In-depth reporting seems pretty scarce in the AJC these days, but over the weekend the newspaper got deep with the issue of the new Falcons stadium. And in publishing three separate articles on issues related to the financing, location and fan economics of the plan to build a new retractable roof stadium, it asked many of the same tough questions skeptics and opponents have been asking over the course of the rather contentious debate occurring in the public sphere as the project is discussed by Falcons management and the City behind closed doors. (A full archive of our coverage can be found here).
For those new to the issue, here's the gist of the skeptics' lament: how is the new stadium going to paid for, and will it be able to support itself; what impact will another giant, lightly-used building have on the surrounding neighborhoods; and what effect will a new home for the team have on ticket and concessions prices? There's plenty of mushiness around questions of neighborhood impact and ticket prices- indeed, those things will be difficult to determine until much later in the process. But questions surrounding the general economics of what is very likely to be a $1 billion+ project can be addressed now...and the reality of recent case studies is not favorable to supporters' argument. Not that it matters, the thing is getting built either way.