Another NFL stadium, more public money?

11/09/2012 § 1 Comment

The Atlanta Falcons want a new stadium. It would cost more than a billion dollars.

The Atlanta Falcons, NFL team, profitable before the gates even open, may not pay the whole shot.

The idea of using some public money to build the new stadium has already generated opposition. The GWCCA, a state agency, has said repeatedly that about $300 million of the stadium cost would come from bonds backed by revenues from Atlanta’s hotel-motel tax and that the Falcons would be responsible for the rest.

The state legislature in 2010 overwhelmingly approved an extension of the hotel-motel levy.

This will be repeated, until I’m blue in the face, building sports arenas with public money makes almost zero sense. Unless they are the Staples Center in Los Angeles, pulling in upwards of 250 events a year, sports arenas don’t add anything to local revenues. They just divert money that might have been spent elsewhere.

More from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Barrett analysis submitted last month cited $331.5 million in public funding — $277.3 million from hotel-motel tax net bond proceeds, $24.2 million from the state for land and $30 million from a construction sales tax rebate. The analysis assumed a $700.5 million contribution from the Falcons and the NFL.

The team is putting up a pile of cash, but in a league where the average team is worth in excess of a billion dollars, there is no reason for them to not be putting up all the cash.


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