Atlanta mayor pushing for new stadium

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
12:26
PM ET
Falcons fans, we’ve got some news for you. Sorry, the Falcons are still silent on the free-agent front. But this is still positive.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sounds like he’s firmly behind the efforts by the Falcons to get a new outdoor stadium within the city limits.

“I know that the governor is committed to the stadium effort, that the Falcons are committed to it, and my message is real clear. We’re going to honor our commitment to be completely supportive to building a stadium. And that’s where I am.”

The Falcons already have been working on this project for a couple of years. They’ve indicated they would like the stadium to be built near the Georgia Dome.

That would be totally logical because Philips Arena and several major tourist attractions are located in that vicinity. And building a new stadium likely would bring a temporary, but very large, tourist attraction to Atlanta.

”I believe we will be awarded a Super Bowl, and I think we have the best owner (Arthur Blank) in America,’’ Reed said.

That’s all encouraging. Atlanta last hosted a Super Bowl in 2000. That week turned into a logistical nightmare when an ice storm hit the city in the days leading up to the Super Bowl and caused many problems with the surrounding events. The game itself went off without any major problems, but it was played in an indoor facility.

Would the NFL put a Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium in Atlanta after that icy experience? Well, recent history has shown a willingness to reward cities for getting stadiums built.

The Dallas area hosted a Super Bowl that was preceded by terrible weather. This year’s Super Bowl was played in Indianapolis, which will never be confused with the tropics in February. But the Cowboys and Colts both have indoor stadiums. The NFL has shown that may not matter, though. The 2014 Super Bowl will be in the New York/New Jersey area at Giants Stadium, which doesn’t have a roof on it.

All that should work in Atlanta’s favor if a new stadium is built.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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