The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly told Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia Legislature that they will increase their share of paying for a new stadium by $100 million. Under a revised plan, Atlanta's NFL team would pay $800 million of the $1 billion expected cost to replace the Georgia Dome with a new stadium.
Furthermore, a a possible deal would also call for the Falcons to fork over roughly $60 million to pay off much of the debt on the state-owned Georgia Dome, a debt currently listed at $98 million.
Despite rumors of being wined-and-dined by Los Angeles officials, there does not appear to be any truth to the rumors of Falcons owner Arthur Blank shopping the team to other markets. Blank, Deal, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have all denied such happenings.
If this proposed arrangement stands, the remaining burden may be shouldered by Atlanta and Fulton County instead of the state of Georgia. The city of Atlanta likely would issue the remaining $200 million bonds for the stadium, to be backed by the city’s hotel-motel tax. Since no funding mechanism would be needed in the Assembly, the issue would be off the table for that body and move instead to Reed and the Atlanta City Council. As several city representatives may see the deal as a boon to construction and infrastructure repair, it might be an easy row to hoe.
The Falcons are committed to play in the Georgia Dome for six more seasons.