We previously told you about the insane plan in Atlanta to demolish a 20-year old stadium and build a new billion-dollar plus one because Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank isn’t making enough money off the current one (seriously, he admits as much).
And we told you how an Atlanta Journal Constitution poll found that 67% oppose using hotel-motel taxes to build a new retractable-roofed stadium for the Falcons, while only 23% approve. However, city leaders — namely, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed — are behind the plan and so voters be damned.
Well, shockingly, the new stadium has an even higher price tag — it could cost as much as $1.2 billion and according to FieldofSchemes.com’s Neil deMause, “the total public cost could now be in the neighborhood of $580 million.”
Since the public is already on the hook for $331 million in subsidies, that’s only another $250 million. You know, pocket change to cash-strapped cities these days. But hey, at least the Falcons owner will benefit…
Mayor Kasim Reed's office has offered this response to the points made above:
1. The Atlanta Falcons and Georgia World Congress Center Authority are working on a term sheet that will include the cost of the new stadium. The $1.2 billion figure is an estimate by Mayor Reed that represents, in his opinion, the likely cost of the entire project. That includes both the stadium and community improvements around the stadium.
2. Mayor Reed is not committing city resources to a new stadium; he said that city dollars may be used to address the infrastructure needs of the neighborhoods around the stadium. The City of Atlanta likely would invest in road and arterial improvements around the stadium so that the surrounding neighborhood is not adversely affected.
3. All the recent polls we’ve seen about the stadium are among residents in the metropolitan Atlanta area, not the city of Atlanta. Mayor Reed does not advise other government leaders outside the city of Atlanta on how to utilize their resources, so respectfully, he is not swayed one way or the other by polls that represent the opinion of people who live outside the city about our hotel/motel tax dollars.