Atlanta City Council approves Falcons stadium funding - FOX 32 News Chicago

Atlanta City Council approves Falcons stadium funding

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ATLANTA -

The Atlanta City Council voted Monday evening to approve a resolution that paves the way for plans for a new Falcons stadium to move forward.  The council voted 11-4 to approve the amended resolution authorizing the extension and use of the hotel-motel tax to partially fund the new stadium.  

Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Alex Wan, Howard Shook and Felicia Moore voted against the resolution.  The new facility, complete with a retractable roof, is expected to cost $1 billion.  Of that total price tag, $200 million will be funded by hotel-motel tax revenue.  

The deal, which calls on the Falcons to foot most of the bill, was announced 11 days ago. It's already been approved by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Sources tell FOX 5 a flurry of phone calls over the weekend paved the way for the measure to come forward at Monday afternoon's city council meeting. Some who opposed the stadium plan said they didn't like the idea of $200 million in public dollars going towards a sports complex without a public vote through a referendum, and complained the city's action was being rushed.

"We are talking about a proposal that was put on the city council halfway through this week that's an inch thick. And there's no way that they could possibly read through it, retain it, understand everything in it and vote on it as quickly as this thing is moving forward," said William Perry of Common Cause.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says the new stadium will be a "world-class facility."  Blank, 70, is ready to realize one of his goals: The Falcons playing in one of the elite complexes in the NFL starting in 2017.  He is putting up the vast percentage of cash-- $800 million-- required to get it done.

"This will be one of the best stadium deals of its type in the country, bar none. And we're actually getting more out of the deal than we would if we were to renovate the existing dome," said Atlanta City Councilman Michael Bond.

With the Atlanta City Council now on board, the only potential road blocks are two churches that would have to be bought out and moved.

"Once we do have a proposal from the city, that will be something we will bring forward to the congregation to review, discuss and then vote," said Lloyd Hawk of Friendship Baptist Church.

If the churches refuse to be bought out, then it may be possible the city could build the stadium at an alternate location north of the Georgia World Congress Center.

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