Nathan Deal: Falcons need to make case for a new stadium

After a signing ceremony for a Veterans Day proclamation, Gov. Nathan Deal held a first post-election scrum with reporters.

Among the topics: The Atlanta Falcons’ drive to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome with a new $1 billion facility with a retractable roof. The governor will have to sign, and the Legislature approve, an increase in the bonding capacity of the Georgia World Congress Authority.

Deal was asked about hints that the Falcons have been dropping, that leaving the city – perhaps for Los Angeles – might be an option. Should people in Atlanta be concerned? the governor was asked. Replied Deal:

”I don’t know how to answer that question, because nobody has suggested that’s an option that’s on the table now. I did meet with the commissioner of the NFL, Mr. [Roger] Goodell, and met with the authorities of the Atlanta Falcons this week. We had a good meeting. We had a good discussion….

That really is an issue that addresses itself to the Legislature, and I’m sure there will be a very health discussion about it. But I have not taken any position on that right now.”

It’s a tricky issue, another reporter pointed out. The governor continued:

”There could be consequences, of course, if a new stadium is determined to be appropriate. There’s a lot to be said for the fact that we have a very good Dome. And I think there’s got to be a little further explanation to the public, and probably to members of the General Assembly, to explain the necessity of changing that, and going to a new stadium.”

Perhaps this doesn’t need translating, but when you have a governor say that you need to make the case for a particular item, that means you haven’t done so yet.

(Updated at 8:45 p.m.: Kim Shreckengost, speaking for the Falcons, declares that any reports of the Falcons’ threats of departure are untrue. “The Falcons are on record regarding the club’s commitment to Atlanta, and their preference to remain downtown,” she said this evening.)

The governor was also asked what Republicans need to do to get back in the presidential game. Deal found no fault with Mitt Romney, but blame for Tuesday night on Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana:

“Make sure that their nominees for various offices don’t say crazy things that cause political backlashes. Especially United States Senate [races] – it’s very evident that good people said very unusual things and those statements had severe political consequences.

“I feel there’s going to be a more thorough vetting of candidates, pehaps, which is not all bad. That is difficult to do when you have open primaries…But I think this election cycle, especially [at the] U.S. Senate level, emphasized the importance of having candidates who truly do manifest the main positions of the party.”

What does the GOP need to do to widen its tent and attract more minorities?

”I think they need to recognize, as we’ve tried to do here, that there are issues that transcend traditional party labels. There are things that are considered to be important by the electorate that do not necessarily hinge on whose idea it was. For our state, criminal justice reform is a classic example of that. It certainly bridged the party divide….I’m going to encourage the party at the state level to do that.”

On the significance of Republicans in the possibly reaching a two-thirds “supermajority” in both the House and Senate by January, the governor said this:

”I think it does, of course, add a little bit of assistance to very difficult issues, to be able to corral the number of votes, but as a practical matter, there are very few issues where a supermajority is actually important….I don’t know that that ratio has a whole lot of practical significance, quite frankly.”

The presidential election also made permanent the health care reforms pushed through by President Barack Obama. Deal has some epic decisions to make. Most immediately, he must declare by Nov. 16 whether the state will build and operate new online exchanges where consumers and small businesses can shop for affordable insurance — or leave it to the federal government. Deal all but said he’s not likely to touch it:

”I have not made the final, conclusive decision public yet. We have until the 16th to notify the federal authorities as to what the state’s position will be. There’s always the possibility that they may decide that they’re going to liberalize the flexibility that states will be granted under the exchange. I’ve seen no evidence of that at this point.

“Until that deadline is arrived at I will not take an official position, but unless there’s some further indication that we will be given flexibility – which was what we thought we would have when the legislation first was passed, but has eroded away over the year – I at this point don’t foresee any change in my position.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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72 comments Add your comment

Where'sTheBeef

November 8th, 2012
5:17 pm

Forbes has rated Atlanta the most miserable sports city in America. Further, Atlanta has compiled 153 MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL seasons while winning only one championship.

Give us a Superbowl win and then we can talk about building you a new house. Until then, you want to threaten to move to another city, have at it.

You dont say

November 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

cc: if you check in. Haven’t seen you around much

cc
October 6th, 2012
4:32 pm
double:
“Four more years for a caring President.”
I know what YOUR president cares about, double, and it ain’t you. Check out the Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll for today. Things ain’t looking too good for your soon-to-be ex-president. Can you say, “Bye, Bye Barak”? Better get used to it! You going to call a wake for election night? If you do, get plenty of liquor and tell everybody it’s a BYOG (Bring Your Own Gun) event!

PTC DAWG

November 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

Let the Hotel/Motel tax pay for it and get on with it. Atlanta can either choose to keep up with it’s competitors here or fall behind.

GaBlue

November 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

I just don’t believe Daddy Deal loves us the way Chris Christie loves his Jersey folks. Would this man hold hands with the President to save us from drowning? HA! Not a chance. Of course he does not care whether small-businessmen and entrepreneurs can access affordable health insurance options. You don’t need a doctor. “Just put a little robitussin on it!”

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

November 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

So Georgia cannot afford Medicare expansion but there would be money to build a new football stadium for a wealthy NFL owner who could probably do it with private money. Certainly wherever such a new stadium would be built, a combination of Deal or Deal & someone he is associated with will own the land or be rewarded a contract related to a new stadium.

yuzeyurbrane

November 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

Deal is a good politician and is skilled at reading which way the wind blows. Right now a hard public wind is blowing against Arthur Blank’s request for corporate welfare. If he were to choose to move the Falcons, which I doubt, hardly anyone would notice their absence. More likely that he would build it totally on his own either near present location or out in the suburbs because he stands to become even richer after it is built. As far as ease of access to those who can afford tickets, the northern perimeter makes the most sense.

Who Cares

November 8th, 2012
5:29 pm

Falcons do you need some help packing?

Kris

November 8th, 2012
5:32 pm

East Cobb RINO, Inc…………..Dito

Just leave a suit case full of $$$ (unmarked ) on the steps of the GD….Just Sayin!

secondsage

November 8th, 2012
5:37 pm

You don’t want to lose the Falcons, you already lost the thrashers. Atlanta may be a bad sports town (at the moment), but it is a sports town. Attention Georgia, do not screw Atlanta, you will become Mississippi.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

November 8th, 2012
5:37 pm

Gov Deal does not believe in the feds intervening in states affairs. Better get busy building that exchange Nate.

Who Cares

November 8th, 2012
5:41 pm

Thrashers, Big lose!!!

Vince Lombardi

November 8th, 2012
5:43 pm

There is absolutley no case to be made! There is no need for a new stadium certainly not an outdoor one used less than 20 times a year. I will personally campaign against any politician thta supports this fiasco. If Blank wants a new stadium he can pay every penny of it himself

Who Cares

November 8th, 2012
5:46 pm

Thank You Vince Lombardi!!!

phoneguy71

November 8th, 2012
5:48 pm

Are you people blind or high?? You don’t care about losing the Falcons?? That statement in itself is why the “perception” of Atlanta being a bad sports town exists. Several winning seasons back to back, an undefeated season going on?? You should pack up your suitcase, leave your cubicle, and hurry home to watch Matlock reruns and leave the sports talk to real FANS!!!!
GO FALCONS!!!

Who Cares

November 8th, 2012
5:53 pm

High!, and I will help pack for Free!

BOB FROM ACCOUNT TEMPS

November 8th, 2012
5:53 pm

gov d – why do the falcons need to make a case, can’t you hear the voice of the public? they are saying NO! remember for the next election – blank only has 1 vote.

Mike T.

November 8th, 2012
5:53 pm

I’m a Falcons season ticket holder. I don’t think they need a new stadium. When I go to the games, many of the suites they have are not being used. If they built a stadium with bigger suites, they will just be empty as well. It will be a waste of money for the State. In all likelihood they will want to charge a seat license to season ticket holders which I won’t support.

phoneguy71

November 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

@ who cares
A lot of people care. That’s why we sell out every home game. Just because you can’t throw a spiral doesn’t mean other people aren’t serious fans ok

Debbie Foresman

November 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

Having lived through all the Losersville years, Atlanta is not a bad sports town now. The Braves are perenially competitive and the Falcons are too. During the Losersville days, we were thrilled when the Braves placed fifth out of six places in the NL West. Maybe they are not winning lots of championships but they are generally always in the game.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

November 8th, 2012
5:58 pm

Phoneguy71, this is more a state budget issue than whether or not someone is a Falcon fan (which I am). I do not wish for them to go. But: a) the Georgia Dome is a fine place for football, I have been to games there; b) If Blank wants a new stadium, Georgia cannot and should not use public money to pay for it; and c) I am packing up my cubicle to head home now and after a workout will try to find some South Park reruns.

southern hope

November 8th, 2012
6:03 pm

Wow, where to start with this column…okay, I’ll start with the easiest subject…the Falcons…the Dome is terrible…depressing….nobody (and by “nobody”, I mean typical families of 4, like mine) are going to pay money to see games. We did so one time and afterwards decided to watch the game on TV. This is a BIG problem for all NFL owners..people would rather sit at home. We’ve seen games at Gillette Stadium, Lincoln Field in Philly and the Colts stadium and they are amazing experiences. They are worth the money. The Dome is not.

Kris

November 8th, 2012
6:07 pm

Deal remember November 2014 will be here real fast….

” Deal was elected with 52.9% of the vote in 2010.”…

Ga Needs Jobs (for the state outside of the perimeter) , not stadiums…
Ga Needs ETHICS reform.
Ga Needs Term Limits….
Ga. Needs health care… Affordable Health Care…We would be better off if the FEDERAL GOV”t Ran it.

Got to love this one “”"Deal found no fault with Mitt Romney,”"” Smitty LOST ! 2014?

Agreed blank is only one vote ….my vote will cancel his..

Dave

November 8th, 2012
6:08 pm

The Governor is a master of saying nothing. Stadium: there’s bunch of folks that are actually concerned about wasting public money, do a better job of snowing them, then I’ll weigh in. The Presidential Game: get rid of a few more of the more vocal whackos that we harbor, they make it really hard to fool enough of the people we need to fool. Minorities attracted to the GOP? Criminal Justice reform, that’s the ticket (Translation, what kind of stupid question is that? Jeez, give me a break.)

And, we will elect the man in two years.

ld

November 8th, 2012
6:13 pm

It is NOT “just” the nutjobs at the fringes of the GOP that are a GOP problem. The fetal personhood laws and amendments pushed by the Republicans nationwide and invasive and costly requirments the GOP seek to impose on women to control their decision making with regard to personal, medical and reproductive choices clearly indicate that the TRUE view of the GOP is that women should not have individual liberty with regard to making their own decisions. THAT is a serious problem the GOP needs to address.

Just as interaction by generations of youth of different races subsequent to ending segragation have made them more reasonable, open-minded and progressive on race, so to, has and will interaction by generations of youth with the gay population diminish and, hopefully, eventuallyt, bring an end to bigotry in that regard. YOUNGER voters, hopefully, increasingly, will see freedom — individual liberty and equal right under law — as something to which each of us (not just rich old white men) are entitled —

UNLESS, of course, the zealots succeed in their efforts to put religious indoctrination back in the majority of schools.

Clearasil

November 8th, 2012
6:17 pm

Atlanta has rated Forbes the most miserable magazine in America.

Mike Lobe

November 8th, 2012
6:17 pm

As a handicap person, I would love to see a new stadium that is ADA compliant; however, I don’t think the dome is a bad place to watch a game for an able body person. I also don’t think the public should be footing the bill for a new stadium. A question for everyone, are they planning on keeping the dome around too? That would just be a waste!

Teetotaler

November 8th, 2012
6:24 pm

I don’t drink, but if you touch my football team, I’ll give you an ass-kicking you’ll never forget. Anyone even joking about the Falcons leaving needs to meet the firing squad at dawn.

voice of reason

November 8th, 2012
6:34 pm

OK, if we tear down the new billion dollar stadium in 20 years, we will be paying $50 million each year for a stadium to play about 10 home games. Doesn’t make sense in any fiscal reality that I know of. Lambeau Field opened in 1957. Yes, a stadium that is over 50 years old and the Packers are one of the winningest teams in football.

The Dome helps with indoor concerts, the SEC championship no matter what the weather and overflow for the GWCC. Keep it real and support our stadium that has given us so much and has so much more to give.

Fan

November 8th, 2012
6:36 pm

No Longer Republican

November 8th, 2012
6:46 pm

I don’t understand what the problem with the Dome is. I read something about not being able to use up to date technology, but geez, we need to build a billion dollar stadium to use big screen TVs? Really? The Falcons leaving should not be an option and if Blank even threatens that to get his way it will show how much he really cares about Atlanta. My guess is Blank will get his stadium, Georgia tax payers will pony up most of the money and then we will have to hear all about how there is no money for schools, health care, etc. And I am sure at some point in the process Nathan Deal will find a way to enrich himself and a few of his friends.

Kim

November 8th, 2012
6:50 pm

Jim,

The Falcons have never dropped any hints about leaving Atlanta, or going to Los Angeles.

Kris

November 8th, 2012
6:53 pm

No Longer Republican …your right,WSB reported that reed is all aboard the new stadium and a 1 hour train rail to Savanna.. Hope it stops at the fish farm along the way to the new port…

Point/Counterpoint

November 8th, 2012
7:05 pm

Really, gov Deal? You are asked how to bring minorities to the GOP and your answer is prison reform?

Don Coyote

November 8th, 2012
7:40 pm

What’s another billion dollars or two. Let’s Make a Deal has already approved a billion to build HOT lanes down I-75 in Cobb that won’t even pay for their own operation much less the construction costs.

Michael Langford

November 8th, 2012
7:56 pm

Why don’t we keep the ones we have, make small modifications to make parts of it ADA compliant, and spend the rest of the money on schools, roads, and other infrastructure?

Cynic

November 8th, 2012
8:15 pm

“I have not taken any position on that right now.”

Translation: I’m still trying to figure out if I can benefit personally from the construction of a new stadium.

Kris

November 8th, 2012
8:20 pm

Michael “Why don’t we keep the ones we have, make small modifications”

I agree , “””I don’t know how to answer that question”””Sonny jr can ask his puppet Error Davis how to spend a few million on Technological and ADA upgrades like the Board of regents did with the states colleges..
Not trying to be a Political arsonist, Simply trying to help.

Glen Brown

November 8th, 2012
8:40 pm

Something is wrong with this country when we want to build a new stadium and already have a perfectly good one with the dome. The dome is good for another 15 years.

Losing faith

November 8th, 2012
8:40 pm

Deal is no friend of the working man.

ham

November 8th, 2012
8:59 pm

We are a red state when are entire progressive years have been blue dog. Bring it back peeps!

Landover

November 8th, 2012
8:59 pm

Good one Langford, spend the money on schools, roads, infrastructure, and health education. Half the people and kids walking around have diabetes/ juvenile diabetes which could bring us down but Blank & Co wants to build more hfcs coke stands.

Cutty

November 8th, 2012
9:36 pm

GaBlue @ 5:29- Just rub that ‘tussin on there real good!

Lol, good one!

Don Coyote

November 8th, 2012
9:59 pm

Since this money is from the Hotel/Motel tax theoretically it should be used to promote the convention business and ancillary jobs to that industry. Building a state owned casino near the WCG would create jobs and beaucoup bucks to the state that could be utilized for education, etc. for years. This would never fly with the hypocrites though. The Falcons going to LA thing is just farting in the wind to me and I’m not even downwind.

Shar

November 8th, 2012
10:10 pm

So Governor Deal thinks there should be “more thorough vetting of candidates”? A slime ball who oozed out of Congress with minutes to spare before an ethics report condeming his misuse of office for personal enrichment should be the first guy to get the ax.

As a taxpayer, I already pay for middle school, high school and college sports, both in direct subsidy and in tax exemptions. I also pay for the NFL’s tax-exempt status. Meanwhile, I believe that huge Div 1 sports, and football in particular, warp the educational purpose of all of those schools. I am in favor of getting rid of taxpayer funding for all football, at every level. The idea of a hugely rich guy who likes to project his virility through ownership of a professional football team trying to jump the priority line and siphon off public money to further enrich himself is disgusting.

I’m done with corporate welfare for sports teams. Let the college programs either behave like the rest of their universities – same payment scale as for other faculty, same admission standards, same graduation rates – or spin them off as the separate businesses they are. Let the NFL pay taxes like the Big Business that it is, and let Arthur Blank use his own money to build this unnecessary stadium. If he wants to take his ball and go to LA instead, good riddance.

B. Thenet

November 8th, 2012
10:11 pm

When Nathan Deal gets his briefcase full of cash, then and only then will this project move forward.

Kris

November 8th, 2012
10:37 pm

B. I think that truck load of trash ops…Money just arrived.

The Hall County Commission gave final approval Thursday for a top supporter of Gov. Nathan Deal to create a landfill …

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/hall-county-approves-landfill-for-deal-supporter/nS2mc/

If the falcons want to move to LA they better take a DEAL with them…Delta is ready when they are…and with a DEAL no fuel tax.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_election

Fan

November 9th, 2012
1:16 am

Until you move the Dome out of downtown, don’t expect big revenue. Move up 400 somewhere and make it safer then maybe. Otherwise wasted money to build or rebuild.

Momof2

November 9th, 2012
1:57 am

Well, I’ve only ever been able to afford to take my kids to see the Falcons once… maybe if they keep this dome I’ll be able tickets another time. I expect that prices for tickets in a new dome will be completely out of reach. It seems like the people making these decisions have stars in their eyes – the rest of us don’t have a chance at the ‘gifts’ of box seats and sky domes, we’re having to make decisions on how to spend our money and trying to figure out how to give our kids the experience of a live football game and still pay our bills.

Buckhead Boy

November 9th, 2012
3:01 am

Two years ago the State received $1 million from HHS to plan for an exchange. The State was supposed to release a feasibility study last year. Is some excuse now from the Governor for abnegating State responsibility all that we may expect?

Tide Roller

November 9th, 2012
3:42 am

So, how do I spell “Crook?”

A-R-T-H-U-R [space] B-L-A-N-K

I used to be a huge Falcons fan, but some guy from Home Depot cured me of that problem.