The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board Monday morning unanimously approved terms that are intended to provide the framework for a deal on a new downtown stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.
The board, at a special called meeting, OK’d a 24-page non-binding term sheet that will be the basis for further negotiations toward a more definitive, binding agreement between the GWCCA and the Falcons.
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The plan is to build a retractable-roof stadium, with a potential cost of around $1 billion, on the GWCCA campus in time for the 2017 NFL season.
Key business terms approved by the board include:
The GWCCA, a state agency, would own the stadium.
The Falcons would operate the stadium under a 30-year license agreement, with options to renew for an additional 15 years.
A portion of the construction cost would be funded by revenue from the hotel-motel tax in the city of Atlanta and Fulton County; that portion has been estimated at around $300 million. The rest, including any cost overruns, would be the Falcons’ responsibility, although that could be offset by the sale of personal seat licenses.
The Falcons would pay annual rent of $2.5 million, increasing 2 percent per year, to the GWCCA.
The Falcons would be responsible for all of the stadium’s operating expenses and would retain all revenue.
The Georgia Dome would be demolished, and many events held there would move to the new stadium.
The new stadium would be built on the GWCCA campus, with the final selection from two sites – one just south of the Dome and the other a half-mile north of the Dome – deferred until the negotiation of a more definitive memorandum of understanding early next year.
Next step: issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to begin the process of hiring a lead architectural firm to design the stadium.
Check back later today for further updates.