ATLANTA, Ga. -- The Atlanta Falcons and the City of Atlanta have come to an agreement on key aspects of a deal to build a new home for the NFL franchise.
Talks of building a new retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta to replace the Georgia Dome have been going on for months, but Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced a deal to move forward during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
The Falcons agreed to pay an additional $50 million for infrastructure around the stadium, and the Blank foundation also agreed to pay $15 million for improvements in the surrounding neighborhoods. Invest Atlanta will also pay $15 million for improvements in surrounding neighborhoods using Tax Allocation District funds.
The terms announced Thursday also call for an equal opportunity plan that will ensure at least 31 percent participation in design and construction by women and minority business enterprises.
“Equally important, a new stadium will lead to the creation of well-paying jobs during its construction at a time when many of our friends and neighbors are seeking employment,” Reed said. “This new stadium will also keep the city of Atlanta at the forefront of the hospitality industry in America as we pursue our goal of attracting 40 million visitors annually. It will strengthen the viability of the more than 200,000 jobs that support our tourism and convention business every single day.”
The announcement does not mean a final deal has been made with all parties involved. The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority continue to negotiate terms of a binding legal document that would outline the deal.
Various aspects of a deal will ultimately require approvals from the Atlanta City Council, GWCCA board, Invest Atlanta and the Fulton County Commission.
The maximum public contribution for the project is $200 million, which will come from the hotel-motel tax collected in Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton County.
The remainder of the funding for the $1 billion stadium will come from the Falcons and other sources.
“We appreciate the mayor and his staff’s diligence in moving the agreements for a new stadium toward completion,” Blank said in a statement today. “We are grateful to the members of the Atlanta City Council who have given us the opportunity to address their questions or concerns, and we will continue to work with the mayor, city council, Invest Atlanta and our partners at the Georgia World Congress Center in reaching final agreements.”