If Blank’s plans for stadium fall through, why not a ‘Six Flags Dome’?
January 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 3052 views | 13 13 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank’s game plan for obtaining a new stadium to replace the Georgia Dome involves persuading the state Legislature and city of Atlanta to use up to $300 million in Atlanta hotel-motel tax revenues to help pay off bonds used to erect a $1 billion replacement stadium downtown.

Blank’s plan is reasonable, although it’s likely and proper that the state and city will push him to foot even more of the stadium cost himself, rather than expecting taxpayers to pay so much for the party.

But if no deal can be worked out on a downtown stadium, state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) has a “Plan B” in mind that would benefit both the Falcons and Cobb County. That is, build the new stadium in the Six Flags area of south Cobb. A “Six Flags Dome,” if you will.

She floated her plan, apparently off the cuff, toward the end of her two-hour town hall meeting Saturday at the South Cobb Community Center.

“Quite frankly, if the deal doesn’t work out at the state level and they are looking for somewhere to house their stadium, I would love to have it come to the Six Flags area,” Morgan said. “We would appreciate the economic development opportunity.”

The county has been exploring ways of revitalizing the area around Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park on Interstate 20, which is pocked by numerous aging apartment complexes and other rundown housing. The South Cobb Redevelopment Authority, which was recently reactivated by the Cobb Board of Commissioners, has been considering purchasing and demolishing some of those complexes, then flipping them to developers to spark revitalization. Building a stadium near Six Flags might have much the same result.

Meanwhile, if Cobb is interested in a “Plan C” for the Falcons, Marietta could consider persuading Blank to build his new stadium in the Franklin Road corridor along I-75, which is also blighted by rundown apartment complexes. But like a Six Flags site, a Franklin Road stadium would be easily accessible by interstate for most of the team’s fan base.

Blank’s push for a new stadium is still in the first quarter, so to speak, but it would behoove local officials to have their Plans B and C waiting on the bench for Blank to consider, just in case.

Do you think the Falcons would consider a move to Cobb County?


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D.G. in Clarkdale
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February 04, 2013
"The county has been exploring ways of revitalizing the area around Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park on Interstate 20, which is pocked by numerous aging apartment complexes and other rundown housing."

Sounds like bulldozers would solve a great deal of the problem. Help can be found at Yancy Brothers Caterpillar on Lee Industrial Blvd..... Maybe the braintrust(sarcasm)in Marietta, Mableton and Austell can tell me why after 40 years of neglecting South Cobb its lamenting the conditions now? Seriously, you people are an on going bad joke... a four decade long bad joke....

D.G. in Clarkdale
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February 04, 2013
Sanford Stadium in Athens is the 9th largest stadium in the nation with a capacity of 92,746. In comparison the Georgia Dome has a capacity of 74,149 which doesn't come close to getting it even in the top 25 largest stadiums in the nation. Funny thing is the Super Dome in New Orleans only has a capacity of 76,468 which doesn't get them in the top 25 either. So tell me why does it get to host so many Super Bowls???? In my mind a SUBSTANTIAL increase in the number of seats (say 15-20,000) would be the ONLY good reason for a new stadium. The only caveat besides an increase in seating capacity would be that Mayor Reed, his administration, his cronies be kept out of ALL construction, franchise, vendor talks/decisions PERIOD.

BTW Morgan is talking out of her you know what, it would be insane to move the dome to South Cobb.
cobb falls behind
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February 03, 2013
Several comments have come from smyrna puppet & have no bearing on the economic situation Cobb County finds itself in.

Cobb has bragged lower taxes as their clamed to fame for years & years- w/out bringing in any new businesses.

North Fulton, including the Alpharetta, Roswell & Alpharetta areas are booming. Now, to make the final blow to Cobb, Milton Rep., Jan Jones has proposed legislation to LOWER Fulton taxes. This proposal includes to double the homestead exemption AND exempt homes under 150,000. If this legislation wins approval,.. Cobb will NOT be able to compete in the REAL world.

It's been lying around dormant, producing nothing, while the movers and shakers are using their brains.

Also, as far as the Doraville GM Plant goes,.. see Egbert Perry's proposal. I believe the remarks are the same person that attacked MK when MK said Town Brookhaven would be built out & finished, while Smyrnas Belmont Hills continues to grow kudzoo.

GM Plant will become a mixed use,international, high tech business development!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist.
Well Well
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February 04, 2013
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know some people are just plain paranoid. I wrote the Well Well comments and I never heard of or have a clue what Town Brookhaven is. How could I write about something I never even heard of????? Paranoid are you? You are finding someone guilty that is not guilty. Whoever wrote about Town Brookhaven did not write the Well Well post about the GM plant--I did.
anonymous
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February 03, 2013
I am sure all the nice fans would love to go to the Six Flags area to be robbed, view the thuggery, and get a close p view of gang violence.
Be Careful
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February 01, 2013
One of the excuses for "needing" a new stadium is that the NFL is holding the city hostage. No more super bowls until you have a new facility.

Really?

I notice this year the game is in New Orleans, with a MUCH OLDER facility than the Ga Dome.

Second...how often are governments going to make this mistake... Build a stadium in the middle of a run down area thinking it will lead to revitalization of that area. When has that EVER worked??? The problem is a stadium is a specialized facility that isn't open Mon-Fri 9-5 and isn't a regular draw to local citizens.

You go to the event, then go home. People don't stay and hang around.

The Ga Dome has NOT started development. Turner Field has horribly failed to kick start development, after 17 years of trying.

If you want to build a new stadium, then fine. But don't pretend that it's going to be a god send to a declining area.
IdeaForToday
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January 31, 2013
How about this.....

Build a beautiful domed stadium in the existing parking lots to the north of Turner Field for the Falcons to call home.

Instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars to tear down the structurally sound Georgia Dome, spend a few dollars to remove the dome, install natural grass and make it an open air stadium. Find an investor group, contact Major League Soccer and let them know you've got a stadium just waiting to be filled with fans in one of the largest markets in America.

The parking will be reduced for the Falcons and Braves games, but people can take advantage of MARTA shuttles like they do now.

College football is huge down here and the museum will open soon. Have a College Football Hall of Fame Weekend....four teams from four major conferences battling each other in the two stadiums. Fill those hotel rooms and make a few bucks to pay for the stadiums!!!
STW12
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February 01, 2013
The Georgia Dome doesn't have the proper sight lines from the upper deck for soccer as well as not actually being able to fit a full width regulation FIFA sized field.
Timus
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January 31, 2013
Unfortunately one of the same reasons why many of us love Cobb(lower taxes) might start becoming a roadblock to growth and prosperity. The metro population is going to grow from 4 million to 6 million to 8 million and that growth is not going to stop because people in Cobb want to keep taxes at 1985 levels. The bunsiess and growth opportunites will just go elsewhere. We need to keep an open mind about how to grow revenue whether it's toll lanes or road, sales tax or some other type of fee based revenue to keep Cobb in the game......pun intended.
mk-plain stupid
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January 31, 2013
Now, the MDJ is perpetuating Rep. Morgans totally foolish suggestion to build a stadium as a solution to south Cobbs poverty & the poverty entrenched in the Fraklin Road area due to illegal alien settlement.

Does Cobb County have the 200 million matching funds? Or the infrastructure & transit?

Looks to me that the Cobb DOT can't even design a workable exit from 285 to the Galleria area.

The diverging diamonds, Marta & Chambers w/ proven results ( Fulton & Gwinnett) are eating Cobb's lunch.

Doraville's GM site, Gwinnett & North Fulton all have the power of the purse way ahead of a Cobb County pipe dream.

Maybe Cobb counties reps & elected officials needs to become competitive in the REAL world bring some JOBS to Cobb. Cobb is definitely being left out of quality relocations & expansions of tech companies, Fortune 500's & manufacturing.

Gwinnett has a proven track record proving they can lure, retain & grow business. Look at North Fulton , luring high paid blue collar jobs, companies & communities.

When there are solid choices being discussed for the stadium location, it's just foolish to suggest an investor would consider sinking a billion into non productive, rundown, low income Cobb County.

anonymous
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February 01, 2013
Once again, you have your facts all wrong. According to the latest census data, the median household income in Cobb County was $65,423. According to the same latest census data, the median household income in Gwinnett County was $63,076. Therefore, if you call Cobb County "low income," you must call Gwinnett County "lower income than Cobb." Why do you continually spew all this hatred toward Cobb County without knowing anything about facts? Facts are facts and Gwinnett has a lower median income than Cobb. Whether you like it or not. What is foolish (your adjective) is why you don't move.
anonymous
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February 01, 2013
Oh. And by the same census statistics, the median income of Fulton County is $57,582, lower than both Cobb and Gwinnett. So, the pecking order is that Cobb has the highest median income of the three; Gwinnett comes in second; and Fulton comes in third. Check your facts next time before you name-call Cobb low income, then in the same post make superlative comparisons to lower income areas.
Well Well
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February 01, 2013
Pardon me, madam. Other newspaper quote: 'But so far the hopeful suitors who’ve dreamed up plans for the 165-acre [GM] site just inside I-285 have been jolted by the reality of the property’s challenges. A high asking price, environmental questions, a soft office market and dim prospects for taxpayer funding of their plans has soured them all. Since 2008, how to redevelop the former General Motors plant has been the biggest economic development question facing Doraville.' Maybe you need to live in the REAL world.
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