Expert: Make the new Atlanta Falcons stadium special - FOX 10 News |

Expert: Make the new Atlanta Falcons stadium special

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A finance plan for a new football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons calls for the city to commit its hotel tax through the year 2050. Last week, the team reached a deal with the city to build a new retractable roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome.

An expert in architecture told city council members the city should ask Arthur Blank to make the new stadium special. If the football team included a park or year-long experience for young people in the design, it could be done without much extra cost.

"A truly exceptional stadium is one that I think the Falcons probably want and the Georgia World Congress and authority probably wants to operate. It needs to be exceptional in as many ways as possible, and that will only increase the value of the fan experience," said Georgia Tech's Benjamin Flowers.

Some key details in the financing plan were delivered to council members late Wednesday. The projected cost is $948 million. The city is to pay $200 million through hotel taxes, and $748 million is to be supplied by the team.

In addition to the construction cost for the stadium, $20 million is to be set aside for land acquisition, $50 million in street improvements, and owner Arthur Blank will contribute $15 million for neighborhood development.

The mayor made it clear in earlier comments that the $200 million in public money will not be exceeded. If for some reason the taxes don't live up to projections, then the bond holders, not the city, will be on the line to pick up any of the extra cost.

The Georgia World Congress Center Board of Governors will be discussing the stadium proposal during a meeting on Friday.

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