The Atlanta Falcons have received a loan worth $200 million from the National Football League to go towards a new stadium. This loan will cover approximately one-fifth of the cost of the stadium, which is anticipated to cost in the ball park of $1 billion to build. Team owner, and Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank is expected to shoulder much of the rest of the cost of the stadium project, alleviating the city of Atlanta and its residents from having to take on a financial burden to update the Falcons facilities from the existing Georgia Dome. Only $200 million of the cost will be dependent on public bond money.
Current plans call for the new stadium to become the official home of the Atlanta Falcons starting in the 2017 season. The state-of-the-art facility will also serve purposes such as concerts and other large scale events. Upon the completion of this project, the Georgia Dome which opened in 1992, will be demolished.
Although the facility the Falcon’s play at presently, the Georgia Dome, isn’t exactly outdated at only 21 years old, team owner Arthur Blank considers this an investment in his team’s future. He believes that “The NFL has supported new stadium construction through various means for decades, our club owners understand that investments … are important to the long-term strength of the league, and we thank them for their support.”
Arthur Blank certainly has shown an ability to invest in both the short term and long term for his team recently. A new stadium will provide the Falcon’s with a state-of-the-art facility for the foreseeable future, bringing in more fans do to the amenities that come with a modern facility. A brand new stadium will also help the city’s potential bids for hosting a Super Bowl down the road.
He has also shown that he has an eye for the short term with the roster that he has assembled this season. Sensing last season’s running back Michael Turner was aging, he cut ties with the running back and instead brought in Steven Jackson from the St. Louis Rams to shore up the running game for his prolific offense. The offensive unit he has assembled in recent years with quarterback Matt Ryan and the dynamic receiver duo of Roddy White and Julio Jones enables the team to score with anybody, at times reminiscent of the aforementioned Rams ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ era of the early 2000s.
Building a new stadium has become a popular thing for team’s to do in recent years. The New York Jets/Giants built a new stadium that the teams share, and which will play host to a Super Bowl in the near future. The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones also built an extravagant stadium that cost well over the $1 billion that the Falcons intend to spend. The 49ers are also in the process of building a new stadium, which they hope will secure them the rights to host Super Bowl L in 2016. Those four teams represent 1/8 of the league, a significant number to be building new stadiums all at once. If this many teams are doing it, the investment value surely is there, especially with the backing of the league.
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