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September 30, 2010
Falcons stadium talks still ongoing
If you were wondering whether the Atlanta Falcons still want a new stadium, the answer is: You betcha.
"We're meeting about every three weeks with the Falcons," Georgia World Congress Center Executive Director Frank Poe told the Chronicle. "One of the key position points for them is really understanding when. When is that point in time that they need to have a new facility available for them. They're working through their own decision processes to reach that point."
Poe said that the Georgia Dome could be upgraded for $400 million, or a new stadium (presumably open-air) built for $800 million. An extension of the hotel/motel taxes that are being used to pay off the Georgia Dome (through 2018) could help pay some of the cost of a new stadium — though given that the Dome cost only $214 million when it was built way back in 1992 (my god, Designing Women was still on the air!), not a whole heck of a lot of it.
So the Georgia Dome is outdated after 18 years old thus creating a need for a new stadium. How long till the next generation of stadiums outdate themselves - 12 years?
In Boom, Bust and Echo the author discusses sports in an aging society and how the older people get the less inclined they are to go to games. I can attest, I'm not even 40 yet and I find it to be a grind sometimes.
That said - what are the demographics going to look like in 2025? Will there be a push for 12500 seat arenas and 25000 seat stadiums that can keep the supply low enough to inflate demand for tickets and their prices?
I'm waiting to hear from some team that it can't survive in their city's vibrant downtown and desperately needs to move out to the suburbs or boonies so it can remain financially viable.
Here in the City of Santa Clara, where the council is determined to help build the 49ers a stadium, I think a lot about demographics and the future. Santa Clara County by some accounts is the most ethnically diverse in the nation. I see the 49er fan base as being largely white (like me) and aging (like me).
I�d wonder what that would portend for PSL sales a few years from now.
Please, state and local officials, call the NFL's bluff on this one. Are they really going to let a team leave the biggest city in the south? For where?