Falcons, GWCCA Agree to New Stadium Terms

December 10,2012

The Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have agreed to the terms of a business deal to build a new retractable roof stadium.

The GWCCA board approved the non-binding business terms in a special called meeting Monday morning.

In a press briefing before the board meeting, officials from the GWCCA and the Atlanta Falcons explained the agreement calls for the state convention center to own the building, but for the football team to assume all operations and receive all revenues during the 30-year term of the business deal. The Falcons will pay GWCCA a rent of $2.5 million per year, with a 2 percent increase each year.

“It is a good day for the city and the state,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in response to the GWCCA board approval of the business terms. “I support the construction of a new stadium, and I think it’s just part of the process. I’m pleased they were able to come to an agreement today.”

Now, both parties will work to develop a legally-binding Memorandum of Understanding, which they hope to complete by mid-January. By that time, the Falcons and GWCCA will need to decide on a site. Currently, there are two sites under consideration — one about a half-mile north of the Georgia Dome along Northside Drive and the other directly south of the Georgia Dome.

Frank Poe, executive director of the GWCCA, also announced Monday morning that within 24 hours, the organizations will issue request for qualifications to architectural firms interested in designing the new stadium. The goal is to select an architect in February.

Currently, the new stadium is estimated to cost about $1 billion, with about $300 million covered by the current hotel-motel tax. The Falcons and the National Football League would be responsible for the balance of the project’s costs.

-Courtesy, The Atlanta Business Chronicle