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Falcons interest in stadium hotel pitched | News

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Falcons interest in stadium hotel pitched

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- The Atlanta Falcons appear to be interested in getting into the hotel business -- and the hotel would be right next to their new one-and-a-half billion dollar stadium, due to open in 2017.

The hotel would be built just a few steps away. The Georgia World Congress Center has been planning the hotel for months. But the partnership with the Falcons is a new wrinkle, revealed when the state quietly issued paperwork seeking proposals from developers to build what the state envisions as a gleaming high rise hotel northeast of the stadium.

The paperwork asks potential developers to consider the "Atlanta Falcons potential interest in becoming an equity partner in the Hotel Project and/or providing a guarantee of annual room nights." The Falcons declined comment. But a stadium project expert, Dr. JC Bradbury of Kennesaw State University, says it makes sense.

The Falcons are "a profit making organization. So its not surprising to see them trying to do things that other sports teams are doing to make money," Bradbury said.

And one need look no further than Cobb County, where the new Atlanta Braves stadium complex will include hotel and retail space, all controlled by and profiting the baseball team. If the Falcons get a piece of a new hotel near their stadium, they could also profit from conventions and concerts that would also use the new stadium during football's offseason.

" (When) you own the area outside the stadium, you can benefit monetarily from having these facilities out there. So that's why teams are wanting to get involved in this," Bradbury said, citing similar projects in Detroit and Dallas as well as Cobb County.