“We let the banks (and) these institutional investors take a peek under the hood and so think of it as some outside validation on what we’re doing from the marketplace that is familiar with these kind of projects and deals. They came back resoundingly and said, ‘We feel great about the project … and can move forward with this permanent financing.’ So that is what we chose to do.”
The financing, which closed late last week, involves the Falcons organization’s portion of stadium costs and does not affect the taxpayer portion of the funding.
“I’m very pleased to see this significant milestone being reached so early,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a prepared statement. “… What the team has accomplished puts the project in a very strong position moving forward.”
Beadles said “very favorable” interest rates were obtained because of overall conditions in the credit market as well as investor confidence in the project. He declined to reveal the specific interest rates.
“We had really high demand from the marketplace” of institutional investors, about five times as much demand as needed, Beadles said.
“That allow(ed) us to really push on them in terms of pricing,” he said. “We didn’t have to accept everybody’s bids, and we didn’t, and we were still able to get a diversified group that wanted in at the rates we were able to put out there.”
Beadles said the private-placement debt was issued with a “green bond” designation, reflecting the stadium’s expected LEED Platinum certification for sustainability.
The total cost of building Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which will be home to Blank’s Atlanta United soccer team as well as to the Falcons, is currently projected to be $1.5 billion. In addition to the $850 million in loans, $200 million of the construction cost comes from bonds backed by Atlanta hotel-motel taxes, $200 million from the NFL and a yet-undetermined amount from sales of personal seat licenses. Blank is responsible for cost overruns.