Deal: Hey Falcons, You Want a New Stadium? Here’s How to Get It.

November 29, 2012 10:24 am

by Ed · 67 comments

Guvnur Deal said yesterday that if the Dirty Birds want a new stadium they will have to convince the fine citizens of Georgia and our esteemed lawmakers of that we need a new stadium. And then he basically tells the Falcons exactly what to say.

For a new stadium, $300,000,000 of the $1b to replace that decrepit hunk-o-junk (AKA: the Dome) would come from a hotel/motel tax.

Georgia Dome

CLEARLY this stadium is inadequate, falling apart, an embarrassment, etc etc etc and we need to replace it.

From WABE:

“They just need to explain what the project is, the importance of the project to the future of the Falcons here and our city,” said Deal.

“If we get a new facility and meets the current demands and needs of the future, then being on the hook so to speak for less than a third that is repaid from money that comes from outsiders, I think that’s probably a pretty good deal,” said Deal.

“I want to make sure that the amount that is being asked for is realistic and achievable and it certainly has to be within the bounds of what the hotel/motel tax would actually raise,” said Deal.

So there you have it folks, Deal seems to be on board with the deal. Yay.

Oh, and the Georgia World Congress Center says a deal is possible by the end of the year. Double yay.

If WABE’s Facebook page is an indication of popular sentiment (and I totes think it is), people don’t want a new tax-payer funded stadium. 100% of all commenters on this morning’s story (4/4) said they don’t like it. “I don’t understand why Atlanta needs a larger venue to watch the Falcons choke in the first round of the playoffs,”* one reader posted.

So let’s say you’ve read my post, the Facebook comments and both stories. Let’s say your mind still isn’t made up. Well Peach Pundit has you covered.

Look for a Pro versus Con on the new Falcons Stadium next Thursday on Peach Pundit, with State Representative Mike Dudgeon taking the Con position, and Stefan Turkheimer taking the Pro.

*Yeah, see just become a fan of the greatest franchise in professional sports, THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, and you don’t have to worry about first-round choke jobs, you just have to worry about being blinded by all the Vince Lombardi Trophies Brady and Belichick earned.

dicecon November 29, 2012 at 10:35 am

One time I saw a scratch on the exterior of the building and that’s when I knew we needed a new stadium.

Ed November 29, 2012 at 10:41 am

RAZE IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

The issue isn’t whether we need a new stadium. (And what is it with this “we” stuff … are you a resident, citizen, taxpayer and voter in the city of Atlanta?) The issue is that the GWCC money really can’t be spent on anything else other than projects like this or similar.

Max Power November 29, 2012 at 11:04 am

Here’s an idea put the money into a fund to maintain and improve the dome.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

The tax already does that. Even Kyle Wingfield admitted that. 2/3rds of the GWCC tax goes to maintain and improve current facilities. The money for the new stadium would come from the other 1/3. That was why Wingfield acknowledged that changing the GWCC law would be necessary in order to spend the money on something “better” than this.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

When I visit Atlanta, I stay in a hotel and pay the tax. I, therefore, am a taxpayer for the stadium/stadium fund.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 11:52 am

You do the same when you go to Utah. Somehow I don’t think that you believe that you should have a say in Utah matters.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I actually do get involved in other state matters, so if I traveled to Utah like I do Atlanta, then yes, I would have a say. The last time I checked, though, I am still a citizen of Georgia and the legislators that I voted for are the people that are passing the laws, which you have reminded us of repeatedly. Also, what happens in Atlanta has some impact on me in Southeast Georgia. Further, I am a Falcons fan and I am a Georgia Dome attendee, so I have an interest.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

No, you attempted to pass yourself off as a citizen of and taxpayer in Atlanta. You are neither. Gee, I guess Atlanta citizens should be involved in your local tax and spending matters too. Sound like a good idea?

If the folks of this state want control over issues like this, they need to pay for it with their own tax revenue. Why not let the state run the GWCC? One catch … they will have to pay the city of Atlanta for the land and facilities first. Cash please, no bonds! Sound like a good idea to you also?

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

This is not an Atlanta issue. The taxpayers of Atlanta are not paying for it, as per all the press releases being put out. It is being paid by people like myself that pay the tax to stay in Atlanta when I visit. If you pay taxes in my county, then you have a right to speak. I pay taxes in Atlanta, so I have to speak and I will continue to speak.

I don’t want the state running the GWCC. I would prefer it to be privately owned and operated.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 12:25 pm

All right Lawton. So, the hundreds of millions of people who fly into Hartsfield and buy gas at an Atlanta gas station while driving on their way to Miami, Chicago or whatever pay taxes too. Do they get a vote too? And is it a “one man one vote” thing? Does a person who visited Atlanta once in 1948 and bought a pack of gum from a convenience store get the same vote as someone who, oh, I don’t know, lives in Atlanta?

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

They cannot vote, like myself, but they sure can speak their minds.

Ed November 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

“No, you attempted to pass yourself off as a citizen of and taxpayer in Atlanta. ”

I can see where you thought that. Here’s how Lawton started his post.

“When I visit Atlanta…”

Bob Loblaw November 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Actually, someone who pays taxes in Fulton County/City of Atlanta becomes a taxpayer in that jurisdiction. Logic dictates it. Sorry Lawton, but this would be lawful taxation without representation and they can vote with their feet if they don’t wanna pay the tax. Stay in Henry County like the billboards say to on 75! “Comfortably away from Atlanta”. LOL!

Max Power November 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

I love the falcons even though they’ve broken by heart more times than I can count over the last 42 years. That being said I would rather see them leave town than for one cent of tax dollars be used for the construction of a new stadium. We just have too many other needs.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 10:44 am

And what other needs are those? Please limit these needs to things that can actually be paid with the GWCC hotel/motel tax, which can only be spent on things related to the GWCC and to attract conventions and other large events. What other GWCC needs are there?

Ed November 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

There is a football team actually worth cheering for and supporting that plays on GWCC property.

That team being the Panthers (of Georgia State).

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 10:58 am

So, you want to use the $300 million to build a new stadium for Georgia State or to otherwise benefit the GSU athletics department? Even it were a good idea, the GWCC hotel/motel tax can’t be used for that. Personally, I would rather use the $300 million to make GSU into a legitimate urban research university in the natural sciences (since engineering is dominated by the monopoly known as Georgia Tech a few blocks away) but we can’t use the hotel/motel tax for that either.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 11:22 am

Heads up: Ed is very sarcastic in regards to Georgia State and other stuff.

Ed November 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

Why do people always think I am joking?

I am never anything less than 1000000% serious on any topic.

EVER.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

A transportation fix or step on the way to a trans fix would be a way to attract conventions. Perhaps a sewer fix that oh by the way the courts have ordered us to work on. Do tourists not use the bathroom? A new stadium is waaay down on the list of priorities and, I don’t care where the money comes from, to spend $300 MILL on is insane.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Falcons-Habitat-Keep-the-Dome/147025202029129

The governor can put pressure on the GWCC to delay this and then they can address it in the session.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

Let me repeat. YOU. WILL. HAVE. TO. CHANGE. THE. LAW. IN. ORDER. TO. SPEND. THE. TAX. MONEY. ON. THOSE. THINGS.

“A new stadium is waaay down on the list of priorities and … to spend $300 MILL on is insane.”

Even if that is true, it is irrelevant. For why, see below.

“I don’t care where the money comes from,”

It is all about where the money comes from. Because the money comes from this tax, the stadium is one of the few things that the money can be spent on. You may not like the reality, but not liking the reality doesn’t change the reality.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm

thats why i said what i did about the governor delaying and then the legislature addressing the issue

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

More of this again. When this issue is discussed in the future – or even in the present as this post can be edited – will the issue that the hotel/motel tax can only be spent on projects like this be mentioned? You can’t spend it on highways. You can’t spend it on schools. You can’t spend it on healthcare, sewers, water reservoirs, you name it. You can’t put it in the city’s reserves. And you can’t call it an unnecessary tax and cut it or eliminate it (because most of the tax revenue goes towards things like maintenance of GWCC facilities).

So instead of or in addition to talking about how using it to cover a portion of the cost of replacing a still functional facility is such a bad idea, how about talking about what the money could be used for instead? Righteous indignation is easy, especially when it is done in absence of considering the actual facts. Public policy is hard. Governor Deal, the city of Atlanta, the GWCC board and the other folks who are dealing with this issue actually have to consider things like revenue that has to be spent in a way that helps the GWCC because A) it cannot simply go unused and B) it can’t be used for any other purpose. Would the folks criticizing them at least make a cursory attempt at doing the same?

A) The money has to be – and will be – spent
B) There is an extremely limited number of things that the money can be spent on by law.

Will the folks criticizing this project at least TRY to deal with those facts A LITTLE?

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

We’ve actually addressed this before. With you. Multiple times.

For this project to move forward requires an act of the legislature. They’re the ones that wrote the state law. The only that currently applies was written and greased through very quietly in 2010. It’s not like this law is the Georgia Constitution or even something that we’ve been operating under at all. It’s a freaking 2010 law done by insiders for insiders. Yet, in their great foresight, they didn’t remember to increase the GWCC debt cap. Now it’s back in front of the legislature again – to make law. The law can easily be changed, and there’s absolutely nothing that should require this to be spent on the grounds of the GWCC.

Further, saying tax money has to be spent is beyond folly. No, it doesn’t. That same law could be rescinded, and make our hotel/motel industry more competitive. Or the money could be re-directed to it’s highest and best use. That is what this discussion is about. Trying to handcuff it to current law that barely has its ink dry on the legislation is silly. Try better arguments.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 11:27 am

Amen.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 12:07 pm

All right. Rescind the law, and who pays for the maintenance of the GWCC facilities, which 2/3 of the tax money goes to (as the Georgia Dome is still being paid off) and will still go to if this gets approved? Will the state?

Amend the law? Well here’s a question … if this idea wasn’t on the table, would anyone be talking about amending the law? The law was just fine until someone came along and proposed spending the tax money on something that you personally object to. In order to keep from doing that, you want to change the law so that you can spend the money on something else that you personally approve of. Is that how it works?

And as I have said – multiple times – my arguments are only bad because you say that they are. Like it or not, this issue is much more complicated than “I don’t like this project so don’t do it.” If we are talking about the state taking over the GWCC, then fine. If we were even talking about state funds, then fine. Otherwise, we are talking about the state hi-jacking what is an Atlanta tax.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

And you want to keep the law for something that you are evidently for. Amazing how this works.

It is not an Atlanta tax. If you read everything being put out, the tax is being paid by people outside of Atlanta.

atlanta_advocate November 29, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Lawton, I am from south Georgia, a very small town in a very sparsely populated county. Every now and then, visitors did come to my tiny berg, visited one of the 2 grocery stores and several gasoline stations and made purchases. When they did so, they paid taxes on the gasoline and whatever else they bought. Now who did that tax money belong to? That little town, right? Just as sales taxes collected by businesses in your town is yours. Doesn’t matter if the people making the purchases and paying the taxes are from Colorado or Armenia or somewhere.

Do you know why that is? The tax revenue doesn’t exist because of the people from Colorado and Armenia that visit your town. It exists because someone chose to locate a business in your town. It is the businesses in your town that generate the tax revenue. If there were no stores, restaurants, hotels or other businesses in your city, your city could have 100 million visitors a day and still not generate a bit of revenue.

That is why it is an Atlanta tax. The businesses that generate the tax are located in Atlanta. If there weren’t any hotels in Atlanta for you to stay in when you came to see the Falcons play, you’d stay in Cobb, Gwinnett, DeKalb or wherever, right? And in that case, it would be THEIR tax money.

“And you want to keep the law for something that you are evidently for. Amazing how this works.”

And I also actually live in, work in, own property in, attended school in, and pay taxes in Atlanta, and therefore I want and have a stake in the leaders of Atlanta being the ones to decide how Atlanta taxes are spent, and not having people who lack the stake in Atlanta that I have making these decisions for us. Amazing how that works too.

Again, your deciding how Atlanta tax dollars are spent will become a good idea when Atlanta citizens and politicians deciding how your tax dollars are spent becomes a good idea.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) November 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Actually most of the sales tax (4%) goes to the State Georgia. Who pays interest on the bonds? The State of Georgia. Who established the Georgia World Congress Center Authority? The State of Georgia. Who works with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to finance/refinance bonds? The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.

Rationallogic November 29, 2012 at 12:14 pm

In an attempt to look at both sides in the discussion, what I want to know is the following:
• Does the GWCC or the city get any cut of the revenues in return for their contribution?
• Does Arthur & Co. get all the revenues from ALL events including concerts, convention uses of the new stadium, SEC Championship, Peach Chick-fil-A Bowl, NCAA tournaments, Monster truck shows, etc?
• Can their be a provision that the money is to be returned to the GWCC (or a large portion thereof) upon a future sale of the Falcons with the anticipated doubling of the value of the Falcons franchise?
If all the answers to those questions are no and Arthur & Co. are the sole beneficiaries, then they should build it themselves. That said, I recognize that the hotel/motel tax does belong to the core downtown region to be spent within the core downtown region to improve that area. And while that area is slowly coming back to life, it is languishing and there are projects that could be done to help the area be revitalized into a vibrant area that could better compete with midtown and Buckhead. For that money to be directed at anything else is no different than asking for a Savannah hotel/motel tax to be used for building reservoirs, Atlanta sewers, MARTA or Metro Atlanta highways, which would be wrong. That money belongs to the immediate area that benefits from those hotels and motels, not Roswell, not Sandy Springs, not College Park and not even midtown.

The Falcons do provide a public benefit to Atlanta and the overall region. As does the SEC championship game. Birmingham is in the early process of underwriting bonds to build a domed stadium there and you bet they will chase try to get the SEC to move the game to the new stadium as will Jerry Jones to Jerryworld. If this was about five years down the road, it would be a little more appropriate because stadiums typically only last 25 to 30 years in the modern era. Even Soldier Field in Chicago, the renovation cost $600 million in 1999 dollars, which was virtually the same cost as a new stadium. It is difficult to put a price on what that added value is of having the Falcons and the stadium that host them and all the other events that are hosted there but without a doubt the businesses (and thus the people that work at those businesses) are also beneficiaries of having such an amenity, but again, it is difficult to quantify.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 12:26 pm

“Birmingham is in the early process of underwriting bonds….”

Birmingham? BIRMINGHAM? This Birmingham?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203537304577030522343960712.html

If you’re going to try and use “rational logic” to try to scare folks another city will steal the Falcons if they don’t get a handout, at least be rational enough to pick a city that didn’t just declare bankruptcy. Those kind of things tend to hurt when you’re trying to, you know, underwrite bonds. Especially bonds for luxury goods.

Rationallogic November 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’ll refrain from making snide remarks just cause I disagree with you. Btw, BJCC is not the radioactive Jefferson County and they have the credit to underwrite the bonds. They would chase the SECCG, not the Falcons (if Arthur is wanting to punish Atlanta for rejecting him LA stands ready), it would likely be LA (the city, not lower alabama)). More importantly, in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Southeastern Conference now has an outpost in Texas and I can assure you that Jerry has been lobbying Mike Slive (in the SEC’s Birmingham offices) to move the SECCG to Jerryworld. Just look at the the AJC this week, which has a countdown the the SECCG clock on it’s site to tell you the relevance of that game on this city. Between the Falcons game tonight and the SECCG on Saturday, that stadium is responsible for much commerce in this city this weekend.

heroV November 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm

It would just be hilarious if Birmingham, Alabama, a city with no NFL team, builds a random domed stadium for $X hundred million to attract the SEC championship game.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Which, again, goes back to the question of who the hell is going to underwrite those bonds in this environment.

Seriously, Blank’s PR people are usually better at this. The B team had to come up with this line of scare tactic.

Rationallogic November 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Ostensibly, it would also host the UAB football games but their bigger goal is something bigger, kinda like San Antonio building a stadium with out a team to get consideration for a team by the NFL. But the larger threat is Jerryworld. He is cutting checks to anyone and everyone to move their home and home series to Cowboys Stadium. And he put a strong bid in for the new SEC/Big12 Champions Bowl and is expected to land the championship game when the new college football playoffs begin in 2014 (or is it 2015?). Why wouldn’t he chase the SECCG? Keeping up with the Joneses.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 3:23 pm

So now we’re back to Jerry Envy, the real reason taxpayers are being asked to cough up a half billion dollars (motel tax, land purchase, sales tax exemption, and city of Atlanta promised infrastructure upgrades).

I’m glad you can finally admit this is so Arthur can keep up with the Joneses.

Now, as far as the SEC wanting to move the game to Dallas, I have one question for you: How many SEC teams are East of JerryWorld?
Hint: ALL OF THEM

There is no way, no how, the SEC will move its championship game to Texas, where any of the possible 14 teams would have to drive west, most at a great distance, to play the game. Not going to happen.

The Last Democrat in Georgia November 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

“Jerry Envy”…Arthur Blank: “Jerry’s is bigger than mines…His stadium, that is…As well as his ego.”

Rationallogic November 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

If the answer to any of these is yes, then it’s probably worthwhile.
• Does the GWCC or the city get any cut of the revenues in return for their contribution?
• Does Arthur & Co. get all the revenues from ALL events including concerts, convention uses of the new stadium, SEC Championship, Peach Chick-fil-A Bowl, NCAA tournaments, Monster truck shows, etc?
• Can their be a provision that the money is to be returned to the GWCC (or a large portion thereof) upon a future sale of the Falcons with the anticipated doubling of the value of the Falcons franchise?

Otherwise, Arthur and the NFL should pay for it completely. Remember that was part of the talking points the NFL used against the players during the lockout- that the environment had change and public money would be harder to come by so they had to establish a new stadium fund. If the city/or whatever authority pays a portion of the cost, then a portion of the revenues should be the payoff, even if it is everything but the NFL game revenue. That or some provision for payback upon a future sale of the team.

The Last Democrat in Georgia November 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

“There is no way, no how, the SEC will move its championship game to Texas, where any of the possible 14 teams would have to drive west, most at a great distance, to play the game. Not going to happen.”

You mean that there was no way, no how, the SEC would move its championship game to Dallas BEFORE Texas A&M joined the famed football conference and brought Texas and Jerry Jones and his Texas-sized uber-ego and mega-ambitions along with it into the fold.

Having a school and a state as wealthy as Texas A&M and the state of Texas and an owner and a city as overly-ambitious as are Jerry Jones and the city of Dallas in the fold is a definite game-changer as far as the Southeastern Conference’s tradition of holding its football championship game and basketball conference tournaments in Atlanta.

Jerry Jones and the city of Dallas themselves are both extremely envious of Atlanta’s geographic and social position at the dead-center of the college football universe as demonstrated by Jones’ continued desperate last-ditch angling for the College Football Hall of Fame to be at Jerryworld despite the seeming move forward with construction of the Hall in Atlanta.

With entities as wealthy and influential as Texas A&M (which has the largest endowment of any school in the SEC), the megastate of Texas (which has the largest population, TV market and Gross State Product of any state with a member school in the SEC), Jerry Jones (who has arguably the biggest ego, drive and ambition of any NFL owner) and the City of Dallas (a very ambitious Southern Plains city which has a very-severe case of East Coast envy in almost every way imaginable, more severe than most around these parts seem to even be aware of) now in the conference’s geographical footprint, Atlanta can no longer just automatically assume that its place as the leading city in the SEC is secure moving forward.

With the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC, Atlanta now finds itself to be directly in an unwanted facilities arms race with a couple of entities in Jerry Jones and the city of Dallas that view Atlanta as being a direct obstruction in their path to social, economic, logistical and sporting event greatness.

The powers-that-be in Dallas, led by Jerry Jones, would love nothing more than to lure the SEC Championship Game and/or the SEC Basketball Tournament away from Atlanta and put a notch on their belt against a city that they view as some kind of East Coast power that they are in a rivalry with to prove themselves as good as or better than, even if Atlanta does not necessarily always view itself in the same light as its often overlooked competitors do in Dallas.

dicecon November 29, 2012 at 11:35 am

I would like to think the Guvnur is only saying this because it “cool” to talk about a new stadium knowing that this wouldn’t happen anytime soon. At this same time, I would like to believe a new stadium would be supported if Mr. Home Dept paid for it himself with only minimal support from tax payers (such as accommodating roads, lights, pipes, etc.)

Ed November 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Why can’t Peach Pundit have an ignore list? atlanta_advocate would be first.

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

+1

Stefan November 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm

-1000

I love that guy. Seriously, the arguments he makes are ones that need to be considered, most of the time. I don’t see how he is being totally illogical here.

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

It’s not the good arguments that he makes that are the issue with me. I actually think some of the points he makes are dead on. It’s the tone and the never ending answers that drive me nuts. It’s too similar to my whining and belly-aching. Hits a little too close to home to think that I’m a pompous jabroni, too.

Oh well. Go Dawgs.

cheapseats November 29, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I avoid Atlanta as much as possible. I’ve visited more than 50 major cities in the USA and abroad and Atlanta is my least favorite by far. Still, I’m only about 50 miles from it so, I have to go into it sometimes and actually choose to go there sometimes if there is some really interesting sports or entertainment.

I’m not trying to tell y’all in Atlanta what to do but I must say The Dome is a miserable place in which to spend several hours. It feels more like a cave than any indoor stadium or arena I’ve ever been in and the air in there is like bad “airplane air”. It’s just a yucky place all around. I won’t go back in there. And, that’s something that Atlanta needs to consider ’cause I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who feels that way about it.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

The market says otherwise. Look at StubHub’s prices for Saturday’s game. There’s plenty of folks who want a seat in the Dome.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

And AP Reporter Kate Brumback just tweeted that she’s watching people already showing up to tailgate for tonight’s Saints game.

Three Jack November 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

That was me early tailgating. What an atmosphere with all the crazy Saints fans, always a blast no matter the stadium.

While I would love an outdoor stadium again in Atlanta, the Dome is only 20 years old. I’m not a huge fan of the place, but it is an adequate facility and provides a big home field advantage when fans decide to get loud like last night (and the SEC Championship where the noise level is always high throughout the entire game).

If the Falcons want to schedule a few games in an outdoor stadium, work a deal with UGA.

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Just a quick question…in the article yesterday on GDP, wasn’t there a lament that the “I” in the formula was both lacking and not easily created by increasing Government spending.

Wouldn’t re-directing $300M in government spending (“G”) (key point…this isn’t new government spending because the same money is already paying Dome bonds) in order to generate $700M in New private investment (which, btw, results in a semi-public building that covers all of the expenses through revenues of the GWCC and COP which otherwise would have to come from taxes) be the exact type of economic decision we should want our government to make?

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Funny thing about that. Those numbers are net. So when you build one stadium (+1BN), but then you tear down the old one (-1BN), you don’t have any new “I” in that equation. But you do have a billion dollars less than when you started.

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Respectfully, I’m not sure that is the right way to do the calculation. The money spent on the construction of the Dome doesn’t go away. It has already been spent. That would be like saying buying a new car doesn’t really count because all you are doing is replacing the old car. Or spending on a new bridge isn’t really new spending because you have to tear down the old bridge.

I’m not trying to get into a winner-take-all argument like some posters. Just asking the questions.

BTW- to your point about the SEC Championship game…the contract b/w the SEC and the GWCC runs through 2017. I can only imagine that there will be stiff competition for the game from New Orleans, Nashville, and Dallas. People don’t come to see the Dome, they come to see the games on the field. The question isn’t “Is the Dome good enough for football, the final four, etc.?” ; that question is in a bubble and ignores the marketplace.

The real question is “Is the Dome going to be good enough to keep football, the final four, etc. in the face of more competitive bids from cities and states that have built new stadiums?” That’s a good question…but the NFL commish is already on record as saying the Dome isn’t getting Super Bowl but a new stadium would..I’d imagine that losing the SEC Championship or the Final Four is a more likely scenario without a new stadium. Agree or disagree?

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Disagree. We’re not getting a Super Bowl because we aren’t a warm weather city. We’ll get one, and only one, if we build a new stadium, because that’s how the NFL operates. “Atlanta” is really the product for the SEC Championship and the Final Four. You might even make the argument if the new stadium is off the GWCC campus, there’s less liklihood of keeping some of those events because they don’t have the proximity to convention space.

Regarding your calculation on GDP Investment, you say the money doesn’t go away because it has already been spent. But the money to build the current dome has already been spent too, and for it we have a nice piece of functional and operational infrastructure. If we follow through with this plan, it goes away. If we took the same tax dollars and used federal matching funds, we could have the Georgia Dome AND a beltline, or a new reservoir for the City of Atlanta (being pushed by Marvin Arrington Jr. via Twitter), or….

The point is, regardless how you look at it, from a GDP perspective this is like taking $1BN and setting it on fire. Unless, the city somehow values slightly nicer luxury suites as a public good worth an extra Billion. That’s hard to justify unless your name is Arthur Blank.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm

nicer luxury suites and “personal seat licenses”

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

“we have a nice piece of functional and operational infrastructure.”

What’s the function? If it is to watch football, fine. Completely functional.

That’s the rub here…that’s not the function, is it? The function of the Dome is to secure leases and licenses for tenants and events that (a) pay the operating costs of the Dome; (b) pay the operating costs of the GWCC ; and (c) attract people to attend the events at the Dome in order to generate tourism revenue at hotels, concessions, etc.

Things that make money are generally things that people (and cities) will compete for. Thus while the Dome may be fine for watching football, it isn’t functional if it can’t keep an NFL tenant or attract a Final Four. San Antonio is an awesome destination for conventions. They hosted 3 Final Fours in the 90s and 00s. They were the only city in Texas to win a bid. Now they are out. Replaced by Dallas and Houston (2x). The Middle Georgia Raceway died after it lost NASCAR. I’m sure it was ‘functional’ as a race track, but it wasn’t ‘functional’ as a self-sustaining entity or attraction. AFL, the High School championship game, Professional Ultimate Frisbee, and Lingerie Football aren’t keeping the lights on at the Congress Center or the Dome.

Anyway, comparing how much public money has been put into new stadiums in each city over the last 20 years, 30% is actually a low contribution. I just find it hard to spin this as greed vs. need.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

“or attract a Final Four”? Really? We’re hosting the thing this year man.

Charlie November 29, 2012 at 3:46 pm

Again, you and I are in circular discussion. I love the fact that we’re back to “The GWCC will lose money” because when this argument started, you were all for this Dome remaining as part of the GWCC and a second, open air stadium was to be constructed.

That this talking point has come a full 180 is proof that the discussion really is all about Arthur getting a new toy, and the facts needed to support that can be chosen and disgarded as needed.

bgsmallz November 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Check the comments. I’ve always said that the open air stadium was capital S, Stoopid, and a negotiation tactic. Like moving the stadium to Doraville.

I’m not arguing that the GWCC loses money; I’m saying that based upon the public numbers released by the GWCC, the GWCC is in the red. They cover those losses with Falcons money. I’m pretty sure that’s a fact based on this projection of revenues for the Dome and the GWCC with and without the Falcons during the lockout. http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2011/05/31/ga-dome-to-lose-15m-if-nfl-strikes.html?page=all

Anyway, concede the circular argument and agree to only have it again when I can attend a road stop and have beers so that circular arguments not only are the norm, but somehow make sense. Go Dawgs.

David C November 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm

For the purpose of calculating GDP, bgsmallz is right. We can build, destroy and build a new stadium over and over and it will have a new increase in GDP each time, as regards the actual building of the stadium. You still have to hire the same construction workers, purchase new concrete and steel, etc. Those workers and construction supply companies will still take that money and spend it on other goods in the broader economy. It’s as Keynes mentioned in the depression: Hiring unemployed workers to dig and then fill in ditches would stimulate the economy. But in such circumstances we can do better than to fill in holes, we can invest in the kind of infrastructure that fuels long term growth, like we did with the TVA, WPA, PWA, CCC, USHA, REA and others.

As part of wider growth considerations in GDP, Charlie’s right. While the annual impact of Project Explode-a-Dome would be continual, a far better use of the investment would be to build infrastructure projects that provide positive externalities to growth. A stadium, by itself, doesn’t have that great a positive externality to it in terms of inspiring broader economic growth (especially something like an NFL stadium, open 10 days a year). But if you took the money from Project Explode-A-Dome and instead spent it on other infrastructure projects that would boost the Atlanta economy through their positive ripple effects (a smarter transportation grid, more money for childhood and university education, etc.) in the long run Atlanta would have a much greater benefit to its GDP.

jbgotcha November 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Thank you for this. +1000

Rick Day November 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm

you just have to worry about being blinded by all the Vince Lombardi Trophies Brady and Belichick earned.

Then you outta love Smitty and Ryan, if it’s all about the coach and his Star Whitey. Yeah, here is to the great white bookends of success. Screw anyone else, either of color or not. Ownership? Shut up and write checks. WR, OL, Defense? pfft..who needs them when you got the B&B show.

One of the main reasons I detest Yankees and their team’s fans: an extremely high dose of white entitlement (No Ed, you will never EVER ‘get it’ so do not attempt). Their Gods and Masters tend to be European of descent. And the default position of ‘looking down upon others not like them’ is why we still have a South.

At least our racism is more open and therefore honest.

Ed November 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

wat.

Rick Day November 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Also, I agree. There is nothing wrong with the Dome. Zero. This is a city driven ego piece. If a new stadium is built I’ll go to the games. If it is not built, I’ll go as long as the Falcons play there.

But I’ve seen perfectly good roads torn up for three years while one extra unnecessary lane is added. or a small bridge takes 2 years to build to replace the perfectly good bridge already there.

This is your Free Market at work, guys. Stadium, park, mall, roads, historic buildings in Atlanta. This is the base you cater to. These are the people who can no get richer unless they grow on someone else money, typically taxpayers.

This is on you, GOP voter. You set the table, now shut up and eat your spinach. You set the atmosphere, now breath the stench.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

huh? I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with the Dome and I couldnt be more against this, but i dont think this has anything to do with partisan politics.

See statements by Kasim Reed and Nathan Deal, then see statements by Mike Dudgeon and Vincent Fort.

Rick Day November 29, 2012 at 7:26 pm

when the focus of your political efforts is ‘creating jobs’ instead of ‘creating a better quality of life’, and you fall for that crap, then you are to blame for supporting the infrastructure of the Greedy.

Vincent Fort? You dare? He is not even of this planet, much less a “Democrat”. IN Georgia, everything is partisan, or steamrolled over. Period.

I stand by my comment.

Baker November 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I agree, more or less, with your first paragraph statement there, but I think this kind of straight-up corporate welfare is definitely a bi-partisan problem. Dems are definitely not innocent in the corporate welfare department.

Ed November 30, 2012 at 8:06 am

Rick Day,

I just want to say that I have literally no idea what you’re talking about or any clue how you jump to your conclusions.

This is not in reference to any specific post.

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