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Falcons stadium plans hitting snag

Falcons Stadium Churches

In this March 10, 2013 people leave Friendship Baptist Church after services in Atlanta. Members of two historic Atlanta churches in the path of a proposed new NFL stadium are considering their options. Mt. Vernon Baptist Church is in the middle of the favored site for the Atlanta Falcons’ new home, just south of the Georgia Dome. Friendship Baptist Church is just across Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, which would have to be rerouted through the church’s property to make way for the new stadium. The churches have storied histories in the city. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bita Honarvar) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT


The Atlanta Falcons’ plans for building a $1 billion replacement for the Georgia Dome are running into a bit of a roadblock.

According to WXIA-TV in Atlanta, negotiations to purchase the land necessary for the new building have reached a standstill. The city has been in talks with Friendship Baptist Church over the price of the land occupied by the church just south of the Georgia Dome that is needed for the new stadium. However, disagreements over the price to be paid have ended progress toward a solution.

Per the report, the city offered $13.5 million for the land and later raised their offer to $15.5 million. However, the church is asking for $24.5 million to agree to move. The end result is a stalemate devoid of progress.

Lloyd Hawk, Friendship Baptist Church’s board of trustees chairman, said the church needs to be compensated fairly for the price of land and the costs of relocating.

“We’re not going to incur new debt to do that and we’re not going to diminish our savings to do that,” Hawk said.

The church has asked for a mediator or in-person meeting with the mayor to attempt to find a suitable deal for both sides but the city currently seems unwilling to do so. In the meantime, the church’s focus is on serving their patrons first and not the wants of the Falcons.

“If they feel five or six million dollars makes a difference in a billion dollar project, that’s their prerogative,” Hawk said.