existing government expenditures, not figuring out new ways to spend limited tax revenues?

If Arthur Blank and Roger Goodell want a new stadium for the Falcons then they can pay for it

Atlantarama

November 13th, 2010
1:53 pm

What will happen is: (1) Atlanta builds a new stadium (2) Super Bowl comes here once (3) Super Bowl complains that it’s too cold in Atlanta and never comes back

Goldenglove002

November 13th, 2010
6:20 pm

I like the Georgia Dome. I’ve been there for multiple events, only once was it for football, and it wasn’t a Falcons game. The Dome and World Congress Center is an essential part of Atlanta. 10 years from now, maybe something new could be built in the domes place. But it has to be multi-functional just like the Dome is now (retractable roof), and the city and metro area needs to have a good public transit system to bring us to the game.

Is the World Cup still in play?

FMX

November 13th, 2010
8:12 pm

The Falcons can’t even fill the dome that they are playing in now. As for the Georgia Dome, the government did good in making sure that the state owns it. That is why Arthur blank is pissed. I think that he is the only owner in the league that doesn’t own the stadium. The value of the stadium rolls into the value of the team. As of today the Falcons are the least valuable team in the NFL.

Asheville Dawg

November 13th, 2010
8:19 pm

I went to Falcon games in old Atlanta/Fulton County Stadium, an open air facility. It was to hot in September and the freezing cold rains of December made for miserable fans.

In other words a dome or retractable roof are essential. Let us not forget that there are plenty of other events that are held in the dome, like the SEC championship, that like the effect of a closed domed stadium. And they come every year and help Atlanta’s economy.

The Super Bowl may come once, if we fork out the money for a new stadium, but only one time. Atlanta is a cold and miserable place place the last weekend in January or the first week of February. Party towns like Miami or New Orleans, with their dome are the place to be at that time.

Mike Franklin

November 13th, 2010
9:49 pm

Can any city afford to build a new stadium every 20-or-so years just to keep the NFL happy? Is it not enough that each league city devotes itself to their franchise, patronizing both the team but branded team items and sponsors as well? Atlanta built that dome to keep the Falcs from flying away. Now they’re gonna build another open air arena so the NFL will be nice enough to return with what? One Super bowl or maybe two before they demand another new stadium?

This is crazy

Po Dunk

November 14th, 2010
2:28 am

20 years ago drunken hillbilly Rankin Smith blackmailed the state into financing a domed playpen for his sorry NFL toy. Now new owner Blanky whines about needing a new open-air stadium. And, he gets the worthless Godell to pimp it for him. Let billionaire Blank pay for it. Or, let’s put ‘her to a vote and see if enough ppl are stupid enough to consent to financing a new playpen for millionaires

Cayce

November 14th, 2010
10:07 am

I think it’s an affront to the people of Atlanta, in these economic times, that this is even being discussed. And I’m no conservative, so you can’t chalk my opinion up to me hating on Reed.

Chuck

November 14th, 2010
11:25 am

Now that the Cowboys have built their billion-dollar football palace, every city (and more importantly, every municipality) in the league is being pressured to match that. It’s excessive and unsustainable and Arthur Blank knows that… otherwise he’d build the stadium himself. Fans will be left with even higher ticket prices and taxpayers get a huge debt to pay off… AGAIN. Besides, the NFL has said repeatedly they didn’t want to come back here because of one damned ice storm, and no new facility (especially an open-air stadium like AB wants) is going to change that.

This is just blatant manipulation and it’s time to just say no. It’s just a @#$%ing game.

Don

November 14th, 2010
4:32 pm

“‘New arena is vital’ for Atlanta Super Bowl” But is Super Bowl vital for Atlanta? No!

Jon

November 14th, 2010
4:59 pm

So we might get the superbowl once but could possibly lose the SEC championship that happens every year? How would Chic-fil-a feel about a new arena for them to host their bowl or opening game?

Let’s talk about a new arena once the Georgia Dome isn’t viable anymore.

SmittyATL

November 14th, 2010
8:30 pm

The Georgia Dome is a pretty unimpressive venue for football. It sure would be nice to have a better stadium. When this stadium reaches end of life in, say, 25 more years, then the Falcons’ owner should build one. But to suggest that public financing should be used to replace a serviceable — if mediocre — facility is just ludicrous.

Proponents would point out that the financing would probably come through hospitality taxes, so local residents would not foot the bill. But that could cause Atlanta to lose out on some tourism business, which certainly would affect the local economy, And even if additional funds could be raised that way, I’m sure the city could put that money to better use.