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Arthur Blank denies he was approached by anyone from L.A.

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

Falcons owner Arthur Blank is playing this one straight by the script.

After reports earlier this week suggested that the Falcons had been approached by interested parties in Los Angeles during their pursuit of public money for a new stadium,

Blank has now denied he has been contacted at all.

I was never approached,’’ Blank told Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com. “My team was never approached. If someone in Atlanta, outside of the Atlanta Falcons was ever approached, I have no idea.’’

Blank also issued the obligatory statement of unwavering loyalty to his home market.

“We’re committed to Atlanta, the city, the region and the state,’’ Blank said. “We’re making progress on our deal working with the [Georgia World] Congress Center, the Mayor’s office, the Governor’s office, the community and doing all the things we need to do to get the deal done with the city of Atlanta.’’

Blank and the Falcons have been working for years on a new building in downtown Atlanta, with the usual hang-ups over who’s going to pay for it.

“I think we’re in a good place,’’ Blank said. “Obviously, it’s a very complicated deal and a big investment. You’re talking about not only an NFL franchise, but all the legacy events – the opportunity to produce a facility that would compete for the Super Bowl, compete for the BCS Championship, compete for the World Cup and create a change that would be very important for Atlanta. We want to create a solution that works for everybody and I think we’re in the process of doing that. It takes patience and time to come up with a solution that works for all the parties.’’

And as in the case in nearly every one of these dances, vague threats of L.A. are leaked by someone and then denied by the team, just to remind everyone in Georgia just how valuable the local professional football franchise is.

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19 Responses to “Arthur Blank denies he was approached by anyone from L.A.”
  1. kinguga says: Feb 1, 2013 3:59 PM

    Looks like Blank will actually pay a bit more to get this thing done. L.A. comes up all the time. They’ll eventually get a team, but it really should be an expansion one.

  2. bobulated says: Feb 1, 2013 4:03 PM

    If that actually happened, I wonder how quickly the Jags would pack the trucks, head over to I-75 and up to Atlanta to fill that vacuum.

  3. usmutts says: Feb 1, 2013 4:17 PM

    If you’re so committed to the city, the state, blah blah blah, then build it yourself, sir. You got the money. If it’s such a good investment, you shouldn’t need for the taxpayers to make you richer. Welfare for the wealthy.

  4. marcinhouston says: Feb 1, 2013 4:32 PM

    Blank does not have the money to build a stadium AND bring in a 3rd pro bowl receiver or 2nd pro bowl TE to help Matt Ryan have a chance.

  5. dartwick says: Feb 1, 2013 4:36 PM

    The NFL does NOT need more expansion teams.

    What it has teams in the wrong places.

    -Florida does not need 3 teams – as every metric concerning the Jaguars attests. Even with just 2 teams the Bucs would still have a realtively small fan base.

    -San Francisco/Oakland never should have gotten 2 teams – they both make money but the the market was served by one team – but this wont change.

    -San Diego – is not a good market for a team(but its an awesome city).

    -ST Louis is weak market.

    -Buffalo is not a strong market – but it might be ok under more modern ownership thanks to its long history and local popularity.

    The problem really is that there are teams in the wrong places.

  6. db105 says: Feb 1, 2013 4:39 PM

    Other than the core fans of about 50K most in Atlanta don’t care about the Falcons.

  7. stopthemadness101 says: Feb 1, 2013 4:48 PM

    dartwick – If you want to volunteer to give up your city’s team go for it. Quit fvckng with other team’s fans. If LA deserved a team they would have one. As much as I hate the Falcons Atlanta doesn’t deserve to lose them. Attendance is down across a lot of sports right now. Unless you were alive during the Great Depression then this is the worst economic situation any of us have gone through. The Bucs had a HUGE season ticket waiting list several years ago. I know because I was on it for a while before I got the chance to buy season tix. Douches like you infuriate me. Please come suggest the Bucs move in person so I can jack you in the flippin face.

  8. mrlaloosh says: Feb 1, 2013 5:33 PM

    Another underachieving team threatening their city with L.A. Worked for the Vikings so why not. Get ready Georgia taxpayers. Hang on to your wallets. The NFL GETS WHAT THEY WANT!

  9. thehuckster404 says: Feb 1, 2013 5:59 PM

    Wagging the dog, Arthur? I thought you were a classier man than that.

  10. stlouisramsbaby says: Feb 1, 2013 6:01 PM

    St. Louis is not a weak market, Kroenke made more money than Jerry Jones in St. Louis.

    St. Louis Rams ’95 til Infinity

  11. fearthehoody says: Feb 1, 2013 6:09 PM

    Can we stop being a darn scapegoat for NFL teams wanting more money/new stadiums and just give us a team already!! Staples Center sells out just about everyday (Kings, Clipps, Lakers) Rose Bowl and Coliseum get 80k plus every saturday! Enough is enough

  12. johnnyjagfan says: Feb 1, 2013 6:15 PM

    dartwick:

    the Bucs are blacked out routinely. The Jags? Not in a 2+ seasons. I don’t think any of the Florida teams should leave.

    The State of Georgia’s legislature isn’t interested in helping the Falcons because they haven’t been convinced that it’s worth putting the State in debt–even though the debt service would be paid by Atlanta hotel taxes.

    Its a shame. Its a steal compared to the renovations that other teams are having paid for with taxpayer dollars. Georgia would be using bond proceeds.

    Blank is a benevolent owner. There are a few that would move. He’s willing to pay 80% of the cost for a new stadium that the state would own. Hotel guests would pay the interest on the 20% loan.

  13. jaxasc84 says: Feb 1, 2013 6:17 PM

    dartwick – Which metrics are you referring to that concern the Jags? The ones you made up or the ones you heard from a friend five years ago?

    Anyone’s team but yours, right?

  14. atlfalcons2008 says: Feb 1, 2013 7:13 PM

    I don’t think the Falcons have had issues selling out since 2007 and getting tickets has been getting tougher and tougher. Winning, despite some playoff woes, has renewed interest in the team. When they had Vick, it was about him. Now it’s about a team. Sure they haven’t won a Super Bowl with this group but ill take being on the brink over years of bad to mediocre play. I would venture to guess that 3/4 of the fans of other teams in this league would love to swap rosters with Atlanta.

  15. kev86 says: Feb 1, 2013 8:56 PM

    Just go with Los Angeles Jaguars already.

  16. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Feb 1, 2013 10:29 PM

    It’s sad that entire fanbases have to worry about these greedy owners taking a team away just to make some extra $$$. If my team ever left, I’d never support the NFL again in any way shape or form.

  17. blakeden says: Feb 2, 2013 9:39 AM

    OH STOP IT….The media would never get something wrong….

  18. hitdog042 says: Feb 2, 2013 2:06 PM

    Lol. The jags were blacked out 4 times this year. Gimmeabreak

  19. selenecrear says: Feb 6, 2013 10:16 PM

    If those so called experts know about Atlanta so much explain the huge turnout this past year? The people of Atlanta supports the Falcons and I am sure Mr. Blank and ATL will get this situation squared away.

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