Atlanta City Council votes to build new Falcons stadium

by: WSBTV.com<\/a> web staff Updated:

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ATLANTA - The Atlanta City Council has voted 11-4 in favor of the deal to build a new Falcons stadium in downtown Atlanta.

The vote came toward the end of a City Council meeting late Monday afternoon.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said earlier in the day that it is important to move forward with the new stadium project quickly so the facility will be complete by the 2017 NFL season.

After Monday's vote, Reed said he was pleased with the vote.

"We did the right thing today," Reed said. "We have a new 30-year commitment to keep the Atlanta Falcons in downtown, and folks, don't pooh-pooh that -- it's a very big deal."

The vote gives the mayor the authority to float $200 million in bonds that would be paid back by the hotel/motel tax.

The other $800 million for the project is being funded by the Atlanta Falcons and team owner Arthur Blank.

The third and final vote on the deal will come from the city's investment arm, Invest Atlanta. A spokesman said the vote is not on the agenda for Tuesday.

People from the neighborhoods surrounding the site where the stadium is supposed to be built are hoping the new stadium will bring new life into their area.

"We've been neglected and we've been without and it's time we have the opportunity to revitalize ourselves," said Yvonne Jones of the English Avenue neighborhood.

For the first time, Channel 2 Action News is getting a look at how the new stadium would fit into the area just south of the existing Georgia Dome.

Channel 2's Tony Thomas obtained documents late Monday afternoon with renderings showing how the dome will be situated in a southwest to northeast manner. The existing dome would be razed to create more parking.

Martin Luther King Drive would bend around the new stadium; Magnum and Mitchell streets would also move.

The Falcons team president, Rich McKay, watched the vote and said that with one more vote, the project will kick into high gear.

"We are a little behind, we are probably a couple of months behind, but we think we can make that up pretty quickly," McKay said.