Remember that $700 million Atlanta Falcons stadium that is now going to cost $950 million? Turns out the price tag is actually more like $1.2 billion, according to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, counting upgrades that would be needed to sidewalks, roads, and other infrastructure.
As for who’d pay for all this, Reed said the city would cover some of the costs, either by selling new bonds or by tapping an economic development fund. Taxpayers would already be on the hook for $331.5 million for the stadium itself, via redirection of state hotel-motel taxes, land subsidies, and construction sales tax rebates, meaning the total public cost could now be in the neighborhood of $580 million, for a building to replace a stadium that’s a whole 20 years old.
The state legislature could still block the stadium deal by refusing to raise the debt ceiling of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, the state body that’s actually planning to fund this thing. That would be a popular move with Atlantans, two-thirds of whom oppose using hotel-motel taxes to fund a Falcons stadium. Assuming anyone cares what they think.