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Without a new stadium, Falcons will move (elsewhere in Atlanta)

Rich McKay

Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay stands on the sideline during warmups prior to a preseason NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)


The Falcons continue to push for a new retractable-roof venue in Atlanta. Team president and CEO Rich McKay told the Atlanta City Council on Wednesday that, absent such a deal, the Falcons will look for other opportunities in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Via John Manasso of, McKay said the Falcons have no interest in extending their Georgia Dome lease, which expires after the 2017 season.

We just don’t believe it makes any sense,” McKay told City Council regarding staying in the stadium that opened in 1992.

If sufficient public money isn’t contributed to a multi-use domed stadium with a sliding lid, the Falcons could build their own open-air venue elsewhere. “That’s just a reality as our lease is going to end and we could do it for a lot less cost,” McKay said of a possible move to one of the various communities surrounding Atlanta. “I hope you understand we have tried to make it an opportunity for Atlanta. It’s not a demand-or-else-project.”

Owner Arthur Blank prefers to stay in downtown Atlanta. A new stadium with a roof could also help lure another Super Bowl back to Atlanta.

So while the Falcons wouldn’t move to a new town, they could end up moving somewhere else before the end of the decade.