Goodell Expresses Optimism For Falcons' New Stadium Proposal During Atlanta Visit
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell yesterday spoke to the Rotary Club of Atlanta and is “optimistic that the Falcons will get a new retractable roof stadium,” according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Goodell, who also discussed the stadium issue with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, said, “There is a recognition that it’s the right thing to do and they are going through a very healthy process to find a solution that is going to work for all parties.” He added, “When you are going to approach a complex project like this, there is always a lot about what is the right thing and the wrong thing. What should be the participation level in the public-private partnership? Where to build it? What to build? ... There is a good opportunity and the NFL wants to be a part of creating something very special. We want to be a part of this community for a long time. We hope that wherever they put the stadium, they make it a bigger and better place.” Goodell said that new NFL venues such as MetLife Stadium and Dallas Cowboys Stadium are “state of the art and have essentially made the 20-year old Georgia Dome obsolete” (AJC.com, 11/5). In Atlanta, Michael Cunningham asked Goodell why taxpayers should “help to foot the bill for a new home” for Falcons Owner Arthur Blank. Goodell said, “Well, I think there’s a recognition that they do need a new stadium. The question is, how do you do something that makes sense for the community and how do you combine that with what they want to do with the (World) Congress Center? And do it in a way that’s responsible and creates more activity.” Cunningham notes the Falcons are “seeking partial public financing" for a $1B retractable-roof stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta (AJC.com, 11/4).
RAISING DOUGH: In Atlanta, Amy Wenk reports the Falcons are “raising the prices for their best seats.” The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the Georgia Dome, last Tuesday agreed to “raise premium seating prices" for the '13 NFL season. Club seats and super suite seat licenses will increase 4-5%, meaning a “one-year club seat that cost $2,120 in 2012 will cost $2,225 in 2013." Advertising rates for the signage at the Dome “also will increase.” GWCCA Exec Dir Frank Poe said that the group at last Tuesday's meeting also “passed a resolution to establish a land reserve account,” which sets aside money “to acquire, lease, preserve or dispose of land.” Wenk writes the GWCCA “might need to acquire land if it decides to build a new football stadium" (ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE, 11/2 issue).