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Falcons want to play outdoors

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Falcons want to play outdoors

Posted by Michael David Smith on May 19, 2010 6:05 PM ET

The Atlanta Falcons are likely to leave the Georgia Dome some time in the next few years, and when they do, team President Rich McKay says, they're likely to play outdoors.

McKay told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Falcons believe an outdoor stadium makes the most sense not just for football, but for other events.

"When you look at the open air stadium it will help us in our pursuit of the World Cup as a city and a region," McKay said. "It will help us to attract World Cup games either in 2018 or 2022. The economic impact to the area would be pretty dramatic. We think open air definitely helps that bid process."

But while an open-air stadium might help Atlanta get World Cup games, it would make it impossible for Atlanta to get other events that the Georgia Dome has hosted, such as the Final Four. That could make an outdoor stadium a tougher sell for the taxpayers who will be asked to foot part of the bill.

McKay, however, says the Falcons are committed to a stadium proposal that's right for the team, the city and the state. And McKay also says Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to stay in downtown Atlanta.

"Our first preference would be to be downtown," McKay said. "That's something that Arthur is focused on. If we can make it happen, we are going to try."

The Falcons have played in the Georgia Dome since 1992, but it is now considered somewhat outdated (which makes me, as someone who can remember when the Falcons played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, feel old). Atlanta would likely need a new stadium before it could host another Super Bowl.

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