The Atlanta Falcons are currently working on a deal that would construct a new world class stadium, complete with a retractable roof.
Originally, the plan was to build an open air stadium and keep the Georgia Dome around for other events such as concerts, SEC championship games, and Final Fours. Building the retractable roof stadium would eliminate the need for that, and possibly lead to the demolition of the Dome.
The planned cost for a new retractable roof stadium is about $947.7 million, with $300 million of that coming from the public sector. Adding a retractable roof to the Georgia Dome was not an option, after a study found that it would cost over $859 million and the new seating capacity would fall short of the minimum requirements of the Falcons organization.
The Georgia Dome is relatively young, opening only 20 years ago, but lacks some of the premium seating options that other NFL venues offer that bring in a substantial amount of money.
“One of the concerns we had with a retractable-roof solution was cost. We have come to understand that to make a deal that is in the best interests of all the stakeholders, that is the best alternative for a 30-year solution. We understand that ups the cost." Falcons President Rich McKay said.
As long as a deal can be reached, construction will begin in 2014 and would be ready for play in 2017.
The idea of tearing down a fully functioning 20 year old stadium and spending $1 billion to build a slightly nicer one seems absolutely insane to us; but maybe that's just the world we live in today.
At FootballScoop we strongly believe in capitalism. If there is a business case for this and someone (presumably Arthur Blank) wants to pony up the funding, then have at it. If not, then this sure seems odd.