Reed Unhappy with McKay's Remarks

Feb 15, 2013

 Atlanta officials are trying to figure out how to fund a new Falcons stadium. Meanwhile, the team’s president said they might have to consider the suburbs.

That didn’t sit well with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay said  if talks over a new stadium in downtown Atlanta fail, the team will move on. 

“We would have no choice but to consider pursuing an option elsewhere in metro Atlanta,” McKay said.

McKay made his comments at a city council finance committee meeting. However, the meeting took place in the larger full city council chamber. That’s because Mayor Reed told the Atlanta Journal Constitution he wanted to have a “big, public conversation.”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who spoke at a grant announcement Friday at the State Capitol, wasn't pleased with McKay's comments.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

However, the mayor told WABE he wasn’t pleased with McKay’s remarks.

“I mean, I just didn’t think very much of the comments," Reed said, "I think that the city of Atlanta hasn’t been anything but absolutely supportive of the Falcons and the Falcons franchise, and I thought the comment was disappointing.”

When he spoke to the city council, McKay said moving to the suburbs would be a last resort.

“Please don’t let anybody say, ‘Oh, that’s a threat. Oh, I just, that’s not right," McKay said, "No, that’s just a reality of what we have to do as our lease is going to end.”

Under one scenario, Atlanta’s hotel/motel tax would fund $200 million of stadium construction costs. The Falcons would be responsible for the rest. Right now, that’s an estimated $800 million.