New Falcons stadium on the horizon

ATLANTA — A Monday vote by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) Board of Governors opens the door to a new, retractable roof stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

The stadium — expected to cost roughly $1 billion — will be located GWCCA property and paid with a mix of private dollars and revenues from the hotel/motel tax, according to published reports. That includes roughly $300 million from hotel/motel taxes, reports indicate.

The Georgia Dome, the Falcons current stadium, opened in 1992 and was a venue during the 1996 Olympics; he new stadium is scheduled to open by 2017, when the current lease on the Georgia Dome expires. With Monday’s vote, officials will work toward finalizing a binding a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“The Board of Governors has carefully considered the potential for a new stadium in relation to our vision for the future of the GWCCA campus,” GWCCA Board Chairman Tim Lowe said in a news release. “The opportunity to remain a premier sports and entertainment complex, while retaining the nation’s most prestigious events, such as the SEC Football Championship and other NCAA events, is in the best fiscal interest of the State.”

The exact location for the new stadium has not been finalized.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement on business terms that will form the basis of a definitive agreement with the Atlanta Falcons on the development of a new stadium,” GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe said. “In addition, we are initiating a selection process for an architect and design team to run concurrent with the development of the MOU.”

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