Atlanta Councilman wants new stadium to fund education

Sep 11, 2012

The state of Georgia and the Atlanta Falcons reportedly are continuing talks about a new stadium. After a meeting with business leaders Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the stadium could cost more than a billion dollars.

The location of a new stadium is unknown. One city council member says the project will be worthwhile if some stadium profits go towards neighborhoods surrounding the new stadium.

City Councilman Ivory Young represents Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood. It’s right next to the Georgia Dome where the Falcons currently play. Revenue from an Atlanta hotel/motel tax could help pay for the stadium. Young says funding is an issue.

“I would have a challenge in having to justify using taxpayer dollars for this development,” said Young.

67% of people surveyed this summer for an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll don’t support spending hotel/motel tax money on the stadium.

Still, Young is warm to the idea of a new stadium.

“The latest and greatest discussions for a new site that is somewhat closer to the existing Dome appeals to me,” said Young.

Young says that’s partly because that location would be near 2 MARTA stations. Young’s support depends heavily on whether the Atlanta Falcons will use profits to support educational programs in neighborhoods wherever the new stadium is built. He says those kind of discussions with the Falcons have already started.