August 28, 2013

Falcons owner: Stadium site to be clear in 2 weeks


Associated Press

ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says the team expects to have a site for its new 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, WXIA-TV reported (http://on.11alive.com/17jJj6z). To the west of the Georgia Dome and both proposed sites for the new stadium are the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods.

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 $1 billion retractable-roof stadium near the Georgia Dome. 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.

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.