The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have reached an agreement to build a new stadium for the Falcons in downtown Atlanta.
The agreement comes after months of negotiation between the city and the Falcons organization. Under terms of the agreement, announced by Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank in a press conference today, the Falcons would assume responsibility for $50 million in infrastructure costs related to the stadium, the AJC reports.
One of the key concerns about building the new stadium was how the project would benefit the surrounding community, considered by many to be the poorest neighborhood in the entire state of Georgia. It was announced during the press conference that the Arthur Blank Family Foundation would invest $15 million in projects aimed at boosting English Avenue, Vine City, Castleberry Hill and other neighborhoods close to the stadium.
The public contribution for the new stadium will be capped at $200 million, which would come from the hotel-motel tax collection by the city of Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton County.
Also, Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, would commit another $15 million in tax allocation district dollars for economic development projects in the area.
The remainder of the $1 billion facility would come from the Falcons and other sources.
“We appreciate the mayor and his staff’s diligence in moving the agreements for a new stadium toward completion,” Blank said in a statement today. “We are grateful to the members of the Atlanta City Council who have given us the opportunity to address their questions or concerns, and we will continue to work with the mayor, city council, Invest Atlanta and our partners at the Georgia World Congress Center in reaching final agreements.”
Mayor Reed said he was happy that the Falcons will get to remain downtown and that impoverished neighborhoods would be revitalized in the process.
“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 in a statement. “This new stadium will also keep the city of Atlanta at the forefront of the hospitality industry in America as we pursue our goal of attracting 40 million visitors annually. It will strengthen the viability of the more than 200,000 jobs that support our tourism and convention business every single day.”