Posts Tagged ‘private funding’

21 is the new old..

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

The Atlanta Falcons’ came out with a plan back in April of 2013 to build a brand new $1 billion retractable-roof stadium by 2017 in downtown Atlanta.  After over two years of negotiations, the city’s economic development armed voted 8-1 in approving the issue of over $200 million in bonds from Atlanta city’s hotel-motel taxes to help with the funding of the new stadium.  Since the current Georgia Dome stadium was built only 21 years ago in 1992, this raised a lot of questions and concerns.  The questions are exemplified by something along the lines of why now, why is this necessary, the stadium just turned old enough to drink! Falcons owner says

We’re not simply swapping one stadium for another. We’re building a best-in-class facility that will help us attract new events and retain the Falcons.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/22007606/falcons-1b-retractableroof-stadium-gets-public-funds-green-light

The remaining money to support the costs of the stadium will come from other private funds as well as the Atlanta Falcons.

In another Q&A article found at: http://www.sbnation.com/2013/3/7/4076234/new-falcons-stadium-deal-atlanta it is asked “Since this is an NFL stadium deal, how much blatant robbery of public money occurred here?” Following the response:

A bit, but that’s money long since stolen via the hotel tax, which by law must go towards ‘Promoting tourism, conventions, and trade shows.’ There are local costs to it, as there are with any tax, but the direct amount of money in theory is coming from tourism taxes levied on hapless conventioneers breezing through town.

When it comes to using public funding, it seems like something that is rather hard to swallow.  If after 21 years, the Falcons for some reason need a new stadium that is still relatively new, shouldn’t we be asking more questions?  It seems as though this hotel-motel tax could be used for a cause beneficial for more people as well as a better cause.  $200 million is no small fee, which yes, gives the new stadium a good step in the financial direction that they need but it could be better used for other things within Atlanta.  Using this $200 could be used towards education, construction in the city, or many other aspects that could be beneficial to many people around the city, rather than just the team and the people surrounding the sport.