SBD/Issue 14/Facilities & Venues

Georgia Dome Remodel Could Cost $400M; New Stadium May Be $800M

Falcons Want Open-Air Stadium To
Replace 18-Year-Old Georgia Dome

Georgia World Congress Center Authority Exec Dir Frank Poe yesterday told the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau BOD that "renovating the Georgia Dome would cost" $400M, while "building a new open-air stadium would cost up to" $800M, according to Jacques Couret Jr. of the ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE. Poe: "We're meeting about every three weeks with the Falcons. One of the key position points for them is really understanding when. When is that point in time that they need to have a new facility available for them." The Falcons "want an open-air stadium as a replacement to the 18-year-old Georgia Dome, and they have a site in mind on property just north of the Georgia World Congress Center." But the state authority that "owns and operates the 71,000-seat Dome and the nation's fourth-largest convention center has insisted it must have an enclosed venue to support the city's powerful tradeshow industry and remain the hub of SEC Championship football, as well as compete for other blockbuster sports events such as the NCAA Final Four." The authority "wants to keep the Falcons downtown." Falcons Owner Arthur Blank and President Rich McKay previously have said that a site "at the corner of Simpson Street and Northside Drive fits the team's priorities for an outdoor venue with tailgate-friendly parking they say will help improve the fan experience." The Falcons' lease "ends when the original bonds for the facility are repaid -- which could be in 2018 or 2019 depending on hotel/motel sales tax revenues." Team officials "oppose a Dome overhaul." Couret noted a "new stadium or extensively renovated Georgia Dome could make Atlanta a viable bidder again" for the Super Bowl, which Atlanta has not hosted since '00 (, 9/29).

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