• Group demands public input on stadium deal


    ATLANTA - If the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium is approved, $300 million in local and hotel taxes could be used to pay for the billion-dollar project, which has one group urging fans to "rise up" against the plan.

    Alan Schuman has been a season ticket holder for three decades.

    "I've been here forever. Before the Dome, to Fulton County Stadium, (you) couldn't fill up. You drank hot cider and whiskey," he told Channel 2's Amanda Cook, who spoke to fans at the stadium.

    "The people with the new stadium need to be more in touch with the fans and get their opinions because we're the ones who pay for parking, amenities and tickets," added Schuman.

    But now, like many other fans, Shuman said he's back out in the cold when it comes to the negotiations over a new stadium.

    Negotiations are under way between the Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center for a new retractable roof stadium.

    "The deal is almost done and there has been no public input on it," said William Perry, executive director of Common Cause Georgia.

    The stadium could come with a $1 billion price tag.

    Roughly one-third of that cost could come from taxpayers by way of the hotel motel tax.

    "So somebody should ask the public, 'Is that OK with you?"

    Perry's group is passing out fliers today to Falcons fans trying to garner support for a more public discussion on the new stadium deal.

    "Whether people are for the new stadium or against it, we want taxpayers to raise their voices up and be heard," Perry said.

    Shuman said he hopes people do rise up because he fears a new stadium likely means higher ticket prices.

    "Sooner or later, they're going to price me out of it," he said.

    Common Cause Georgia is holding a public forum to discuss the new stadium on Nov. 26 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Morehouse College's Sale Hall Auditorium. Click here for more information.


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