City, Falcons reach deal to build new stadium in Atlanta - New York News

City, Falcons reach deal to build new stadium in downtown Atlanta

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ATLANTA -

A tentative deal has been reached to build a new billion-dollar stadium for the Falcons in downtown Atlanta, city and team officials said on Thursday.

Mayor Kasim Reed and team owner Arthur Blank made the announcement during a press conference at City Hall.

Under the proposed deal, Reed said that the city will contribute $200 million, which will come from the city's hotel-motel tax. The other $800 million will be paid by the Falcons. The Falcons will also contribute an additional $50 million in infrastructure costs.

Reed said that the Arthur Blank Family Foundation would contribute another $15 million to fund developmental projects in the English Avenue, Vine City and Castleberry Hill neighborhoods, close to the new stadium. The city also would contribute an additional $15 million for those projects, according to a press release.

"I am pleased that we reached an agreement that will ensure the Atlanta Falcons remain in the heart of our city for many years to come and will lead to revitalization of some of the city's most historic neighborhoods," said Reed.

Blank called the deal a "win-win" for all parties involved. Blank said that the team was committed to the city of Atlanta.

Team officials said that a site just south of the Georgia Dome is the preferred site, but there are still details that need to be worked out.

Reed said that the deal includes a "Equal Business Opportunity Plan" that calls for at least 31 percent participation by women and minority business enterprises in the construction of the new stadium.

"Equally important, a new stadium will lead to the creation of well-paying jobs during its construction at a time when many of our friends and neighbors are seeking employment," Reed said.

City officials stressed that the deal would not impose any new taxes on city residents or businesses.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal praised the agreement.

Reed said the hope is that the new stadium is built in District 3, which is the district represented by Councilmember Ivory Young.

In the Vine City neighborhood, community leaders said they would not make the same mistakes as when the Georgia Dome was built.

"$10 million was negotiated in that trust fund. Those monies never touched this community. They were spent in other areas of the city, but they were designated for this community," said the Rev. Andrew Motley of Lindsey Street Baptist Church.

Leaders said that they will work with the city and the Falcons to get the $30 million promised in the proposed deal.

The proposed deal is now in the hands of the Georgia World Congress Center and the Atlanta Falcons Association, Reed said.

The Atlanta City Council must still approve the new deal, Reed said. He said they are taking public opinion into consideration.

FOX 5 found a mixed reaction to the news amongst local residents.

"It's exciting for the city. It's exciting for the team," said John Neville, a Decatur resident.

Another local resident, Tim Turner, said that Georgia Dome doesn't need replacing.

"I think that the current stadium, the Georgia Dome, is still functional and it's not paid for yet," Turner said.

Some residents wondered if the new stadium would create an increase in ticket prices.

"I think it's going to make tickets really expensive for fans that want to go," said Elisa Hitron.

No matter what the price, some fans said they would "dig a little deeper" to be able to attend games.

HOT TOPIC: Do you think the new stadium will deliver on its promises?  Post your comments on our FOX 5 Atlanta Facebook page, or tweet us @GoodDayAtlanta.  We'll read some of your comments on the air during Good Day Atlanta!

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