Official NFL team logos; 1 col.; 46.5 mm
ATLANTA — The Falcons will soon have a new home, after NFL owners approved a $200 million loan Tuesday for construction of a new Atlanta stadium.
The Falcons received the money Tuesday at the league’s spring meetings. The multipurpose venue could cost as much as $1 billion.
“(Tuesday’s) approval by the NFL team owners is an important milestone in moving the new stadium project forward,” Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement.
Blank will supply the rest of the funds, and said the design and construction will happen over the next four years. The building is expected to be completed by the 2017 season.
The Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992, will be demolished when the new stadium opens.
FALCONS SIGN TIGHT END: Tight end Levine Toilolo, a fourth-round pick out of Stanford, signed with the Atlanta Falcons on. Terms were not disclosed.
Toilolo, 6-feet-8 and 265 pounds, was used mainly as a blocker with the Cardinal but did catch 24 passes for 393 yards last season. He also has three uncles — Dan Saleaumua, Edwin Mulitalo and Joe Salave’a — who played in the NFL.
“At Stanford we ran a pretty pro-style, West Coast offense,” Toilolo said after the draft. “So we utilized a lot of tight ends which was big coming out of high school for me. This year we ran a lot of two tight-end sets for me and Zach (Ertz). For me, I was more of an inline tight end with my hand down the majority of the time.”
Toilolo caught 50 passes for 763 yards (15.3 yards per catch) with 10 touchdowns in 31 career games at Stanford.
SAN FRANCISCO WINS SUPER BOWL BID: Super Bowl L will be held in Santa Clara, Calif., in February 2016 at Levi’s Stadium, the future home of the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers are entering their final season at Candlestick Park. Their new stadium is an estimated 50 percent complete.
The 50th Super Bowl will be played in the same state in which Super Bowl I was played in 1967. That game, referred to by some as the “supergame” was played in Los Angeles.
“We’re humbled and honored by this opportunity,” San Francisco chairman Daniel Lurie told NFL Network, which aired the decision live Tuesday afternoon from the owner’s meetings in Boston. “The Bay Area has been waiting for this game since 1985. We’re just thrilled and couldn’t be happier about this decision.”
The 49ers won the Super Bowl at Stanford Stadium in ’85, a 38-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.
Santa Clara boasts becoming the first “fully green” Super Bowl. Part of the stadium construction plan calls for powering “all 49ers home games with solar power resources.”
CEO Jed York said the game figures to be the “first cashless, ticketless venue with WiFi capability for 75,000 people in Super Bowl history.”
“Every year, football fans celebrate this great game on Super Bowl Sunday,” York said. “Now, our region has a tremendous opportunity to be celebrated on an international stage, as we play host to the Super Bowl.”
Earning a Super Bowl on the first ballot requires 24 votes or a super majority of the 32 total votes. The last time a Super Bowl was awarded in one round of voting was the Glendale, Ariz., election 10 years ago.
Santa Clara was named host city for the golden anniversary game over Houston and Miami. Those cities were then in competition for Super Bowl LI, and Houston was awarded the game in 2017 on a single vote by ownership.
“It’s like an overtime win for us,” said Ric Campo, chairman of the Houston host committee. “I think Houston just has a better package right now. We have world-class assets. … The city has really been rebuilt over the last 10 years.”
South Florida was considered a less serious candidate after the legislature refused to vote on a stadium renovation plan. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said major events would not consider South Florida unless major upgrades were made.