Falcons CEO would consider a move to Atlanta suburbs


Falcons owner Arthur Blank is an Atlanta guy. He's invested in the city and wants his football team within its borders.

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The organization, however, wants a new stadium and will entertain a move to the suburbs if that's what it takes.

Falcons president and CEO Rich McKay met with the Atlanta city council on Wednesday and reiterated the team will not renew its lease at the Georgia Dome when it expires in 2017.

"We just don't believe it makes any sense," McKay said, according to FoxSportsSouth.com's John Manasso.

The Falcons negotiated a deal for a $948 million stadium with a retractable roof that must be approved by the city, Manasso reported. Various reports put the city's contribution between $200 million to $300 million. A new facility would put Atlanta in the running to host its first Super Bowl since 2000 and be able to continue to host premier sporting events such as the NCAA Final Four, SEC football championship and the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

There are parts of the deal the Falcons object to, McKay explained, but Blank wants to stay in the city proper. One of those are operational and maintenance costs that fall to the team. The retractable roof alone is estimated to cost at least $4 million per year.

"That's just a reality as our lease is going to end and we could do it for a lot less cost," McKay said. "I hope you understand we have tried to make it an opportunity for Atlanta. ... It's not a demand-or-else project."

The city would finance through bonds funded from a hotel/motel tax increase.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.