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Atlanta Falcons Open-Air Stadium Debate Is Heating Up

With the Atlanta Falcons looking for a replacement for the 20-year-old** Georgia Dome and proposing taxpayers help pay for it, it's little surprise that not everyone is happy about that particular plan.

Many have questioned the wisdom of an open-air stadium in the first place. Now local economists are joining the chorus, questioning whether the plan makes any fiscal sense for anybody but the Falcons.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Sunday story about the stadium dealt with the potential economic impact for the city, which fits the typical mold of a new stadium. The team will benefit, construction crews will benefit. Besides having a landmark and a shiny new stadium, will Atlanta benefit? There's the rub.

Giving ammunition to the Falcons is the fact that they are valued 26th in the entire league despite playing in a vibrant, sports-centric city in the heart of the South. I'm sure they can argue with some success that they need a new stadium to improve on that, and Arthur Blank is quickly reaching beloved status in the area. But it may not be enough.

Weigh in on the concept here.This won't be the last we hear of it.