Welcome to the Atlanta Stadiums Q&A. Click make a comment to ask your question. Please note that questions are going through moderation so you won't see yours populate right away. Thanks!
Hope you had a chance to read our report on the skyrocketing cost of stadiums. If you have comments or questions about any aspects of the Braves and Falcons stadium deals – costs, taxpayer money, PSLs, ticket prices, designs, whatever – please join in.
This is Dan K. Welcome to the chat. Let's begin.
The county will issue up to $397M in bonds for construction and pay $35 million over 30 years for maintenance. Then there's the issue of the pedestrian bridge over I-285. Final price for that not known yet.
The public cost of the Braves stadium is $368 million in bonds and another $35 million for capital maintenance over 30 years. Of that, the Braves will make $6.1 million in annual rent payments that will be used to help pay off the debt. Those costs will not go up. However, associated costs, such as constructing the pedestrian bridge over I-285 and operating the circulator bus around the Cumberland area, are additional costs that aren't in that budget.
The Braves must let the city know by Dec. 31 of this year whether they will exercise an option to extend Turner Field lease. The lease provides for extensions in five-year increments. So, yes, if for some reason the Braves needed a shorter extension, there would have to be a negotiation.
Robert M.: Attendance typically rises in the first two or three years in a new stadium, then often levels off unless the team is winning. As for correlation between new stadiums and winning, I've never seen a study on that. Player payrolls do tend to rise in new stadiums, although Braves haven't indicated how much they plan to increase theirs in 2017.
Robert, I'm sorry but I don't have the statistics as they related to winning in new stadiums. I can say generally that new facilities perform very well in terms of attendance, because naturally fans are curious about the new stadium and want to
see it. The Braves will also have the mixed-use facility, which should prime fans' curiosity even more.
Robert M.: One more thing occurs to me about your question regarding correlation between winning and new stadiums. Atlanta's only major-league sports championship was won in a 30-year-old stadium (Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1995).
I think we missed the question about when will we know the real cost of the Braves stadium: The budget is $622 million, although the Braves have said they might add $50 million to the budget, specifically for parking. Since then, the Braves have purchased an additional piece of property, I believe about 9 acres, which they say will be largely dedicated to parking. The team hasn't said what they paid for the land, and we won't know from the public record until they close on the property next year. Those are the construction costs. There are other costs, as mentioned before, related to the bridge, circulator, public safety, road improvements and more that aren't directly related to the Braves project but are being done now b/c of the Braves impact on
JW: I don't know that an economic impact comparison has been done on new stadium vs. Georgia Dome. In terms of events in the new stadium vs. the Dome, biggest difference is that the new stadium also will be home to an Major League Soccer team.
I think it's also fair to say that the fancy new dome will also be a contender for a Super Bowl, which Atlanta hasn't seen in a while, the Final Four and other big-time sports events. I'm sure they'll also try to fill the venue with concerts, monster truck rallies and the like, much as the Dallas Cowboys have done with AT&T Stadium.
So there will likely be more activity than in the Georgia Dome.
Atlanta will be bidding for College Football Playoff championship game in first year in new stadium (2017 season), and for Super Bowl as early as Feb. 2019. NCAA already has awarded 2020 Final Four to the stadium. Of course, the Georgia Dome has hosted Final Four three times, too.
Barney: The Georgia Dome will be demolished as soon as the new stadium is completed. Probably around March/April 2017. The plan is to turn much of that spot into parking for the new stadium and also likely to build a major hotel on part of it.
I doubt prices will be reduced for the 7,700 club seats for which PSLs already are on sale. But PSL prices haven't been announced yet for the remaining seats in the building, and those will be less, although Falcons won't say how much. I too have heard from many season-ticket holders who are concerned that they will be priced out of the prime seats where they are accustomed to sitting.
I've never heard that discussed as an option. In fact, when first announcing the move, Braves officials noted that the new site still has an Atlanta address and said that was important to them.
JB: Not happening. Team's plan is to remain Atlanta Braves.
TGP: Some ticket prices already have been set. Those are for club seats in the lower and mezzanine bowls. Those range from $325-385 per game. Prices haven't been announced for any other seats yet. Probably will be announced when PSLs for other seats go on sale later this year.
TGP: I know your question was about Falcons tickets, but I'll also note that the Braves will start selling season tickets in the new stadium next month. So that will be our first indication of pricing there.
Chamwa: Yes, I agree, there's clearly a lot of concern about PSLs throughout the building. Bottom line is the Falcons have said they plan to require a PSL for EVERY seat sold as a season ticket, even though they have set prices only for the 7,700 seats at the $10,000-$45,000 levels.
Chamwa: I think it's fair to say that PSLs and and higher ticket prices come hand-in-hand with these new facilities. It's why Tim and I did the story. Also fair to note that Blank has said there will be tickets that are more affordable in the new facility. We'll see.
JD: I think SEC Championship game ticket sales will remain pretty much as they are now. SEC controls those tickets, although there is some provision for club-seat PSL holders to have access to buy them.
Bill B.: The plan is for the new stadium to have artificial turf. And to keep Georgia Dome "legacy events," inlcuding GHSA games, in the new stadium.
The Dallas Cowboys have the same turf, with shredded tires as a base. Officials there told me they could host their version of the high school championships on a Friday, a college game on a Saturday and the Cowboys on Sunday. Each night has a different field.
As for projected lifespan of stadiums, the history of Atlanta pro-sports venues clearly is no more than 30 years (20 in the case of Turner Field and 25 in the case of the Georgia Dome). Both Braves and Falcons will have 30-year leases in their new stadiums.
JW: There has been no final word on what will become of Turner Field property.
A professor quoted in our story told me that he believes this generation of stadium, particularly in the NFL, won't be replaced as quickly -- that they are building into the designs the ability to upgrade the facilities because they are so expensive now to construct.