Falcons announce deal for new stadium

Kevin C. Cox

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced a deal to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday.

The Atlanta Falcons will have a new home soon enough. Owner Arthur Blank and Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference to announce the plans to build a new stadium for the team. The two men and members of the Atlanta City Council met at City Hall at 2:30 p.m. ET to make the announcement.

The new stadium is expected to have a price tag of $1 billion, with $800 million coming from the Falcons and the NFL. The public will pay the remaining $200 million, via bonds paid for through the city's hotel-motel tax. The Falcons plan to have the new stadium, located in the heart of the city, open in time for the 2017 NFL season.

In addition to the stadium deal, the Arthur Blank Family Foundation and the city each plan to provide $15 million towards development of the surrounding neighborhoods, for a total of $30 million. The $15 million from the city will come from city tax allocation district funds, and they will look to raise an additional $15 million in private sector investment.

Terms of the deal also include an equal opportunity plan that will require businesses owned by women and minorities in the design and construction of the new stadium.

The deal must still be approved by the Atlanta City Council, Georgia World Congress Center Authority, and Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development agency.

The Falcons' current home, the Georgia Dome, broke ground on Nov. 22, 1989, and was first opened on Sept. 6, 1992. The Falcons and Georgia World Congress Center Authority began $300 million renovations to the stadium in 2006, updating the premium seating, repainting the exterior, and adding new video screens among other improvements.

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