BRADENTON, Fla. - The Atlanta Falcons iconic new retractable-roof stadium will now become the second-costliest venture in the National Football League's history.
A new price tag of $1.4 billion was approved by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board of governors on Dec. 2.
The $200 million increase from the previous budget will not require any additional public contribution, but before the team absorbs the additional cost it is subject to approval by NFL ownership, the Falcons said in a release.
"More detailed design plans allowed us to more accurately budget the cost of the stadium," said Greg Beadles, the team's chief administrative and financial officer. "At the same time, construction costs across the board continue to increase as the economy improves and demand grows.
"Our internal and external stadium teams have thoroughly vetted every cost element of this stadium project, with an eye toward not only identifying areas for cost efficiency, but on also maintaining our two-fold vision of providing a great experience to the fans and guests who enter the building and being part of a public-private partnership that will benefit the city, region and state for years to come," he added.
Atlanta plans to issue $200 million in revenue bonds backed by a hotel/motel tax for the project, though final approval of the financing is the subject of an appeal before the Georgia Supreme Court, which held oral arguments on Nov. 2.
The remaining cost will come from personal seat license sales, $200 million from the NFL G-4 loan program, and senior debt, according to a Dec. 1 letter on the Falcon's finance plan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the team's debt advisor.
The Atlanta Falcons stadium's $1.4 billion cost is the "second-most expensive NFL stadium in history, after the $1.6 billion stadium shared by the New York Giants and Jets," according to the Internet publication Field of Schemes.
Construction on the eight-sided stadium began earlier this year. The 71,000 seat facility will be used by the Falcons and Atlanta's new Major League Soccer franchise. Completion is planned in March 2017, when the soccer team will begin it first season of play.
When the new stadium opens, the Georgia Dome where the Falcons currently plan in downtown Atlanta will be razed.