The need-a-new-stadium wheels did not start turning with the inspiring year that was the Atlanta Falcons‘ 2012 season, but the speed of those wheels was certainly increased by it. The Atlanta City Council’s 11-4 vote approving the stadium-financing resolution Monday night has all but made the new stadium a certainty.
Or has it?
The Georgia Dome is twenty years old. Aging? Yes. Worthy of being unceremoniously torn down to make way for a new, bright, shiny stadium worthy of a new, bright, shiny Super Bowl future?
Not necessarily, but maybe.
There is plenty to be said for preserving historical landmarks, and this safeguarding wasn’t much taken into account when building the Dome. A new stadium does offer the possibility to make amends for the wrongs done when the Dome was built. A chance for needed downtown revitalization brings with it needed jobs as well. Renaissance done correctly would bring more people into the new area, to the new stadium…and with them comes their money. But the cost, the true cost, remains unknown.
The factoring-in of hotel taxes notwithstanding, the price will be passed down to the consumer, i.e., the fans who attend the games, the curious who come to investigate the newly restored area surrounding the stadium. Do they realize now what is coming later? Will they realize what was sacrificed in terms of communities and benchmarks to make way for their coming? With today’s economy on the downturn, how cost-effective will this be? Can the payoff counteract the consequences?
Questions? Many. Definitive answers? Few.
The powers-that-be of the city and the doyenne of the Falcons are very confident in the feasibility of their decision. Time alone will tell; hopefully the actuality will be positive for all involved.