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Wed February 13, 2013
Falcons President Says Franchise Will Consider Moving to Suburbs Without New Downtown Stadium
The president of the Atlanta Falcons says his team will be playing in a new stadium when its contract with the Georgia Dome expires.
City staffers and civic leaders blitzed the Atlanta City Council’s Finance Executive Committee Wednesday with nothing but support for building a new stadium instead of refurbishing the Georgia Dome.
But it was the words of Falcons President Rich McKay that defined any future conversations about the deal between the team and the city.
McKay posed and then answered his own question: what if the city doesn’t help the Falcons build a new facility? “We would have no choice but to consider pursuing another option elsewhere in metro Atlanta. Not our first choice. Not our preference. Not what we wanna do. But it is our intent to play in a new stadium in 2017,” said McKay.
McKay says the new stadium would cost about $950 million, and the Falcons want $200 million of that to come from the city’s hotel/motel tax.
The committee has already scheduled another work session to dig deeper into the plan. Issues raised by both council members and the public: what about the surrounding neighborhoods and already challenged infrastructure. But there was no absolute dissent. No one spoke of the possibility of the Falcons leaving downtown except McKay.