Bond cap could foil Falcons owner’s attempts at vote-free stadium deal

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been counting on getting his $700 million or maybe $950 million or maybe $1.2 billion stadium approved by just the actions of the state-run Georgia World Commerce Center Authority, but now it looks like those plan might be gang aft agley:

The hotel-motel tax is expected to contribute $300 million to the new stadium. But the bonding capacity for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the Georgia Dome and would oversee the new facility, is capped at $200 million.

To raise that cap, and allow the GWCCA to issue bonds on the entire $300 million, would require an act of the Legislature, topped off by the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Since the Falcons stadium deal is unpopular with many state legislators — as it is with most Georgia residents — this means that the popular will might actually prevail over Blank’s attempted back-room deal. Or, as the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s blog headline writer puts it: “Uh-oh. New Falcons stadium will ‘very likely’ require state Capitol approval.” I guess “Curses, Foiled Again” was too long to fit in the Twitter feed.

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