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Costs, free seats detailed in updated stadium agreement

7:02 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, Ga -- The project to replace the Georgia Dome would include more than mere construction, as outlined in a new Memorandum of Understanding released Thursday.

It's well known that the construction of the structure would include 800 million dollars from the Atlanta Falcons, plus 200 million from the state hotel motel tax, collected from visitors to Atlanta hotels. But the hotel motel tax collections would likely continue, even after that 200 million is collected.

MORE | Continuing coverage of new stadium deal

In addition to that, the agreement refers to a "waterfall" of surplus hotel motel tax money that would spill into the new stadium.

The hotel motel tax waterfall would be used for maintenance, capital improvements, staging big events like political conventions or Super Bowl games-- and would potentially represent hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for the Falcons. The Georgia Dome used the same money the same way.

"The excess in the past has gone to the repairs of the Dome and the maintenance of the Dome," said Duriya Farooqui, Chief Operating Officer for the city of Atlanta. "And it is going to be no different in the future with the new stadium."

The agreement also calls for Invest Atlanta, the city-backed agency which will issue the construction bonds, to get an unspecified number of "premium" seats at the new stadium.

"The World Congress Center has certain rights and access which are very clearly defined. And we thought it was fair for Invest Atlanta, as the city's economic development agency, to have some opportunity to explore that," Farooqui said.

Farooqui said use of the seats would be "transparent" and subject to the city's ethics rules.

The project also includes

-$20 million to acquire the land needed for the new stadium-- including adjacent church property-- paid for by the Falcons.

- $50 million in infrastructure improvements paid for by the Falcons.

- $15 million for surrounding neighborhoods paid by the Arthur Blank Family foundation.

- $15 million more for surrounding neighborhoods from the Westside Tax Allocation District.

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