Among the 10 firms vying to design the (potential, wink wink) Atlanta Falcons stadium are industry heavyweights responsible for many of the National Football League's latest mega-colliseums. They include frontrunner Populous, a Kansas City-based firm whose resume boasts the homes of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots and your very own Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports. Also in the mix: HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, a Dallas-based firm with an office in Atlanta. HKS designed two of the most recent NFL stadiums — in Indianapolis and Dallas — and both feature the retractable-roof concept the Falcons desire.
Even an NFL-associated industry like stadium design was battered by the Great Recession, so the Falcons project is seen as especially savory — and lucrative. Design fees alone could fetch 6 to 11 percent of the project's construction budget, which is about $700 million, the newspaper reports, citing the stadium's procurement director. Team owner Arthur Blank revealed that he's aggressively seeking the crème de la crème of stadium designers and builders last month, when his decade-long vision passed the first of many governmental hurdles.
A final decision on the lead architect is expected to be made in the next few weeks. Still unspecified: Whether the new stadium, if approved and funded, will rise from the Gulch area, or on a GWCC site north of the 20-year-old Dome.