• Expert tallies time, costs for new Georgia Dome

    By: Jim Strickland


    ATLANTA - Consumer Investigator Jim Strickland has learned a Georgia State University economist and a leading expert on the impact of major building projects has compiled a study on a new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome and the economic impact.

    Dr. Bruce Seaman assumes building a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium to replace the dome would take three years. The total full-time equivalent jobs on site and supply vendors would hit more than 4,500.

    Total income paid to those workers would total more than $160 million, he said. The total impact to the state economy, according to Seaman's work, would total more than $400 million.

    Common Cause Georgia, which has called for more transparency in the stadium process, wants the back story on the study.

    "You need more information. What are the data and the assumptions that went into this study?" asked Common Cause board member Wyc Orr. Orr is holding a public forum on the project Monday night at Morehouse College.

    Seaman was not available for comment, but Kennesaw State University sports economist J.D. Bradbury said the issue goes beyond three years' worth of jobs.

    "The question isn't 'Is there some type of bump from a stadium?' but 'Is there a bump that we wouldn't get from some other type of government spending?' he said.

    The stadium would be the largest project using public money since the airport's $1.4 billion international terminal.

    Officials said construction there created 3,000 jobs. Passenger fees are paying for most of it. About one-third of the new stadium funding would come from visitors paying the hotel/motel tax.

    Common Cause said with public money, should come public input.

    "It's always interesting how many common-sense ideas come from the public that may have been missed by the negotiating parties," Orr said.

    Neither the Atlanta Falcons nor the Georgia World Congress Center would comment about the jobs study. The sides have been negotiating for nearly three years about a replacement for the Georgia Dome.


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