May 25, 2013

Contracting deal reached for new Falcons stadium

— ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons, the state and city officials agreed on a deal Friday to ensure that at least 31 percent of construction awards for the team’s new stadium are awarded to minority- or women-owned firms.

Including minority and women-owned firms in the design and construction of the $1 billion, retractable roof stadium was a stipulation of council members when they decided to use bonds backed by $200 million in hotel/motel taxes to fund construction.

Councilman Ivory Lee Young Jr. tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he’s encouraged by the franchise’s commitment to diversity, saying the inclusion is a meaningful engagement of minority and female business owners.

“From the inception of this project, we’ve always stated that we had a commitment to equal opportunity,” Falcons president Rich McKay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “And this lays out a thorough and transparent process not just for us, but for our contractors to follow.”

As part of the deal — named the “Equal Business Opportunity Plan” — the dollar value of the contracts, not the number of contractors working on them, will count toward the 31 percent goal.  

City and state officials will audit the franchise for compliance with the deal and contractors will be asked to provide quarterly reports detailing the work they’ve done.

Any data that is intentionally or recklessly misreported will result in a firm being fired, according to the contract.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority governing board recently agreed to a maximum $35 million design fee for 360 Architecture, which is based in Kansas City, Mo.  

The dome, which opened in 1992, will be demolished when the new stadium opens. Plans call for the Falcons to open the 2017 season in the new structure.