Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed wants the future Falcons stadium to be built on land just south of the Georgia Dome. Doing so, he hopes, would provide a linchpin for development along a corridor in desperate need of new investment.
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FALCONS STADIUM TIMELINE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been covering developments regarding a new Falcons stadium for years:
Sept. 7, 2006: Falcons owner Arthur Blank predicts in an interview with the AJC that the team will have a new stadium in a decade or so.
April 13-14, 2010: The Georgia Legislature authorizes extending Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax through 2050 to partially fund a new or renovated stadium on Georgia World Congress Center property.
Feb. 22, 2011: The GWCC Authority agrees to enter negotiations with the Falcons on a $700 million open-air stadium that, according to the plan at this point, would be home to the NFL team and other outdoor events while the Georgia Dome would remain in operation for indoor events.
April 25, 2012: After more than a year of negotiations, the GWCCA and the Falcons abandon the idea of an open-air stadium, shifting the plan to a retractable-roof stadium that would cost about $1 billion, host indoor and outdoor events and result in demolishing the Georgia Dome.
Summer 2012: The focus shifts from building the stadium on a site a half-mile north of the Dome, which had been the Falcons’ preference, to a site immediately south of the Dome, preferred by the GWCCA and the city.
Dec. 10, 2012: The GWCCA board approves a “term sheet” that outlines a non-binding stadium deal with the Falcons, contingent on the Georgia Legislature authorizing the state to issue bonds backed by Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax to fund the public portion of the construction cost.
January 2013: The December “term sheet” deal unravels when it becomes clear the Legislature will not authorize the state-issued bonds. The city of Atlanta begins negotiating a deal under which it, rather than the state, would issue the bonds.
March 15: The GWCCA board approves a reworked deal, which calls for $200 million of the construction cost to be paid from proceeds of city-issued bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax, and the rest to be paid by the Falcons, personal seat license sales and the NFL. In all, the deal calls for 39.3 percent of Atlanta’s 7-cents-per-dollar hotel-motel tax to go toward costs of financing, operating and maintaining the stadium through 2050 — likely hundreds of millions of dollars more than the initial $200 million, according to projections.
March 18: The Atlanta City Council votes 11-4 to approve the deal.
April: Negotiations begin with two churches, Friendship Baptist and Mount Vernon Baptist, that would have to be purchased and razed for the stadium to be built on the “preferred” site just south of the Dome.
April 30: Kansas City-based 360 Architecture is hired to design the stadium.
May 21: NFL owners agree to provide the Falcons with $200 million in league funding.
June 11: The Falcons choose a team of general contractors led by Atlanta-based Holder Construction. The joint venture also includes Arizona-based Hunt Construction and Atlanta-based H.J. Russell & Company and C.D. Moody Construction.
June 18: The GWCCA board approves 360 Architecture’s conceptual design, which features a futuristic roof that will open in eight pieces and a soaring wall of glass that will showcase the downtown skyline.
July 30: The Falcons declare the preferred south-of-the-Dome site “not feasible at this time” because the needed property hasn’t been acquired, and the team begins a study of the “alternate” site one-half mile north of the Dome.
August 1: The GWCCA terminates negotiations to purchase Mount Vernon Baptist after the church rejects a $6.2 million offer and seeks $20.375 million.
August 6: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces a tentative $19.5 million deal for the Falcons to purchase Friendship Baptist and calls on the GWCCA to “try harder” to reach a deal with Mount Vernon Baptist.
— Tim Tucker
Oct. 1: This is the deadline for the Falcons to complete their feasibility study of the “north site.” If the Falcons and the GWCCA have not agreed that one site or the other is feasible by this date, then either party has the right to terminate the stadium agreement signed in April. This also is the date by which the Falcons, GWCCA and City of Atlanta are scheduled to sign more definitive transaction documents, which require an agreement on site.
Oct. 31: Deadline for completion of preliminary schematic drawings.
Mid-2014: Construction is scheduled to begin.
March 2017: Construction is scheduled to be completed.