The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has published a report on what to do about the Dome's future.
An expanded Georgia Dome could have a retractable roof, offer twice the current number of club seats and add thousands more parking spaces to the 5,500 it has now.The price tag: $349 million for construction costs and $200 million for a retractable roof. Design costs, project fees and parking decks could boost that number anywhere from 10 percent to almost double.
A $550 million cost isn't that far off from what it would take to build an entirely new stadium. Arizona's retractable-roof University of Phoenix Stadium, named by Business Week one of the world's 10 most impressive stadiums, cost at least $100 million less than the GWCCA's estimate -- and it features similar capacity, a retractable natural grass playing field, and variable event accommodations, plus it was built in a better economy.
You and I are no stadium architects, other than our SimCity 2000 experience, but you'd think the GWCCA could come up with a more attractive figure here, as they're trying to convince the Falcons to stay on the Congress Center site. Revamping an old stadium for more than the price of a new stadium would seem to be a head-scratching decision.