Falcons owner hopes team has new place to nest in two weeks
by The Associated Press
August 29, 2013 12:48 AM | 887 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says he hopes for the team to settle a site for its new $1 billion, retractable roof stadium in the next two weeks.

Blank outlined the timeframe during a Wednesday forum that included business leaders in the community.

The team’s owner said the Arthur Blank Foundation wants to get involved in enhancing neighborhoods around the new stadium to the west of the Georgia Dome and both proposed sites for the new stadium, WXIA-TV reported.

Earlier this month, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that a preliminary $19.5 million deal had been reached to buy the property of one of two churches needed to build the stadium. Another site to the north is also being considered.

To complete the deal for the south site, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority would still need to reach an agreement with a separate church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Those talks broke down Aug. 1. Afterward, the state authority said it would explore the other potential site north of the current Georgia Dome.

“We want these churches to do what’s in their best interest; not in our best interest,” Blank told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Reed has said he wants the stadium built on the south site. The mayor said in a news conference this month that the south site would be better served by public transit stations, alleviating game-day traffic jams in the city.

Reed said at that time that he asked former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to serve as an intermediary to help relaunch talks between the state agency and Mount Vernon.

The franchise has until Oct. 1 to conduct feasibility studies on the north stadium site, but Blank said he hopes to announce a location within two weeks to stay on track for the stadium to open in time for the 2017 season.

“There’s always fluff built into these schedules,” Blank told the newspaper. “That fluff is really gone and (the architects and construction teams) are starting to face real dates.”

Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides