ATLANTA – The cost of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium has climbed to $1.4 billion.
The initial cost of the retractable-roof facility, which will replace the Georgia Dome in 2017, was estimated at $1 billion. That was later raised to $1.2 billion.
Now, it's gone up again by $200 million. The final budget was approved Tuesday by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. NFL ownership is expected to follow suit next week.
The new budget includes $1.078 billion in construction costs, with the remainder going to design, development and other non-construction costs.
"More detailed design plans allowed us to more accurately budget the cost of the stadium," said Greg Beadles, the team's chief administrative and financial officer. "At the same time, construction costs across the board continue to increase as the economy improves and demand grows. "
Beadles said the team looked into all possible cost-cutting measures while maintaining its "vision of providing a great experience to the fans and guests who enter the building."
The additional cost does not affect the $200 million in public funding, which will come from the city's hotel-motel tax.
However, with the remainder coming from private sources, the Falcons will surely need to raise more through sponsorships and personal seat licenses, which would significantly raise the burden on season-ticket holders.
Construction on the new stadium began early this year and is scheduled to be completed in March 2017, in time to also serve as the home of Atlanta's new MLS soccer team. After it is completed, the adjacent Georgia Dome will be imploded.
The Falcons stadium will be one of the most expensive sports venues ever built, rivaling the Dallas Cowboys' AT&T Stadium and the San Francisco 49ers' Levi's Stadium, which opened this season.