Falcons stadium backers upbeat after court hearing

ATLANTA -- A ruling is likely within a couple of weeks that could give the go-ahead to the financing plan for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.

Some residents of the neighborhood near the new stadium argued in court that a judge should not issue the bonds for the public portion of the construction project. The Falcons are financing most of the billion dollar stadium construction, but the state hotel motel tax will pay a portion and the city has agreed to issue bonds to finance that part of it.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville spent much of Thursday's hearing overruling evidence introduced by the residents' attorneys, saying that they were trying to make a case that was irrelevant to the issue at hand—which is whether the bonds, to be issued by the city of Atlanta – are legal. By the end of the hearing, backers of the stadium had liked what they heard.

"The law is pretty clear as to what the city of Atlanta and Invest Atlanta need to show in order to validate bonds. And they've done that," said Douglas Selby, an attorney representing the city.

The judge said he'd rule by the week of April 21. The city wants to issue the bonds by mid summer. Whatever the judge rules could be appealed – potentially impacting that timetable.


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