Thursday, November 29, 2012

NFL: Falcons stadium chief outlines public’s role

One of the chiefs behind Atlanta Falcons’ plans to relocate to a new stadium claims that taxpayers can expect to own 100% of the new facility, having been asked to fund just 30% of it.
The Falcons recently announced that they were in talks to move to a new ground within the next five years, and demolish their existing Georgia Dome home, which was constructed in 1992.
“The public sector will own 100% of the new stadium for 30 cents on the dollar,” said Poe, who is the executive director of the Georgia World Congress Center.
Poe added that he is confident revenues generated by the new stadium would more than make up for the investment made in its construction, which is estimated to total more than $900m.
The catalyst behind the move, aside from the potential offered by a more cost-effective facility, is a desire expressed by Falcons chiefs to play outdoors, while the club’s ownership is understood to be explore the possibility of hosting a Super Bowl and future Soccer World Cup matches.
Poe emphasised the importance of a public-private partnership as a means of funding the new facility, noting that Georgia’s taxpayers provided all of the funding for the Georgia Dome.
Those examining the process, including Wyc Orr, who is a member of the Common Cause Georgia board, encouraged members of the public to voice their opinions on the proposal.
“It is important for both Atlanta and Georgia taxpayers to engage in the process and make sure their voices are heard,” Orr told gathered football news reporters.
“This is an opportunity for all members of the public to have direct, person-to-person communications with those who are conducting these negotiations which will have such a direct impact on the public treasury.”
On the field, the Falcons have lost just once this season and betting NFL markets suggest hopes are already high among punters about  a possible Super Bowl push in 2013.

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