Invest Atlanta votes yes on Falcons stadium deal - FOX 32 News Chicago

Invest Atlanta votes yes on Falcons stadium deal

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ATLANTA -

A plan to build a new Atlanta Falcons stadium was made official on Thursday. Invest Atlanta voted yes on the $1 billion retractable roof facility that would replace the Georgia Dome.

According to FOX 5's Julia Reynolds, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says the 8 to 1 vote by the group shows "confidence."

Officials hope the new facility will draw a Major League Soccer team, another Final Four and a Super Bowl.

"If you look at history, cities that typically have built a new building have a Super Bowl some time in the future after that. I think that it was very important that we send a strong message that we were going to get this done because multiple decisions, not just about the Super Bowl, are being made right now," said Reed.

The one dissenting vote was made by board member Julian Bene. Bene says he would have liked the money spent for a new city attraction.

Plans call for the team to shell out a vast majority of the money, with the city on the hook for $200 million in bonds to be financed by hotel-motel tax revenue. The deal was quickly approved by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and the city council.
    
Stadium opponents, such as Common Cause Georgia, claim leaders are trying to fast track the decision making process.

"The Mayor's own poll showed 64 percent of Atlantans didn't support this. I think there's a lot of public sentiment against it. This vote today was the punchline of a joke of a process we've seen throughout," said William Perry of Common Cause Georgia.

Part of the deal has the Blank family foundation giving $15 million for neighborhood development in areas around the stadium. That money would be matched by Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development agency, and was one of the reasons for Thursday's vote.

Two local churches would have to be moved to put the stadium in its desired location south of the dome.

"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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Invest Atlanta fact sheets concerning the new stadium:

1. Stadium Fact Sheet
2. Community Fund Fact Sheet

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