Kasim Reed: New Falcons stadium would fetch Super Bowl

Updated at 12:55 p.m.: See new material below.

Original: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he doesn’t view removal of funds for a College Football Hall of Fame from a proposed state budget as any barometer of state Capitol enthusiasm for a new, publicly financed stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

“I don’t take any message from it at all,” Reed said. “I know that the governor is committed to the stadium effort, that the Falcons are committed to it, and my message is real clear. We’re going to honor our commitment to be completely supportive to building a stadium. And that’s where I am.”

The mayor spoke about the a new Falcons stadium at the tail end of an interview about voter approval for a renewal of an essential sewer sales tax.

Reed says there’s still much negotiation to be done – and that he’s not likely to be deeply involved in those talks:

”The other parties can go on and work on their part of the equation. I’m only speaking for me, and what I have responsibility for, and that is the city’s contribution through our hotel/motel sales tax. [We] are going to completely support [owner] Arthur Blank and the Atlanta Falcons.

“Now, are there moving pieces? I’m not playing a significant role in those conversations. The governor and the Falcons are in conversations – and the Georgia World Congress Center.

Among the reasons Reed cited for pursuing a new stadium, and why he is emphasizing his support:

”I believe we will be awarded a Super Bowl, and I think we have the best owner in America….

“No city that has engaged in a game of chicken with an NFL team has emerged from it well. If you look at San Francisco, for goodness’ sake, the San Franscisco 49ers stadium is now going to be in Santa Clara. Santa Claire is not Gwinnett. I rode it. It’s an hour and 15 minutes away from the city of San Francisco. “

A 75-minute trip? That is Gwinnett at rush-hour. But you take his point.

By the way, a spokesman for Nathan Deal says the governor isn’t directly involved in talks with Blank, but has been kept apprised of the situation through the GWCC authority.

Updated at 12:55 p.m.: My AJC colleague Jeff Schultz, on the sports side of this equation, says that when he equates a new stadium with a Super Bowl berth, Kasim Reed isn’t making a promise that can’t be kept:

Cities with new stadiums in NFL almost always get Super Bowls. It’s dangled as perk/carrot for local governments to approve taxes to build shining towers with martini bars that NFL likes. So this isn’t unusual. Among cities that have been awarded Super Bowls because of new stadiums: Houston; Detroit; Phoenix (Glendale), Dallas (Arlington), Indianapolis.

Super Bowl week is more of a vacation/party week for owners/sponsors/celebs than a sports event, so they want nice weather (Los Angeles, San Diego, Miami, Tampa, New Orleans). Owners swore off Atlanta after ice storm last time it was here. (They lucked out with weather in Indy this year.) The Atlanta Sports Council used to regularly bid for Super Bowls but they knew it was a lost cause so they don’t even try anymore. But a new stadium would change that.

On a related note, I covered a Super Bowl in Minnesota once. The Metrodome was about 10-years old at the time I think. The game was awarded mostly as a reward to Vikings’ long time owners. But it was miserable. Nobody ever went outside. Everybody walked everywhere in those downtown pedestrian tubes. It was like living in a Habitrail.

***
The Marietta Daily Journal has this on the husband of state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D-Austell, who is deeply involved in the state Capitol fight for charter schools:

Cobb school board vice chair David Morgan said Wednesday that he didn’t know board members were kept out of the loop about the partnership and grant application with STEM Inventors Academy.

The school board spent about 30 minutes of Wednesday’s six-hour work session talking about the district’s partnerships and Race to the Top grant applications with STEM Inventors Academy and Teach For America. Most of that time specifically was spent on the charter school, why it was not formally presented to board members earlier and Morgan’s association was with the school.

***
The Savannah Morning news is reporting that Gov. Nathan Deal probably won’t give a proposed Hutchinson Island convention hotel the tax break it says it needs to succeed:

Deal signed legislation calling for such help, but has worried out loud it might give some businesses a leg up over others.

Tourism officials and others have long sought to promote a large hotel that would attract bigger gatherings to Savannah.

But the idea of using tax dollars for such a venture in competition with existing hotels has sparked sharp dispute.

…The law lets $1 million-plus new tourism attractions and expansions of existing ones that draw at least 25 percent of their visitors from other states to get sales tax refunds.

***
In Washington, the defense industry has begun letting Congress know that December will be too late to address the across-the-board cuts mandated by last year’s failure to reach an agreement on debt reduction.

From DoD Buzz, a defense industry website:

“Industry really can’t wait until the lame duck session [to make preparations for the $500 billion dollar defense spending cut], and that is certainly true, it’s true in my company and it’s true in all the companies [in the defense sector,” said Lockheed Martin CEO Robert Stevens, referring to the post-November election session of the current Congress.

At an Aerospace Industries Association-sponsored lunch on the Hill, Stevens warned: “The very prospect of sequestration is already having a chilling effect on the industry. We’re not gonna hire, we’re not gonna make speculative investments, we’re not gonna invest in incremental training because the uncertainty associated with $53 billion of reductions in the first fiscal quarter of next year is a huge disruption to our business.”

***
A New York Times piece on the muted response in Afghanistan over the massacre of more than a dozen civilians by a U.S. soldier starts thusly:

The mullah was astounded and a little angered to be asked why the accidental burning of Korans last month could provoke violence nationwide, while an intentional mass murder that included nine children last Sunday did not.

“How can you compare the dishonoring of the Holy Koran with the martyrdom of innocent civilians?” said an incredulous Mullah Khaliq Dad, a member of the council of religious leaders who investigated the Koran burnings. “The whole goal of our life is religion.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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241 comments Add your comment

LMAO

March 15th, 2012
9:52 am

No to public funding of stadium. SB be damned

td

March 15th, 2012
9:52 am

Mayor Reed is right again. A new stadium is much more important to the metro area then adding more rail lines or a new trolley.

Centrist

March 15th, 2012
9:57 am

The lame duck session of Congress will quickly extend current spending and ignore the sequestration requirement after the debt deal broke down. That was the intent all along, and the media never reported it – they simply went along with the charade.

Frankie

March 15th, 2012
10:00 am

Sewer line upgrades….

Marta is a joke, they have had plenty of opportunity to increase their presence and each metro county has rejected Marta coming further into their county or entering at all in the first place.

Based on previous conversations, the stadium will be open air….tighter seats, no dome or optional roof covering, this stadium is going to suck….

Model stadium after those that have retractable roofs….

Rozeman13

March 15th, 2012
10:00 am

MR. BLANK IS IN THE PROCESS OF STRIPPING OUR FOOTBALL DOWN TO NOTHING,NOW WANTS A NEW STADIUM. LOOKS LIKE HE HAS BECOME ANEW RANKIN SMITH. NO NEW STADIUM

Greg

March 15th, 2012
10:06 am

The NFL’s most recent memory of an Atlanta Superbowl included an ice storm. Do you really think they want to hold a Superbowl at the beginning of February in an open air stadium in Atlanta?!

I don’t think so.

blah

March 15th, 2012
10:06 am

Atlanta doesn’t have a decent pro football franchise that has ever actually won anything.

They don’t need a new stadium.

Fletcher

March 15th, 2012
10:08 am

Will bringing a new stadium attract the MLS to the city? Yes. Bring the city a 3rd Super Bowl? No. The SB isn’t in Atlanta due to the Dome – if its so terrible, why does the SEC have it’s Championship game there, and the NCAA use it as a super regional and Final Four city almost annually?

ugggggghhhh

March 15th, 2012
10:13 am

It’s tough being a Falcons fan

John

March 15th, 2012
10:14 am

But at least there is public transit to get folks from San Francisco to Santa Clara.. Not here in Atlanta, home of the perpetual traffic jam. In reality, the only person that benefits from the new stadium is the team owner – Let Arthur Blank pay for it himself and then I might support it – but do not burden the taxpayers with more corporate welfare!!

Flounder

March 15th, 2012
10:14 am

Just create a movie set somewhere with a regulation-sized football field and thousands of cameras … that way the Falcons can play and everyone can watch from home. Marta is dying a slow and painful death.

Atlanta Mom

March 15th, 2012
10:16 am

I’m sure gwinnett county will jump at the chance to underwrite a football stadium. The Gwinnett Braves stadium is such a money maker.

K-Ster

March 15th, 2012
10:18 am

Please build the stadium and demolish some of the ghetto, abandoned crap west of the current dome. I live in the Washington Park area, the numerous abandoned places around here are trash! Boone, Lowry, Hollowell, etc.) TEAR DOWN THE GHETTO. It’s not like the current residents are any interested in their neighborhood. They don’t take care of it!

Angel Macaroni

March 15th, 2012
10:19 am

The Falcons don’t NEED a new stadium. Billionaire Blank WANTS one. He has a bad case of keeping up with the Jones. Arthur should be more concerned about the ‘half’ he is going to lose to his divorcing wife.

Lee

March 15th, 2012
10:20 am

i’m sorry, just what exactly is wrong with the Georgia Dome? the SEC, the Chick fil a Bowl and the NCAA don’t seem to have a problem with it. as far as a Super Bowl goes, wouldn’t you rather play in a dome in Feb than take a chance of a weather affected game?

PMC

March 15th, 2012
10:21 am

Man I really like Kasim Reed, I really think he’s done a solid job so far, but publically financing stadiums and just giving the profits to billionaire owners for virtually nothing should be a thing of the past. Charging Hotel Motel fees to pay for it doesn’t make it any better it just hurts tourism.

Yes the super bowl would be nice and bring in a lot of money (for ONE WEEK)

I’d rather find a way to fix the city infrastructure than give the Falcons a new stadium when the one that is there while not great, isn’t a bad facility.

PMC

March 15th, 2012
10:23 am

We do have an outstanding owner, no doubt. It would be nice to have an outdoor stadium sometimes… true, but as much as I love the Falcons, I still think it’s wrong to use public funds for private entities.

If it’s viable, let them build it and prove it and reap the benefit.

atlpaddy

March 15th, 2012
10:29 am

I can’t wait for a shiny new, Atlanta Falcon’s stadium that is not located near a MARTA stop. Just hope I don’t break my ankles on the city’s crumbling sidewalks, snap my car axel on its pot hole-infested roads, or get run-over on my bike while trying to get there!!

Average Joe

March 15th, 2012
10:29 am

Roger Goodell told Arthur Blank this two years ago. Our inadequate rapid transit system isn’t exactl a strong selling point either. I’m not sure who’s more behind the curve here…the Mayor or the AJC.

Chris

March 15th, 2012
10:29 am

I agree wih you 100% Lee. I also Think That if The Falcons build a New Stadium he Should Do Like Jerry Jones the Owner of the Dallas Cowboys and Pay for it himself. I could see a Retractable roof on the Ga Dome. I know That Authur Blank can Pay for that. I could see a Retractable Roof on a New Stadium also.

atlpaddy

March 15th, 2012
10:31 am

I forgot to add getting mugged or shot by a member of Atlanta’s teeming underclass.

Taxpayer

March 15th, 2012
10:31 am

NO to a new stadium. Let the Falcons walk if needed. Blank can get the financing through his Big Money buds…get your hands out of the pockets of others.

Taxpayer

March 15th, 2012
10:33 am

P.S., the average fan doesn’t get to go to the Super Bowl anyway, so I could care less where they have it. I’ll watch on TV.

JTW

March 15th, 2012
10:37 am

Retractable roof, yes, completely open, NO! With an open air stadium when it’s 97 degrees in August, no one will be in the stands. When it’s 20 degrees in December, no one will be in the stands. A covered stadium is human-kind’s way of moving past the days of the gladiators. The only lions to be slain are those in blue and silver uniforms.

Mid Town Joe

March 15th, 2012
10:40 am

The Falcons will get to the Super Bowl the same way I will, as spectators.

DS

March 15th, 2012
10:43 am

Mayor Reed demonstrates that he is a total fool. Study AFTER study has clearly demonstrated that stadiums build SOLELY for the purposes of attracting the SuperBowel Movement become white elephants around the taxpayers’ necks. Atlanta does not need a new open, air white elephant, when the Dome is perfectly acceptable. Only in the ego driven work of the NFL would a perfectly acceptable 20-year old stadium be considered ancient.

Rankin Smith

March 15th, 2012
10:46 am

If the current free agency period is any indication of what is to come, than I’ll pass on a new stadium. Nothing to get excited about–just like back in the dad when my daddy owned the team!

Big Crimson 75

March 15th, 2012
10:56 am

Why don’t we land a Football Team first — then a new Stadium second?

Bubba Bean

March 15th, 2012
10:57 am

The NFL is a boon to cities who take advantage of it. got to have a saavy owner, though. Indy is a pretty good recent example. Irsay’s making a mint and downtown Indy businesses and many peripheral ones made a killin off the Super bowl. They have a beautiful DOWNTOWN retractable roof stadium now. Which after the 1994 ice storm super bowl, Atl would have to have in order to attract another super bowl. None of this would be on the table if the ASG owned the Falcons, though. They reek!

Big Crimson 75

March 15th, 2012
10:57 am

Rankin — Weren’t you the daddy & Taylor the son??

tardawg

March 15th, 2012
11:00 am

Can someone please tell me why the NFL doesn’t like the Dome it sits plenty, accessable, again greed by owners if the NFL and Blank want to build a stadium by all means do, we can’t afford another tax by the city county or state. let your senator and representatives know how you feel. send letters to Blank and NFL, the city ought to sue the NFL for not letting another Super Bowl come to Atlanta.

Bobby

March 15th, 2012
11:01 am

If the new proposed stadium is so economically viable, then let private investors build it and reap the benefits. No reason to waste public dollars on such a venture.

Terry

March 15th, 2012
11:02 am

We are broke, what part of that is hard to understand. The state is, Washington is, practically most of the country is. We don’t need any more public funding programs. They don’t work & not one ever has.

metal thrasher

March 15th, 2012
11:03 am

Really??? This is a waste of money… If they wanted to burn money away, they should have kept the thrashers here.

Chub Rock

March 15th, 2012
11:05 am

Arthur Blank win some games in the playoffs then come and talk about a new stadium. So what the Superbowl could be held here. If the home team can not put the pieces together to actually participate in it then, che cazzo stai dicendo? Revenue dollars?

Ellijay dawgcatcher

March 15th, 2012
11:08 am

if you are going to build a new stadium Mr. Blank, build it in the northern suburbs….where the current dome and Philips Arena should have been built…fans with disposable income ARE NOT going to ride MARTA…forget this utopian idea that intelligent, successful earners will embrace riding mass transit…they have to in northeastern cities, NOT HERE…

Rationale

March 15th, 2012
11:09 am

Greg is correct.
The idea of an open air stadium is beyond stupid, unless, it includes a retractable roof. With that being said, the weather still comes into play, with the NFL, regardless of how bad the weather was in Indianapolis and Detroit, but we never hear about the weather conditions there.

Fedup

March 15th, 2012
11:10 am

No, a new stadium should not be financed by taxpayers. In these tough times, being a “Super Bowl” city is just not that important. And professional football brings in more than enough money to pay for its own stadiums.

Ptjackets

March 15th, 2012
11:11 am

NO NO NO NO to a new stadium! Not a nickle of tax dollars should go to it. I live in Gwinnett and we already got screwed by the Braves with Cool Ray field. Don’t fall into that trap again! If Mr. Blank wants to build a new place let him use his money.

RK

March 15th, 2012
11:13 am

There’s nothing wrong with the Dome. Receiving one game won’t outweigh the cost.

If we need a new stadium, it should be for a new team — MLS. That would be worthwhile.

kaycee

March 15th, 2012
11:13 am

Along with others, I would like to know why the old GA Dome is not sufficient. Why do we need a new stadium? What is the argument for a new stadium………besides the fact that the NFL would like one?

Darth Hater

March 15th, 2012
11:19 am

Building a new stadium, at taxpayer expense, and hosting the game is the ONLY way the Falcons will ever get the Super Bowl, again.

Darth Hater

March 15th, 2012
11:20 am

Hasn’t Arthur Blank ripped off Georgia citizens enough already with the billion$ he made from selling us cheap, overpriced lumber and toxic, Chinese-made tools?

Darth Hater

March 15th, 2012
11:20 am

Arthur Blank IS a tool.

DM

March 15th, 2012
11:21 am

Why should the state finance a stadium? Make Mr Blank do it if he wants is so bad. Superbowl is one game. The GA dome is not a bad venue. Govt needs to focus on paying down debt not financing a football stadium in hopes of a Superbowl game

SBinF

March 15th, 2012
11:25 am

Build the stadium in the northern suburbs??

Heavens no. This city is already sprawling….it’s terrible. I’d love to see a move toward more dense development. Of course, that would require an improved public transit system. As much as everyone blasts MARTA, it is operating fairly well considering the way its operation has been hampered by the state. Did you know MARTA is one of the only (if not the only) public transit systems in large cities that doesn’t receive an appreciable amount of state funding for its operation? That’s right….they get by primarily on fares and the sales tax in Fulton and Dekalb.

And yet, Gwinnett and Cobb have buses that feed into MARTA, yet those counties do not have a penny sales tax to support the transit system….go figure.

sirwinston19

March 15th, 2012
11:26 am

North and South fulton counties along with Dekalb would be the first choice for a new stadium. But neither has any place to put it! Texas has land and their new Stadium is one that you can get lost in if you do not know where you are going…….now that is a true stadium with numerous parking for all sort’s of vehicles! Now who would be footing the bill; Mr. Blank I am sure with Bonds and perhaps other ways but to put up a new Stadium that would draw the “Super-Bowl here in Georgia…I am not sure this can be done because you would then have to ensure hotels, eating establishments and all of the extras goes along with it. Atlanta can’t do it because it has used almost all of the great place’s a new stadium could have gone. Forget lumping things together like all of the recents things Atlanta has. It creates a negative images for the city and people just don’t want to pay the high parking fees with food prices going along with it. So if you build a stadium….you might have to go north and look what is keenly profitable and available. Downtown Atlanta….would not serve the purpose.

Falconfan68

March 15th, 2012
11:27 am

No way you go back to open stadium..for years I froze to death at old stadium. It was great to get dome. Now you wish to return to those old days..give me a break, what a fool.
I agree Mr Blank, win a SB and then ask for new stadium but I will never go to another Falcon game out side in winter.
The location also sucks!

Darth Hater

March 15th, 2012
11:28 am

Mayor Reed really said the word “fetch?”

Being raised in the South, I thought that Mayor Reed would’ve been taught that is an “insensitive” word (dating back to its pre-1863 connotation) that can no longer be used unless one is talking to a dog.

Is Rev. Jackson going to hold a press conference on this matter?

tim

March 15th, 2012
11:28 am

Kasim is a bigger liar than felon Bill Campbell.