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Mayor Reed: Atlanta, Falcons Agree on New Stadium Funding Plan

The Atlanta Falcons committed another $65 million toward a proposed downtown stadium as the team and the city unveiled agreement on several key issues Thursday, moving the project closer to a final deal.

The bulk of the money, $50 million, would go toward road, sidewalk, utility and other infrastructure work required for the new stadium, according to a “key city terms” deal announced by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The Arthur Blank Family Foundation would invest $15 million in projects aimed at boosting English Avenue, Vine City, Castleberry Hill and other neighborhoods close to the stadium.

That would be augmented by another $15 million from Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, for economic development projects in the area, according to the agreement, with that money generated from Tax Allocation District revenue.

The agreement offers financial relief to the city from infrastructure costs and is also aimed at answering calls for improvements to surrounding communities. It is subject to City Council approval and the completion of a detailed agreement between the team and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Several council members spoke highly of the proposed deal.

“We are not here just talking about a new (stadium),” member Michael Julian Bond said. “We are setting a new cornerstone for what will become the new modern Atlanta.”

Reed said it’s “our sense” that the $50 million will cover infrastructure costs associated with the stadium.

The latest terms also call for an equal opportunity plan to ensure at least 31 percent participation in design and construction by women and minority business enterprises.

The public contribution for stadium construction will be capped at $200 million, generated through bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax collection by the city of Atlanta.

“A new stadium will lead to the creation of well-paying jobs during its construction at a time when many of our friends and neighbors are seeking employment,” Reed said.

“This new stadium will also keep the city of Atlanta at the forefront of the hospitality industry in America as we pursue our goal of attracting 40 million visitors annually. It will strengthen the viability of the more than 200,000 jobs that support our tourism and convention business every single day.”

Reed and Blank were joined in City Hall by City Council members, officials with the Georgia World Congress Center, and Gov. Nathan Deal.

Read more: AJC

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