ATLANTA (APWAOK) — A watchdog group is launching an effort to place a ballot measure before Atlanta voters calling for the repeal of public financing for a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.
William Perry of Common Cause Georgia said Thursday it’ll be a “monumental task” to get the 35,000 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. But Perry says the effort is worth it so the public can have a say in the process.
State and city officials have signed off on the $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta. Officials estimate $200 million from public bonds will be used to build the new, retractable-roof stadium. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed issued the following statement in reaction to the plan to derail the stadium deal.
“William Perry is sacrificing the reputation of a once venerable and well-respected organization for the sake of furthering his own personal ambition,” Reed said in a statement. “His attempt to derail the stadium development is a losing proposition. The state-of-the-art facility is going to help strengthen the city’s $10 billion tourism and convention industry and the 220,000 jobs it supports, spur economic development in the surrounding neighborhoods, and keep the Atlanta Falcons in the heart of downtown for the next 30 years.”
Mayor Reed also said the stadium is a key project that will create jobs and revitalize downtown neighborhoods. The stadium is expected to be built by 2017.