Watch group calls for public input on proposed Falcons' stadium - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Watch group calls for more public input on proposed Falcons' stadium


The Falcons are storming through this season, and if they get their wish, in a few more seasons, the dirty birds could be playing in a brand new $1 billion stadium.

Bryan Marshburn, a Falcons fan, said build it but only with private money.

"Let 'em pay for it. Taxpayers shouldn't have to for the bill for a couple of rich guys," Marshburn said.

The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which runs the Georgia Dome, recently agreed on the first step toward building a new stadium.

The Falcons and the NFL would pay 70 percent.

The rest would come from an existing hotel tax. Supporters say that means visitors would pay the public portion.

William Perry, executive director of the watchdog group Common Cause, said that the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority should not get one tax dollar since they have not allowed the public to comment at any of the meetings on the proposed stadium.

"The public has been benched and not allowed to play this game," Perry said. "They let the public sit and listen, but they don't allow the public to speak."

Jennifer LeMaster, a spokeswoman for the authority, would not speak on camera, but in a telephone interview, she admitted none of the meetings allow for public comment.

LeMaster said, however, "The idea they're not allowed input is incorrect. People can email, call or write letters."

Common Cause is calling for an independent economic analysis and a 90-day period for the public to review possible plans before any deal is finalized.

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