Mayor Reed says the buck stops with him in new Falcons stadium deal

9:04 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed after his 4th State of the City Speech
  • Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons
  • Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed jokes during re-election announcement at 4th annual State of the City speech

ATLANTA, Ga. -- To use an analogy, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made it clear he wants to buy the car, but he's just not sure yet what to pay for it.

Only minutes after surprising his State of the City speech audience by announcing he'll seek a second term, Reed also made it clear Wednesday that he will take a lead role in pushing a brand new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

Not only that, but he offered to let the success or failure of the deal fall squarely on his shoulders during his re-election campaign this year.

"The buck stops with me and so if we're successful in addressing this, the repercussions from that, I think, are going to fall with me and I'm comfortable with that," Reed told reporters after his speech.

Calling for bipartisan cooperation, he compared the $1-billion project to the city's other past successes, such as the 1996 Olympics and the world's busiest airport.

The mayor believes the city can't afford to lose the Falcons, but added that he is still being briefed and hasn't made up his mind if the city should pay $200-million or $300-million of the cost in hotel motel tax proceeds.

Some predict it could end up costing much more.

To him, it's all in the deal.

"It is in the interest of the city and this state to find something that's reasonable; I am listening intensely to taxpayers though, so we're trying to find a reasonable arrangement," he added.

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