The proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium isn’t slated to open for more than four years, but already team officials are closely watching the calendar.
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Since negotiations for a new Falcons stadium started more than two years ago, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been committed to closely following the proposal for our readers. Our reporters covered the shifting funding plan and its effect on taxpayers, debate over the need for a new stadium and its potential location, and the political maneuvering involved in moving the project forward. Most recently the AJC examined the financial plan in detail, revealing for readers a projection that the ultimate cost in hotel-motel tax dollars dedicated to financing, maintaining and operating the stadium could approach $900 million over the next three decades, far more than the $200 million committed to construction.
What’s next in stadium saga
The city of Atlanta’s development authority — Invest Atlanta, which would issue the bonds to fund the public portion of the construction cost — is expected to vote soon on the deal. That is the last vote needed for the project to move forward. If the transaction is approved by Invest Atlanta:
By April 30: The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority plan to hire a lead architect.
By May 31: The Falcons plan to hire a general contractor.
By Aug. 1: The Falcons and the GWCCA plan to determine if the preferred site immediately south of the Georgia Dome is feasible and the needed property can be acquired. If the south site isn’t confirmed by this date, the plan is to shift to a backup spot 1/2 mile north of the Dome.
By Oct. 31: Preliminary schematic drawings are to be completed.
Ground-breaking: Probably mid-2014 or shortly thereafter, given the planned 2017 opening.