Atlanta trounced everlasting rival New Orleans on Tuesday to lay claim to Super Bowl LIII in 2019, igniting talk of economic benefits that could jumpstart new downtown hotel(s) and possibly new businesses.
But there were no parades. No champagne in the streets. One trusted local economist basically said, "Frankly, NFL, I don't give a damn."
For those keeping score at home, the Atlanta Falcons' new intergalactic origami has been something of a mega-event magnet lately. It's been key in attracting a trifecta of major sporting contests — The College Football Playoff National Championship (2018), The Super Bowl (2019), and The Final Four (2020) — that should make for a buzz-worthy end of this decade in ATL.
But the coliseum will cost at least $1.4 billion, a good chunk of which is coming from tax coffers. As the AJC reports, the Metro Atlanta Chamber pegs the economic impact of the Super Bowl alone at $400 million, which that economist (and others) call wildly optimistic.
Beyond the monetary boon, the Super Bowl will showcase Atlanta with two weeks of hoopla like few events not called The Olympics can. In a press release, Falcons' owner Arthur Blank giddily predicted Atlanta's Big Game will be "the most walkable Super Bowl ever" because, in part, downtown and a large radius around it have "truly transformed since (the city) last hosted the Super Bowl in 2000."
So, all things consider, how do you feel to be Super Bowl recipients once again, Atlanta?