Arthur Blank may surpass Jerry Jones’ spending bent for his new stadium if numbers recently reported by the Atlanta Falcons are correct.
The team informed a Georgia World Congress Center Authority committee that the budget for the new downtown stadium has grown to $1.2 billion, the AJC reported. That number is $200 million more than the original $1 billion estimate that had been used by Blank, team officials and city politicians including Mayor Kasim Reed.
The number is also $5 million more than what Jones paid for the metropolis now known as AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Falcons attributed the added costs to a variety of factors, including the building’s complicated eight-sided design, which was recently revealed in pictures to the media, as well as features like a 62,000-square foot video screen built into the opening of the retractable roof. Also driving up the price were the costs of property acquisition and related road work that have been written in as a requirement of the stadium’s development by Reed, the GWCCA and the Atlanta City Council.
According to the Falcons statement, the $1.2 billion in costs amounts to $102 million for development and pre-construction (including property acquisition and road work), $73 million for design and professional services, $77 million for systems and equipment, and $948 million for construction and contingency.
The figures do not change the amount of the taxpayer contribution toward the cost of building the stadium; $200 million of upfront cost will come from bonds backed by Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax. An additional amount will come from a waterfall fund that will be given to the Falcons for the next 30 years to offset costs of operating and maintaining the facility and making interest payments on the bonds.
The stadium deal reached early this year also provides for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars more from the hotel-motel tax to go to the stadium and the team.