Many of the recent opinion polls asking about “taxpayer support” for a new downtown stadium to replace the Georgia Dome have been overly negative. A new poll from Atlanta’s WXIA-11Alive News conducted by Survey USA shows a much closer level of support to those opposed, when the wording is changed from “taxpayers” to “hotel motel tax” to demonstrate funding source:
The survey of 500 adult Georgians conducted Wednesday night shows that 47 percent oppose using hotel-motel tax funds to help build a new stadium. 43 percent favor it. 10 percent are undecided.
When asked if they would support the project if it’s “the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons team playing in downtown Atlanta,” 54% supported it and 37% opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 and a half percent.
It’s clear that when the focus of the majority of taxpayers’ support is emphasized to be from City of Atlanta hotel/motel taxes, opposition fades. That’s probably why the Falcons put in all their press pieces and in a letter to season ticket holders that the hotel motel taxes would generate $300 Million for the stadium “And the Falcons will pick up the rest.” That, unfortunately, is just provably untrue.
The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center authority want an “honest” debate on this subject, and we here are attempting to help with that. It would be helpful if they would alter their communications so that the true and total cost of this project to taxpayers could be part of such an honest discussion.