Reed, Falcons agree to build new stadium in Atlanta - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Reed, Falcons agree to build new stadium in Atlanta

The Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta The Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Falcons have come to an agreement to build a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.

The announcement to build the $1 billion facility came Thursday afternoon at Atlanta City Hall.

"A good deal for the citizens of Atlanta and the rest of the state," said Reed.

While an agreement was reached for a public/private partnership to build the new stadium between Reed and the Falcons, Reed said that the Atlanta City Council will have to approve the plan.

Reed said that the public's contribution to the stadium, which would be built "in the heart of Atlanta," would cap off at $200 million. That $200 million would come from revenue from the city's hotel/motel tax.

Approximately $800 million would be provided by the Falcons or other private sources.

"The Falcons take on all the risk of construction, over runs, operations, maintenance and capital expenditures. We're willing to do that because No. 1, we love Atlanta, and No. 2, it's a 47-year commitment on behalf of the Atlanta Falcons," said Arthur Blank, owner Atlanta Falcons.

Rich McKay, CEO and president of the Falcons, said the preferred location for the new stadium would be located approximately 250 yards south of the Georgia Dome, although a final decision has not yet been made.

Blank said that building a new facility would allow the city to bring in larger events. Reed added that because the city is currently competing for big events, he hoped that the announcement would put the city in a better spot to win those events.

The deal would include $30 million in infrastructure investments to the English Avenue, Vine City and Castleberry Hill neighborhoods and an additional $15 million would be provided by the Arthur Blank Foundation to those neighborhoods, or other neighborhoods contiguous to the new stadium.

The deal would also include a $50 million infrastructure investment to the area surrounding the Georgia Dome, which the Falcons would supply. Reed said he thought the $50 million would cover the costs.

William Perry, of Common Cause Georgia, is a vocal watchdog of the stadium process. He said he's heard numbers as high as $250 million for infrastructure cost.

"Even Mayor Kasim Reed has said there's no way to know the infrastructure cost until the deal is done. And, we think that's too late," said Perry.

Perry said the public needs to be brought into the conversation. He wants the City Council to decide to put the stadium proposal before voters with a November referendum.

"We're talking an awful lot public money with very little public input, and that has us concerned," said Perry.

The mayor still has to give the City Council the agreement to review. He did not give a timeline, but said soon.

"We certainly intend to vet the deal and we certainly as part of our public process will make the deal public facing," said Ceasar Mitchell, president of the Atlanta City Council.

A couple council members called the agreement a "good" start.

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