ATLANTA -- When the Georgia World Congress Center Authority board unanimously approved a billion dollar stadium deal, it also set up the authority to control scores of seats - both in and outside of the new stadium.
At the Georgia Dome - which the World Congress Center owns - the authority has unfettered access to one suite, consisting of 24 seats.
At the new stadium, the World Congress Center would have access to two suites - plus twenty additional club level seats.
Currently, the World Congress Center can buy as many as two hundred Super Bowl tickets, depending on availability.
Under the new stadium agreement, the World Congress Center would have access to thirty Super Bowl tickets, regardless of the game's location. If the new Atlanta stadium hosts the Super Bowl, the World Congress Center would get fifty tickets.
"It's shocking," said William Perry of Common Cause Georgia, an outspoken opponent of the stadium deal. The Atlanta Falcons would pay most of the construction costs, plus a substantial supplement from Atlanta hotel motel tax money.
Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development agency, would also get an unspecified number of premium seats under the arrangement. The president says the seats are a sales tool.
And the World Congress Center's director says the free tickets are more than justifiable.