Dome Study Doesn't Rule Out New Falcons Stadium

5:41 PM, Feb 22, 2011   |    comments
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The GWCC's truck marshaling yard is one possible location for a new Falcons stadium.

ATLANTA -- Atlanta could very well become a two-stadium town.

The third phase of a study done on behalf of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which operates the Georgia Dome, concludes several "complex issues" need to be resolved in order to make a new open-air stadium work. 

However Kansas City, Mo.-based Populous found that "none [of the issues] seem out of the ordinary for a design and construction project of this magnitude and complexity."

RELATED: Read the Stadium Study

GWCC officials are considering whether a new open-air stadium for the Atlanta Falcons football team would be feasible, considering several entities still use the Dome.

The preliminary costs for the new stadium are $700 million.

"The current economy is creating a favorable climate in which to undertake a project of the significance of a new open air NFL stadium," the study said.

The GWCC's 21-acre truck marshaling yard and the 7-acre yellow lot parking area are being considered for the new stadium, the study said.

A project of this size would need at least 25 acres, the study said, and using the yellow lot and marshaling area meets that requirement.

But two other issues would need to be resolved.

First is a series of overhead transmission lines running north and south through the center of the site and along the western edge of the site, the study said. The transmission lines would need to be relocated.

Second, there is encapsulated soil on the northern side of the yellow lot, and 3.5 acres of the soil would need to be disturbed or removed during construction, the study said.

"We appreciate the process that the Georgia World Congress Center has gone through, and we obviously look forward to working with the GWCC as we continue on this journey," said Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons. "I think there's progress and this process will bring us to the right conclusions."

In a separate statement, Blank added: "We continue to have open dialogue with the Authority on a range of topics and options, with the shared goal of working toward an agreement that is in the best interests of the community, our fans and all other stakeholders involved. At this point, no decisions have been made; therefore, we will have no further public comment at this time."

GWCC officials hired Populous in August 2010 to conduct the study.

The first report looked at future development options for the entire 200-acre GWCC campus.

The second report, released eight months ago, focused on renovating the Georgia Dome, built in 1992, as an alternative to new construction.

The study also looks at maintenance of the dome for the next 20 years.


(Atlanta Business Chronicle)

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