For the second time since the project broke ground earlier this year, cost projections for the construction of a new Atlanta Falcons stadium have increased, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The stadium was initially slated to cost an even billion dollars before the price was upped to $1.2 billion in April and now to $1.4 billion most recently.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank addressed the cost spike shortly after the news was released.
“We are committed to building the finest sports/entertainment facility in the United States, if not the world,” he said. “We are not going to say ‘no’ to good ideas. We have agreed to do a lot of things that have significant cost impacts to us…It’s a huge amount of money when you go from $1 billion to $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion. It’s a lot of money.”
For reference, the new stadium design includes a pinwheel-looking retractable roof and plans for the largest high-definition video board in the world. (The screen will form a full circle around the entire interior stadium and measure 63 feet tall the whole way.)
The space will also house a yet-to-be-named Major League Soccer expansion team that will begin playing in the city in 2017, the same year construction on the stadium is scheduled to complete. The NCAA has also already announced that the men’s Final Four tournament will be held at the New Atlanta Stadium in 2020.
The project is a private-public venture—the public funds for the stadium are capped at $200 million—and the team’s Chief Administrative and Financial Officer said outright that the Falcons have a “wide source of funding to support” to account for the latest cost increase.
Meanwhile, across the country, fans in Oakland are awaiting news about their own team’s near-future in that city. At the end of this season, the Raiders lease at O.co Coliseum is up and, pending NFL approval, the team will have the option to move to a new home (and city) from there.
The current and decades-old Coliseum is the home field for both the Raiders and the A’s, and the whether or not a new stadium will accommodate both teams is the major issue. Either way, the Raiders play their last home game of the season on December 21 against the Buffalo Bills. We should know soon whether or not that will be their last game ever on that field.