By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
September 30, 2013
Stadiums around the NFL have been in the news this last week. We start in Cleveland, where now that the Browns traded running back Trent Richardson, the City Council is worried that disenchanted fans won’t support an extension of the tax that pays for improvements at the FirstEnergy Stadium. The Council, at some point in the near future, plans to market a referendum for an extension of the sin tax that expires in 2015. Clearly, a winning team will make supporting a tax extension more palatable.
In Atlanta, the Falcons reached deals to buy two churches for $34 million, making way for the team to build its new stadium on a site just south of the Georgia Dome. The team expects to break ground on the $1 billion stadium by mid-2014, with the building scheduled to open in time for the 2017 season opener.
Finally, in Minneapolis, the Vikings can proceed with their stadium development after a small legal setback regarding the team’s owners. The $975 million stadium is being designed by renowned sports architecture firm HKS, which beat out firms including Populous, AECOM, and HNTB for the project. The number one green sports and entertainment design firm in the country, HKS previously built Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, home of two of the last three Super Bowls.