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February 10, 2016

Atlanta Super Bowl Bid Hinges On Bill Passage

The Atlanta Sports Council, a division of the Metro Chamber, is preparing a bid for a Super Bowl in 2019 or 2020 while state legislators are weighing a new bill which would remove sales tax on tickets, and tickets only, to the event.  Passage of the bill is vital to the city's success in winning the Bowl game and securing an economic windfall for the local economy.

Jon Richards with provides a summary of House Bill 951.  As he points out, the legislation defines the term "Major Sporting Event", which would include the NFL championship as well as national collegiate finals and potentially sports events that would generate more than $50 million dollars for a local economy in Georgia. The bill is sponsored by Reps. Chad Nimmer (R-Blackshear), Jay Powell (R-Camila) and Stacy Abrams (D-Atlanta).

Charlie Harper of PolicyBEST, a public policy think tank, highlights the economic development advantages of drawing the Super Bowl to Atlanta.  His opinion piece was published in the Courier Herald this week.

"So the choice is this: If the state holds firm, the state gets $0 in sales tax, and we get no Super Bowl. If we waive the sales taxes only on ticket sales, then the state and local governments get the sales taxes on all the increased sales that surrounds the Super Bowl. This includes not only the merchandise and concessions in the game, but all of the increased restaurant meals, rental cars, hotel stays, and other expenses the couple of hundred thousand tourists and business folk the game brings in over that weekend."

In an interview with Atlanta Magazine, Dan Corso, executive director of the Council, speaks to the competitive nature of attracting the Super Bowl.  He tells reporter Max Blau that Atlanta is vying for the title game against New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Miami, all cities that offer the tax exemption on ticket sales.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed succinctly sums up the issue in the same interview.

“We have a decision to make: either we want to win a Super Bowl or we don’t,” he said. 




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