It’s not official yet, but reports say that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board has approved a deal that could bring a new stadium to downtown Atlanta to replace the Georgia Dome. The plan is to build a retractable-roof stadium, with a price tag expected to be around $1 billion, on the GWCCA campus that will be the new home of the Falcons starting in the 2017 NFL season.
According to the AJC, key business terms approved by the board include:
The GWCCA, a state agency, would own the stadium.
The Falcons would operate the stadium under a 30-year license agreement, with options to renew for an additional 15 years.
A portion of the construction cost would be funded by revenue from the hotel-motel tax in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County; that portion has been estimated at around $300 million. The rest, including any cost overruns, would be the Falcons’ responsibility, although that could be offset by the sale of personal seat licenses.
The Falcons would pay annual rent of $2.5 million, increasing 2 percent per year, to the GWCCA.
The Falcons would be responsible for all of the stadium’s operating expenses and would retain all revenue.
The Georgia Dome would be demolished, and many events held there would move to the new stadium.
The new stadium would be built on the GWCCA campus, with the final selection from two sites – one just south of the Dome and the other a half-mile north of the Dome – deferred until the negotiation of a more definitive memorandum of understanding early next year.
The deal was approved unanimously by the GWCCA board and as of now it is only an agreement for revenue. The project still has a number of hurdles to overcome before any ground can be broken for a new stadium.