Tough Questions for Atlanta officials on plans for new stadium - CBS46 News

Tough Questions for Atlanta officials on plans for a new stadium

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Monday to discuss plans for a new stadium.

"Today's meeting with the governor and the mayor was intended to bring them up to date on where we are and make sure we answer any questions they have," said Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The state's plan for a retractable roof stadium would cost more than $950 million.

Officials said the hotel motel tax will cover up to $350 million.

The Falcons have said they will pay the rest.

"What this is a public private partnership where the public is making an investment in a facility that will help this community into the future attract greater events," said Goodell. 

But what about infrastructure costs not included in the stadium price tag?

CBS Atlanta reporter Bernard Watson asked Reed Tough Questions about that dollar figure. 

"So how much will it cost to do those things in conjunction with the new stadium?" Watson asked.

"We won't know until we have an agreement," Reed said.  

"You say you don't know the cost, but the Falcons and the state are looking at two different locations, surely you have to have an idea about the price don't you?" Watson asked. 

"No, I really won't guess at that until we select a site," Reed said.  

Monday evening on the campus of Georgia Tech, talks of a new stadium centered around the cost as well.

Tech students were invited to listen in on a panel discussion surrounding the proposed new Atlanta Falcons stadium.  The event was organized by the Student Planning Association of the School of City and Regional Planning as an annual event called World Town Planning Day.

Republican state Rep. Mike Dudgeon was on the panel. "The hotel motel tax of Atlanta is already on the table. I want to make it clear no other tax paper money resources should be allocated to the project,"Dudgeon said.

The Rev. Anthony Motley told the audience, "The wealth should be shared since a mega stadium would drain resources from businesses already in the community."

Tech student Margaret Carragher liked what she heard.

"I thought the most initiative ideas came from the Revered and Dr Flowers. I hadn't really thought about putting into any contract with the stadium for things to go directly to the community," Carragher said.

A nonprofit government watchdog group, Common Cause, said the mayor's response is another reason state and local officials shouldn't be in a rush to get a deal done. 

"When the governments themselves are admitting that there are substantial unknowns in this entire deal, that by itself tells us we need to slow down, develop that information, put it out to the public for public analysis and comment and input before it goes any further," said Wyc Orr, with Common Cause. 

State officials and the Falcons said they hope to reach an agreement by early January.

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