An expected vote to issue bonds for the Atlanta Falcons stadium
project was delayed Tuesday, but a top official said it could still happen this week.
The board of Invest Atlanta, the city's development authority, had been expected to vote on whether to issue bonds backed by city hotel-motel taxes to pay for a portion of stadium construction. The City Council approved the deal with amendments Monday night.
Invest Atlanta President and CEO Brian McGowan said the late approval by City Council left little time to brief the development authority's board on those amendments before its Tuesday morning meeting on the matter. McGowan said a vote could be taken at a regular meeting Thursday and would likely happen no later than two weeks from now. He called the delay "procedural."
The deal among the Falcons
, the city and the Georgia World Congress Center would have Invest Atlanta issue bonds for $200 million of the estimated $1 billion in construction costs. The amount of hotel-motel taxes committed would eventually climb far beyond that because a percentage of the tax is earmarked by law for stadium
expenses through 2050.
Before Monday's late vote --- considered the most pivotal political decision on the project --- the City Council added five amendments. One stipulated that no city general-fund dollars will be used on the project or related infrastructure. Another said Invest Atlanta will facilitate a "community benefits" plan to help revitalize adjacent neighborhoods before issuing bonds. And the Falcons will increase their commitment to off-site roadwork and related costs from a maximum of $50 million to $70 million if needed.
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has committed $15 million toward community development around the retractable roof stadium, to be built on one of two sites near the Georgia Dome. Invest Atlanta is expected to match that with money from Tax Allocation District revenue.
The Invest Atlanta community plan amendment stirred much debate on the council floor, with wording changes made as members sought to put more "teeth" into it.
hope to play in the new stadium
in 2017; the Dome would be demolished.
Staff writer Tim Tucker contributed to this report.