NFL Nation: Georgia World Congress Center

It’s not a done deal yet, but it looks like the Falcons have taken a pretty big step toward getting a new stadium in downtown Atlanta.

Mayor Kasim Reed and Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced Thursday afternoon that they have agreed on some major components, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Mainly, the Falcons will invest $50 million in infrastructure costs for the stadium. The Arthur Blank Family Foundation will also spend $15 million in improvements for neighborhoods close to the proposed stadium. The city’s economic development agency, Invest Atlanta, also would commit $15 million for projects in the area.

The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority are still negotiating terms of a memorandum of understanding, and parts of the deal still would need final approval from Atlanta City Council, the GWCAA board, Invest Atlanta and the Fulton County Commission.

There still might be some potential for bumps in the road. But the latest development is yet another sign that the Falcons and the city are doing their part to make sure the team stays in Atlanta.
NEW ORLEANS -- Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he firmly believes the future of the Falcons is in Atlanta and that reports that he had been contacted by Los Angeles officials were inaccurate.

“We’re committed to Atlanta, the city, the region and the state," Blank said Friday while visiting the Super Bowl media center. “We’re making progress on our deal working with the (Georgia World) Congress Center, the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s office, the community and doing all the things we need to do to get the deal done with the city of Atlanta."

The Falcons have been working for several years to get a new stadium in downtown Atlanta. As often happens when a city is having stadium issues, rumors started circulating about Los Angeles. But Blank said they were nothing more than rumors.

“I was never approached," Blank said. “My team was never approached. If someone in Atlanta, outside of the Atlanta Falcons was ever approached, I have no idea."

Although no deal is imminent, Blank said he remains very optimistic.

“I think we’re in a good place," Blank said. “Obviously, it’s a very complicated deal and a big investment. You’re talking about not only an NFL franchise, but all the legacy events -– the opportunity to produce a facility that would compete for the Super Bowl, compete for the BCS Championship, compete for the World Cup and create a change that would be very important for Atlanta. We want to create a solution that works for everybody, and I think we’re in the process of doing that. It takes patience and time to come up with a solution that works for all the parties."

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