Survey USA/11Alive poll: Majority would support new stadium to keep Falcons in Atlanta

On behalf of 11Alive, Survey USA has conducted an automated, statewide poll that shows Georgians willing to use taxpayer funds to help build a $1 billion – if it’s the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons in downtown Atlanta.

From the TV station’s web site:

The survey of 500 adult Georgians conducted Wednesday night shows that 47 percent oppose using hotel-motel tax funds to help build a new stadium. 43 percent favor it. 10 percent are undecided.

When asked if they would support the project if it’s “the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons team playing in downtown Atlanta,” 54% supported it and 37% opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 and a half percent.

See more details here.

The 11Alive poll paints far rosier possibilities for a new Georgia Dome built via a public-private partnership with the Falcons and the NFL. A Journal-Constitution poll released just last week indicated 72 percent of Georgians opposed the measure – though the newspaper survey didn’t raise the possibility that the Falcons might leave their current home.

The football team hasn’t gone that far, but Georgia World Congress Authority officials have told lawmakers that a Falcons move to the suburbs is one of their concerns. Currently, in order to allow the state to pony up its $300 million share of the $1 billion project, the Legislature would have to approve an increase in the GWCA’s bonding capacity.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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95 comments Add your comment

Joe

January 18th, 2013
1:56 pm

The lesser of two evils,
The Tucker Falcons

Keis

January 18th, 2013
2:05 pm

Let the loosing falcons go else where….No Stadium…

Bob Loblaw

January 18th, 2013
2:13 pm

Oh, please don’t come build us a new, retractable roof stadium and make hotel guests pay 30% of it and then give it to the State. What a terrible deal!?!

Common sense, folks. Let them build you a stadium and let the hotel guests pick up the tab of financing bonds, which, will be bought at the lowest rate in history.

Charlotte? Kicking in $125M to upgrade a stadium. Not bonds, but new taxes. Buffalo? $110 to upgrade with state grants and local tax hikes.

Atlanta? Wants to whine and say “don’t use my tax money!” even where if you don’t live in the ATL or stay in Fulton Co. hotels, you won’t pay a dime. Your state government just gets a new stadium.

BW

January 18th, 2013
2:19 pm

Bob

Reading comprehension just isn’t there for the naysayers….willful ignorance is a badge of honor with them….which is probably why this is being handled out of the public eye because if you leave it up to some people they will mess up the state’s money. All the money flowing from all those events at Dome including those Falcons games and people want to whine about a tax already in place and that they will never pay….

WillinRoswell

January 18th, 2013
2:22 pm

It’s a done deal because the cost is paid by somebody (anybody) else.

jose

January 18th, 2013
2:30 pm

So, who is surpirsed that polling about the Falcons, conducted at the very time they are one game away from the Superbowl, shows that fans want them to stay in ATL? Why is this even news?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 18th, 2013
2:31 pm

Let’s talk some more about this on Sunday after the falcons get trampled.

Elisha

January 18th, 2013
2:36 pm

They need to move to the old GM site and build a large entertainment complex. There is already a MARTA stop and the DOT could configure an Interstate exit.

Get over it

January 18th, 2013
2:47 pm

A new downtown Falcons stadium is a done deal. Stop whining, and enjoy seeing the Falcons win the Superbowl.

Keis

January 18th, 2013
2:49 pm

300 Million, Who pays for the cost overruns, The job will go to one of Nates cronies.

Who will pay for the additional 200 million to fix area (probably only confined to the stadium area and reeds trolly hanger…

Just thought I would throw this out there the last few wins were they legit or only for show to trick the people intto the already DONE CROOKED SHADY Deal…

Poll again after Sundays game…

the cat

January 18th, 2013
2:57 pm

Bullspit, don’t believe the survey results for a moment.

advice

January 18th, 2013
3:01 pm

These must be some of the same pollsters who said Romney was going to win.

Angry Voter

January 18th, 2013
3:03 pm

Yep, Jim, you continue to carry your boss, Arthur Blank’s water. The survey clearly shows the highest number of people against the stadium. Yet, your message on this isn’t that people oppose the stadium. You somehow find the one almost positive, that about half, when asked a skewed question, and only half, indicate support of the stadium.

Seriously, you should admit that you work for Arthur Blank when you report on this. Any fair minded journalist wouldn’t report on this issue without mentioning Blank is a boss. But then again, Jim, we are talking about you. Just because it’s expected doesn’t make it right.

Synonymous

January 18th, 2013
3:11 pm

Bob/BW: no, we’re just not interested in corporate welfare in any form, regardless of who is or isn’t paying the taxes for it. But since you probably work for Art Blank, I guess your mind is made up for you.

Angry Voter

January 18th, 2013
3:14 pm

OMG – the home page indicates the survey shows “lots of stadium support.” What an outright lie. The survey shows people, when asked, don’t support the stadium. When asked about a couple specific twists – hotel/motel tax pays all and Falcons move, half indicate support. That’s hardly “lots of” support. That’s half support.

Wow. The AJC should fess up that Blank is a boss when it reports about these things and stop making up facts to support their boss. I understand kissing up, but didn’t y’all at least once pretend to be a news organization, rather than an advertising arm of Cox’s board?

Silent Jay

January 18th, 2013
3:18 pm

The same Insider that told us Romney couldn’t miss?

When you ask the question without “To keep the Falcons here…” or “To prevent an asteroid from destroying the earth…” the polling is 70-30 against a new stadium.

They’re not going anywhere. Arthur is not the kind of guy to hold a gun to head of Atlanta.

Angry Voter

January 18th, 2013
3:20 pm

Here are some survey questions 11Alive should ask next time:

“If a family member had cancer, and the cure would only be provided if the new stadium were built, would you be in favor?”

“If there werre a new weather phenonemon which created tornados in Atlanta every day, and the only way to stop the tornados was to build a new stadium that unicorns and rainbows would pay for, would you be in favor?”

Or how about this one: “Do you really believe local taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook?”

Or “Do you trust any government official with the money to build the stadium.”

The problem with the skewed survey question is it doesn’t give an opportunity for people to really indicate their opposition. The second question creates a false Shangri-La.

Hopper

January 18th, 2013
3:23 pm

Excuse me, I believe that’s a useless survey. Phone surveys are suspect to begin with, and including a question about Falcons leaving is right next to asking if people want the team to leave town. Fake, phoney survey.

td

January 18th, 2013
3:36 pm

eis

January 18th, 2013
2:49 pm

300 Million, Who pays for the cost overruns,

NFL and Falcons have already said they would pay for any overruns.

an observer

January 18th, 2013
3:36 pm

The point is that if the motel tax does not raise enough money to pay for the stadium (which it will not), then the state or the city is left holding the bag.

Don Abernethy

January 18th, 2013
3:37 pm

Who selected the people polled?Reed? Falcons?Lobbyist? Like I mentioned before the stadium is going to be built regardless of what the MAJORITY of voters want. We will get our chance to voice our opinion when we vote.

jmac83

January 18th, 2013
3:37 pm

The wording of the survey sounds a little misleading. If the survey asks “if it’s the only way to keep the team playing in downtown Atlanta,” a lot of people would presume the option is to leave for another city. Ask them if it’s a priority for them if the team plays downtown vs. the suburb, you’ll probably get a much different response.

ProfitBGoode

January 18th, 2013
3:45 pm

The role of government is to provide services to its respective citizens, period.

The Atlanta Falcons are a PRIVATE ENTERPRISE that is part of an EXCLUSIVE INDUSTRY NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE (NFL) that could easily afford to build its own stadiums, but won’t because they have suckers known as legislators that will be more than happy to indebt us and our families for generations to come. Case in point; the outstanding debt on the current Ga Dome is more than $100 MILLION, yet these assclowns legislators want to build yet another Dome to replace a perfectly good one that is not yet paid for.

Nevertheless, our weak but greedy legislators are going to put us further in debt, so if they are going to stick it to us and tourists, but mostly US, then BUILD the DAMNED DOME IN THE MACON, GEORGIA AREA to share the state’s wealth with Middle Georgia.

A better use of taxpayers’ funds would be to EXTEND Amtrak from Atlanta to Chattanooga and from Atlanta to Macon onward to Savannah putting far more people to work and better serving us taxpayers.

Marlboro Man

January 18th, 2013
3:46 pm

Why not use the hotel tax to fund education instead of cutting back to the counties what the state is obligated to do ? After all it is free money to the spin doctors.

Marlboro Man

January 18th, 2013
3:46 pm

Help fund education.

jaypat

January 18th, 2013
3:48 pm

Buried down in paragraph 23 of this 29-paragraph story is this disclosure:

“Blank is on the board of directors of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, whose media holdings include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.”

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/new-falcons-roost-moves-ahead-but-questions-remain/nTRy2/

So far as I can find, this is the only time this connection with the AJC (and WSB-TV, WSB-AM and FM, and a number of other radio stations) is mentioned.

We need a media ETHICS commission.

This $500 million gift to the man who pays the salaries of these people is wrong in about every way imaginable.

I don’t beleive there is any economic analysis that can show that this gift will redound to the net benefit of anyone other than Blank.

If there is, I’d like to see it. State legislators should demand to see it too.

td

January 18th, 2013
3:51 pm

an observer

January 18th, 2013
3:36 pm

The point is that if the motel tax does not raise enough money to pay for the stadium (which it will not), then the state or the city is left holding the bag.

And you have evidence of this OPINION?

jaypat

January 18th, 2013
3:53 pm

“beleive”-believe

BW from Sandy Springs

January 18th, 2013
3:55 pm

the only reason this poll shows the support it does is that it say if building a new stadium is the ONLY way to KEEP the Falcons, then they support it….

Issue 1: This would be a debt issue (ie bonds) — the hotel tax would be increased to cover this debt issue. The bonds would be repaid in a set number of years….unintended consequence; higher motel/hotel tax for conventions visiting Atlanta – business could choose another city to hold their conventions – Atlanta potentially loses.

Issue 2: Roger Goddel said the only way Atlanta gets a Super Bowl is if we get a new stadium – a Super Bowl would bring in tremndous revenue to Atalnta and the state – but that is a one off deal. Higher motel/hotel tax could cause Atlanta to lose future events that will cost us more then we gain by a once a new stadium super bowl.

Issue 3: $300 for a building that gets used maybe 40 times per year? and we already have a great facility that I have never heard anyone complain about – (except getting on Marta leaving after a game- separate issue) If we do issue bonds for a purpose then how about something that will really make an impact on Atlantans lives?

there are many many more – if this gets passed I hope it is a Pyrrhic victory for those who vote for it and they get ushered out of office next election cycle.

td

January 18th, 2013
3:56 pm

Marlboro Man

January 18th, 2013
3:46 pm

Why not use the hotel tax to fund education instead of cutting back to the counties what the state is obligated to do ? After all it is free money to the spin doctors.

Because it is not allowed under state law or the state Constitution. Money from hotel/motel taxes can only be used for projects like this or not at all. In other words, we either allow out of town money to build a new stadium that will get the city a another Super bowl, continue to have the SEC Championship game, in the running for a NCAA final four, other events and bring in millions of dollars to the city or we do nothing and have the status quo with no extra money potential.

sliderule

January 18th, 2013
4:00 pm

Why haven’t the Georgia World Congress Authority officials come up with a contingency plan if the Falcons leave? The Falcons play in the dome 10 or 12 times a year at most. There seem to be lots of other activities many days at the dome in the past few years. Is there anyone at the GWC capable of doing a fair and impartial analysis? My guess is $500 mil would subsidize the dome for a VERY long time as opposed to subsidizing Blank.

Burroughston Broch

January 18th, 2013
4:02 pm

Sounds like a flawed survey – they should have chosen only Fulton County and City of Atlanta taxpayers. They will be on the hook to pay the bonds if the hotel/motel tax doesn’t raise enough revenue.

BW from Sandy Springs

January 18th, 2013
4:11 pm

By the way – Jim, you are better than this.

sliderule

January 18th, 2013
4:12 pm

Marlboro Man:

This boondoggle requires the state legislature to change tax law state law. Just change it some more. The benefits of large events like the Super Bowl are always overstated. Adding more annual events especially college football games is far more beneficial. Didn’t realize the SEC championship was in jeopardy. We have the final four THIS year. Sorry no “extra” millions, just $500 mil expense.

Nick

January 18th, 2013
4:14 pm

I don’t live in Fulton County or city of Atlanta, I do go to every Falcons Game, and I think the Dome is a dump. Win- win on a new stadium for me.

hnbc

January 18th, 2013
4:18 pm

If the Falcons want a new stadium, let them pick up the entire cost! They can afford it. I’m tired of sports teams holding cities and citizens hostage by threatening to leave town if they (the sports team) doesn’t get their way.

No public money! I won’t miss the Falcons or any sports team if they leave town.

Now, I would miss the arts! So, let’s put money into the arts.

Fan

January 18th, 2013
4:21 pm

Anyone remember Falcons 1981 playoffs? Repeat coming up

jeffisnoticing

January 18th, 2013
4:22 pm

Hotel owners are selling their Atlanta properties…

Shar

January 18th, 2013
4:23 pm

The pollsters, after coming up with a Doomsday alternative a handful of days before the Falcons’ best shot at a playoff in years, and including only 500 people who are from all over Georgia and therefore have absolutely no financial stake or responsibility, could only get 54% to support the new stadium. That goes beyond pallid to abysmal.

This poll was clearly skewed as far as possible to try to manufacture ammunition to take to the Legislature, and they still could only get barely half of the people to say what they wanted them to say.

This stadium is a terrible deal for the people of Atlanta. Blank gets to jack up the prices of all the seats, gets all the revenue from every single event held at the Dome whether they are associated with football or not and only has to return $2.5 million – a pittance! – to the City, gets $500+ million in tax spending in and around his new palace and gets the State to hold onto the property so he can run this business scam without paying any property taxes back to the City.

And td, don’t be silly. Money is fungible, and gets spent on political priorities regardless of what the taxing authority says it’s for. The HOPE money is supposed to be reserved for specific education spending but all the Legislature has done for years is to redirect state education support to other things and let tuition rise and HOPE cover the difference. Not a penny of the tax on old tire disposal has ever done into environmental abatement, which is what it is for. The list goes on and on, and is as crooked and misleading as the poll cited above.

I don’t know why you think that other major events will not come to the existing Dome – where is the evidence for that? Besides, Atlantans won’t have any “extra money potential” – it all goes to Blank.

Fan

January 18th, 2013
4:23 pm

Anyone remember the Falcons 1981 Playoff game? History repeats itself this weekend.

WOW

January 18th, 2013
4:25 pm

@ Sliderule:

Because the most profitable events (SEC title game, Chick-fil-A bowl and kickoff classic, etc..) would leave with the Falcons.

Shine

January 18th, 2013
4:26 pm

Instead of a hotel tax let ticket buyers pay for it if it just has to be done. i dont want to pay for a stadium just because I stay in a Atlanta hotel/motel. Piss on Blank, the Falcons, and a stadium. Let the deadbeats pay for their own party hole.

allen981

January 18th, 2013
4:27 pm

The only beneficiaries of a new stadium are Arthur Blank and his heirs. With a new stadium, the value of the franchise doubles. And, franchise operating revenues will soar with the new contract and seat licenses.

I understand the stake the Falcons and the league are taking; but the city and state will not benefit. Take that tax and fix infrastructure, build a road, fund the Beltway streetcar line (oops, no, don’t do that), or just leave it as it is.

Can anyone explain how New Orleans continues to get Super Bowls with no better place to play than the Superdome? Yet, Atlanta can’t because our beautfiul, fantastically designed 20-year-old stadium isn’t good enough?

There’s no real economic benefit anyway. The city of Los Angeles seems to be doing pretty well without a football team at all.

If AB wants a stadium, let him pony up the cash and build one.

allen981

January 18th, 2013
4:30 pm

From the gist of comments here, that new poll must have been funded and worded by the Falcons.

If this thing ever went to a referendum, a new stadium wouldn’t get 25 percent of the vote.

Rafe Hollister

January 18th, 2013
4:36 pm

The stadium is a done deal, the powers that be are just now molding and shaping the opinion they want to see out there. A couple of push polls stilted in their favor, a little fog, smoke, mirrors, lies and deception, and viola, we love it. They obviously have been studying Barack’s playbook.

If you believe this poll is legit, then you probably also believe that Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

sliderule

January 18th, 2013
4:37 pm

WOW:

Why would anyone want the “SEC title game” played in Los Angeles? :)

DLink

January 18th, 2013
4:44 pm

They should have asked, “Would you support building a new stadium for the Falcons if they win the superbowl this year?” ;)

Rafe Hollister

January 18th, 2013
4:45 pm

The cry from the proponents of the stadium is that, Blank is putting up 700M and we get a new stadium for only 300M. Believe me, if Arthur can raise 700M, he could raise another 300M and own it outright and not have to put up with the GWC politics and state rules and regulations. He would get all the profits, concessions, parking, seat licenses, ticket prices, etc.

Why, doesn’t he just build it himself? Because he knows it is going to cost much more than 1B, before it is over and he is depending on the city and state to cover the cost overruns and infrastructure costs necessary to make it successful. Plus, the government gets most of the risk involved once his 700 M is spent, he is through. Who gets to maintain it, after he abandons it as being too outdated, the government and the taxpayers.

Paul D

January 18th, 2013
4:46 pm

To all of you who say that this is only paid for by the Hotel tax and that the taxpayers really don’t pay anything – how come the ATL Mayor just told us that we will need to spend 200 million on road and infrastructure improvements – who will pay for that? Answer – residents of Atlanta. And when the price of the stadium goes over the projected budget (show me one government run project that has come in under), who will pay for that – the taxpayers. And why – just to add more luxury boxes – the current stadium seats plenty of people but without a new stadium, they cannot add any more luxury boxed or get the seat license pushed through.

Buckhead Boy

January 18th, 2013
4:49 pm

No one has suggested increasing the Tax rate. The current tax rate was merely extended to permit this.

The City of Atlanta averages collecting more than $40 million annually in Hotel-Motel Tax, considering good years and bad. Servicing the bonded indebtedness, would involve only approximately $16 million. Don’t worry; no one is going to insure the issue or buy the bonds, if they are not assured that the Hotel-Motel Tax can service the indebtedness.