Georgia Dome (Getty Images file)
ATLANTA -- About half the Georgians surveyed in a new statewide poll indicate that they would support public funding for a new retractable-roof football stadium. The new stadium would replace the Georgia Dome.
The survey of 500 adult Georgians conducted Wednesday night shows that 47 percent oppose using hotel-motel tax funds to help build a new stadium. 43 percent favor it. 10 percent are undecided.
When asked if they would support the project if it's "the only way to keep the Atlanta Falcons team playing in downtown Atlanta," 54% supported it and 37% opposed. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 and a half percent.
Previous polls have shown overwhelming opposition to the project. This is the first poll to ask specifically if respondents would support use of the hotel-motel tax, which is collected only from people paying for hotel rooms in metro Atlanta.
The billion-dollar stadium project would use $300 million in hotel-motel tax money. The remainder of the construction project would be funded by the Falcons, although the city of Atlanta would pay for expensive infrastructure improvements around the project. The city also collects a portion of the hotel-motel tax.
The stadium would be the property of the state, which would collect annual rent from the Falcons. The Falcons would reap concession revenue from all events at the new stadium.
Falcons officials have said that if the project isn't approved, the team will fund construction of an open-air stadium outside of downtown Atlanta.
The plan would need approval from the legislature. Current law allows the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to borrow up to $200 million from hotel-motel tax funds. The legislature would need to raise the cap to $300 million in order to complete the project.
Metro Atlanta respondents support the project slightly more than those outstate. Liberals and moderates support the project more than those identifying themselves as conservative.
To read the complete results, click here.