BRADENTON, Fla. - The Georgia Supreme Court should rescind its approval of the public financing component for the Atlanta Falcons' new $1.4 billion stadium, opponents argued in a March 26 court filing.
Justices affirmed the validation of $200 million of bonds on March 16, including the process that city officials used to approve the debt and the local hotel-motel taxes that will back the bonds.
Five residents living in neighborhoods impacted by the stadium asked the justices to reconsider their ruling, in a motion filed by their attorneys, John F. Woodham and Thelma Wyatt Moore.
The Supreme Court should vacate its decision because the court improperly used an "ultra-liberal" statutory interpretation of the state's revenue bond law to conclude that the financing is proper, the attorneys' motion said.
The law requires that the stadium's bonds be secured by revenues derived from the stadium project, and not by tax revenues that the court found to be "in connection with" the project, they argued.
The attorneys also said that the justices failed to apply the correct legal standard in analyzing the general law in Georgia that authorizes the hotel-motel tax in Atlanta and Fulton County.
The opponents have asked the court to reverse the validation order granted by the Fulton County Superior Court in May 2014. The revenue bonds are expected to be issued by Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development authority.
The eight-sided stadium - the National Football League's second-costliest venture - is under construction in downtown Atlanta next to the Georgia Dome where the Falcons currently play.
In addition to the $200 million in bond proceeds, the stadium's remaining cost will come from the Falcons, personal seat license sales, and $200 million from the NFL G-4 loan program.
The state-of-the art retractable-roof stadium will serve the Falcons and a Major League Soccer expansion team.