If Atlanta’s residents are already fatigued from the financial and transportation issues created by building two new sports stadiums in the area, they’re probably not going to like reading this.
A third one is probably on the way, and this new arena would be for the Atlanta Hawks.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Katie Leslie confirmed that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is working with the Hawks’ new ownership to scout out potential locations for the new arena, which includes the Atlanta Civic Center – a piece of land that is owned by the city and currently up for sale. Another undisclosed location has also been chosen as a potential spot for a new arena, the report added.
Then there’s always the chance that the team’s new owners opt to just give not-quite-creaky-and-old Philips Arena a facelift, which would probably be the cheapest option. But, you know, these guys don’t really care much about money, especially when they already know these projects wouldn’t require them to spend their own.
“Reed said he’s met once with the team’s new owners and repeated his willingness to consider a deal involving the use [of] public funds,” the AJC report added.
So there you go – more tax money for yet another new stadium in our fair city! And since there’s no chance the Hawks will leave our city, or even head for the suburbs as the Braves did, it’s a pretty solid bet that Atlanta will soon be shelling out nine figures’ worth of taxpayer money so the Hawks can have a new roost.
“There’s also the sticky issue of study after study showing professional sports teams don’t spur economic development – which negates most of the logic behind publicly funding stadiums, leverage or not,” said a separate NBC Sports report.
So be ready to roll your eyes when Reed and new Hawks owner Antony Ressler lock arms – whether literally or figuratively remains to be determined – and explain to the media that it’s all going to be great for generating more city money.
Ah, the world we live in.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons