Falcons, mayor agree on stadium
Atlanta's mayor and Falcons owner Arthur Blank have agreed to financing terms for a new $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium to replace...
ATLANTA — Atlanta's mayor and Falcons owner Arthur Blank have agreed to financing terms for a new $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome and keep the team's home games in the city's downtown, the two men said Thursday.
Mayor Kasim Reed said the city would provide $200 million of construction costs through bonds backed by the city's hotel-motel tax. The Falcons franchise, owned by Home Depot co-founder Arthur Blank, would provide $800 million and be responsible for construction cost overruns.
The Falcons would pay for up to $50 million in infrastructure costs not included in the construction budget and help retire the last few years of debt on the Georgia Dome, which was publicly financed entirely using the hotel-motel tax.
Also, Blank's private foundation and the city each would spend $15 million on surrounding neighborhood development.
Blank — who has built his football franchise into a perennial playoff contender — still must negotiate a detailed lease and operating agreement with the Georgia World Congress Center. That's the state agency that owns the existing dome and would own the replacement. Reed also must get the blessing of the Atlanta City Council, though several members attended the announcement in the mayor's office, as did Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.
Officials said the deal presumes the stadium would be built immediately south of the existing Georgia Dome, though that is contingent on securing adjacent property that is not yet publicly owned. A secondary site is available north of the stadium. The Georgia Dome would be demolished after the new stadium opens.
• Receiver Brian Hartline and the Miami Dolphins agreed to terms on a five-year, $30.775 million deal, ProFootballTalk.com reported. The deal includes $12.5 million guaranteed.
• Steven Jackson voided the final year of his contract with the St. Louis Rams to become a free agent, saying he wants to sign with a contender after eight straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons without a playoff appearance.
• The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms keeping kicker Rob Bironas off the free-agent market.
• The San Francisco 49ers tendered a one-year contract to restricted free-agent cornerback Tramaine Brock and signed receiver Joe Hastings to a one-year deal.
• The Denver Broncos are asking defensive end Elvis Dumervil to take a pay cut so they can create more salary-cap room for free agency. The seven-year veteran is scheduled to make $12 million in 2013.
• New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster and center David Baas have reworked their contracts for the 2013 season.
• The San Diego Chargers released linebacker Takeo Spikes in their first big move under new general manager Tom Telesco.
• Shawne Merriman, a three-time Pro Bowl pass-rusher who missed 30 games the past three seasons because of injuries, said he's retiring.
• Longtime Colts center Jeff Saturday signed his final contract with Indianapolis and then retired.