So, Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons professional football team wants a new stadium. That is fine as long as he pays for it. But that is not exactly the plan. He is asking the city of Atlanta to pay a portion of the cost.
Currently the Falcons play in the Georgia Dome which is owned by the State of Georgia. Blank pays rent to use the facility, and that is proper. Please note that the Georgia Dome is only 20 years old.
Mr. Blank is not satisfied with that arrangement. He wants his own stadium, and he is willing to put up a sizable amount of the price for a new building with a retractable roof, but not all the money. He is asking the city and state to contribute a significant amount of tax money for the project. The problem is that he would still be the owner, not the city or state. Now that is a problem. If the people’s money is used, even partly, then the people should have a share in ownership.
The supporters of the new building point out that the city would benefit from its construction and their portion of the cost will come from a hotel/motel tax. The people of Atlanta would not be directly financing the project.
Now, my problem is the idea of Mr. Blank being given public money, from any source, for a privately owned for profit commercial building. If his company is to be the owner and keep any profit minus taxes then they should pay the entire price.
I do not understand why they want a new stadium anyway. The current structure is only 20 years old and is clearly adequate for their purposes. I would guess that it is an ego thing. Other people have more impressive stadiums and Mr. Blank wants one as good as theirs. If that is his motivation, then again, let him pay for it.
One hundred and fifty years ago this nation split apart and fought the nation’s most bloody war over the question of applying a tax on one region to benefit another. It was called the Morrell Tax, and was designed to pay for infrastructure to benefit Northern businessmen at the expense of Southern farmers. And you thought it was about slavery! The pro tax side won and we the people have been subjected to even more tax and spend projects ever since.
If Mr. Blank is convinced that he can make even more money with an expensive new stadium, he should have every right to build it. The planning and zoning people should bend over backwards to clear the way for the building. But taxpayers money, from any source, should not be used. It would be Mr. Blank’s building. Let him pay for it.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is email@example.com. His website can be accessed at http://www.frankgillispie.com/gillispieonline.
02/25/13 at 09:29 PM
When this whole talk of a new stadium started I was like didn't Atlanta build the Dome for them to play in? BUT now it's not good enough he now wants a NEW Stadium with a retractable roof? Mr. Blank is holding the Falcons hostage BECAUSE he thinks Atlanta will do anything to keep the Falcons in Atlanta? BUT I heard a couple places where he was talking about moving the Falcons too have said THEY DON'T WANT THE Falcons in their town? He did this same "CRAP" before and Atlanta built the Dome, NOW he is doing it again AND if Atlanta gives in and builds this new Stadium with a retractable roof AND they could even put a phone at every seat where you could pick it up and place your order and someone would bring it to you AND in a couple years he will start this same "CRAP" again? Mr. Blank needs to "SHUT UP, SIT DOWN" and enjoy what he has now?
Is he going to keep paying rent for a new stadium if he gets it? I would ask him and if he said yes I would tell him IF he does get a new stadium THE RENT JUST WENT UP. If his answer was NO I would tell him the city of Atlanta hates to see him go BUT BYE.
Redneck Football Fan
02/26/13 at 10:43 AM
The small amount of money that won't come from Mr. Blank will come from hotel / motel tax dollars paid by visitors to Atlanta. So the money will not be coming from us, it will be coming from those carpetbaggers in Atlanta motels, which any good Southern football fan can wholeheartedly support!
02/27/13 at 08:00 PM
Redneck Football Fan- So does that mean the hotel/ motel rates will go up? AND Mr. Blank is going to want the stadium NOW he AIN'T going to want to wait until the collect enough money to build it out right? He's going to want Atlanta to front the money? I think IF Atlanta puts ANY of the money in for this stadium then the city of Atlanta WILL have part ownership in the stadium?
Hey I just had another thought. You say it won't cost taxpayers anything. That ALL the money will come from a hotel/ motel tax from all the foootball fans that come to Atlanta and stay at the motels? SO that will mean THEY will be part owners of the new stadium? SO are they still going to have to pay to see the games? OR even get a reduced price ticket? Because I don't think it's fair to charge an owner FULL price?