Infrastructure costs could hike Falcons subsidy to $580 million

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.

3 comments on “Infrastructure costs could hike Falcons subsidy to $580 million

  1. Normally I am very pro-stadium, but this one mystifies me.

    The building is out of date by NFL standards and a more modern stadium would draw lots of extra dough. But why would the government pay and why now?

    I don’t see any signs that the SEC or NCAA is about to abandon Atlanta any time soon becauseye value of broadcasting from a big city is high (unless you have Payton Manning’s first game back, then any sized city will do). Plus the cost of materials is inflated.

    If I were the government I’d privately acknowledge to the Falcons that a stadium subsidy is in their future, but explain that if they want it now, they’re going too have to pay for a larger percentage. I think the government actually has leverage here for once.

  2. “I think the government actually has leverage here for once.”

    Funny. Your argument is perfectly valid. But holds true for any sports market as large or larger than Atlanta. Considering Atlanta’s reputation as a less-than-stellar sports town, that includes just about every current city with a “major league” sports team. Hardly “for once”.