The Atlanta Falcons hope to be in a new downtown stadium by 2017 and if they are not they will consider a move to the suburbs.
That is what Falcons president Rich McKay said at a City Council meeting Wednesday night, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Falcons have been working to get a stadium downtown to replace the Georgia Dome and Mayor Kasim Reed has been on board in working to find a solution that works for what would be a $1 billion project.
“We would have no choice but to consider pursuing another option in metro Atlanta (if negotiations break down),” McKay said, according to the Journal-Constitution. “Please don’t let anybody say that’s a threat. No, that’s just a reality of what we have to do as our lease is about to end.
“We could do it (build a new stadium) for a lot less cost (elsewhere). That would not be our first choice. We think (downtown) is where the deal should be done, but it is our intent to play in a new stadium in 2017.”
The Falcons are seeking a retractable roof stadium near the Georgia Dome and have rejected ideas that the facility could be renovated. Last year, they reached a non-binding agreement with the Georgia World Congress Center, the group that owns and operates the Georgia Dome, to build a new stadium nearby with the team handling more than two-thirds of the cost, according to the report. That still leaves more than $300 million in public money that needs to be accounted for and that is a major hurdle at this point for the project.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
MAR 11 Joel Corry
Six teams set to enter free agency with plenty of available salary cap space.
MAR 11 Jerry Angelo
How NFL teams approach that integral period of time that takes place from free agency until the draft.
MAR 07 Joel Corry
Front offices and agents of soon-to-be free agents can begin discussions this weekend.