SBD/September 14, 2012/Facilities

Atlanta Development Agency Hopes To Build Entertainment District Near Turner Field

The city of Atlanta’s economic development agency Invest Atlanta is “asking for proposals to redevelop a 55-acre tract of land north of Turner Field into a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood,” according to Greg Bluestein of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Invest Atlanta sent out a request Friday “seeking ideas from developers to turn the sprawling field of parking lots that includes the footprint of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium into a sports and entertainment district that draws crowds even when the Braves are on the road.” It also “wants any proposals to include homages to highlights of Braves history.” In addition, the plans “should incorporate 10,000 parking spaces stacked in decks and a potential link to a streetcar that could eventually connect the stadium with downtown.” The move is “seen as a way to appease the Braves, whose lease on Turner Field and some surrounding parking lots ends in 2016.” While team Owner Liberty Media has “shown little appetite for investing in a new home for the Braves, the baseball club still has leverage by threatening to seek options elsewhere” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 9/14).

SPECIAL TREATMENT: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker cites a non-binding term sheet that notes the Georgia World Congress Center Authority “would carve out special treatment in an Atlanta Falcons stadium deal for some events, such as college football and basketball games, that relocate to the proposed new facility from the Georgia Dome.” The document states that the GWCCA “would own the stadium, that the Falcons would ‘control’ the stadium and its revenue streams under conditions of a license agreement and that the Falcons would be responsible for all cost overruns during construction and pay an unspecified annual fee to the GWCCA for at least 30 years.” The term sheet “makes clear the sensitivity about protecting in the transition to a Falcons-run facility the non-Falcons events that have pre-existing, long-standing relationships with the Georgia Dome,” such as the SEC Championship football game and the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Kickoff games. The term sheet stated that the GWCCA, which runs the Georgia Dome, would “continue to manage those events in a new stadium.” That would include “negotiating and entering into contracts related to those events and directing the event-day production” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 9/14).
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