- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Financing terms reached for new Falcons stadium
Blank would cover most operations, but he’d also reap revenue from seat licenses, premium seats and concessions and could negotiate for corporate naming rights. And he’d be a player in making “citywide bids,” like those for Super Bowls and college football’s new championship game.
The Congress Center would retain control over so-called legacy events that Dome already under existing contracts or through regular agreements. That includes the SEC Championship football game, Chick-fil-A’s college football regular season and postseason games, NCAA basketball tournament rounds and Georgia high school football championships, among others.
It is not clear how much that changes the existing revenue flow at the Dome.
Frank Poe, executive director of the World Congress Center, said he was not aware of the financing agreement between Reed and Blank until “the last 24 hours.” He said his agency would now re-engage to hammer out a binding contract with Blank.
World Congress Center officials have said over the course of negotiations that they didn’t necessarily need a new venue, but that Blank pushed the issue because he wanted an open-air stadium. They said the fear was not that Blank would leave Atlanta but that he’d build his own stadium, taking the state’s anchor client and becoming a competitor for other events.
They also said the public investment is less than what would have to be spent on Georgia Dome upgrades in the next few decades. So, they reason, the public is basically financing the cost of the retractable roof to keep all sides happy.
In a nod to criticism over public financing of stadiums for privately owned sports franchises, he argued that the terms are more favorable to the public “than any other stadium deal in the last 10 years.”
The annual debt payments will be $12 million to $13 million at current market conditions, he said. The lowest annual total from the hotel-motel tax in the last decade, he said, is $15 million.
The mayor, a former legislator, said the “political reality” is that lawmakers have earmarked the tax for a stadium and would not agree to direct it anywhere else. “It sounds great to say we could spend the money or schools or on roads,” he said, “but that’s just not the case.”
Blank’s commitment to infrastructure, meanwhile, is considerably less than Reed’s previous estimates of those improvements, which he’s tagged at as much as $200 million. The mayor said Thursday he believes the Falcons’ $50 million will be sufficient.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow