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Dispute between Atlanta, church over Falcons stadium goes next level

Church AP

With a $9 million gap keeping the powers-that-be in Atlanta from acquiring a Higher Power’s house, the stakes are increasing.

Via Atlanta Daily World, the footprint of the new Falcons Stadium may be reconfigured to render unnecessary the purchase and demolition of Friendship Baptist Church.  And that, according to Friendship Baptist Church, could violate a Georgia law preventing alcohol sales within 100 yards of a church.

“Looking at the revised drawings of situating the stadium closely behind the church, we’re not sure that fits the 100-yard ordinance,” Friendship Baptist Church board chairman Lloyd Hawk told WSB-TV.

The easy solution is to proceed with the plan that includes buying the church.  But the church wants $24.5 million, and the city has offered $15.5 million.

The two sides will meet again next week in an effort to resolve the issue.  Meanwhile, Atlanta residents have been asked to report any sudden onslaught of locusts or frogs or water that matches the color of the team’s home jerseys.

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50 Responses to “Dispute between Atlanta, church over Falcons stadium goes next level”
  1. swagger52 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:05 AM

    Atlanta is a much better place for Tebow than New England.

    Unfortunately, the Patriots knew what they had with Hernandez and the media was helpful in hiding the real Hernandez from the rest of the league. Tebow is the sacrificial lamb. Bellichek is HOPING to have a Tebow controversy, because that is so much better than the players he spent millions on – but then reneged.

  2. i10east says: Jul 5, 2013 11:08 AM

    Maybe the ATL can contact the Pats brass for permission to see if Tim Tebow could help settle this dispute. Hallelujah!!!

  3. broncosaddict says: Jul 5, 2013 11:16 AM

    Make the area around the church a parking lot, that will be far more then 100 yds. – problem solved.

  4. dawgs105 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:17 AM

    Just goes to show that most churches are all about the money.

  5. jda129 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:17 AM

    You can’t sell alcohol within 100 yards of a church? Loophole – call it beer rentals! Because we all know that’s all we’re doing anyway.

  6. circuscivics says: Jul 5, 2013 11:17 AM

    If Arthur Blank allows some public use of the new stadium, can’t the city invoke eminent domain?

  7. floratiotime says: Jul 5, 2013 11:18 AM

    Religion = money. Always was … always will be.

  8. nolahxc says: Jul 5, 2013 11:19 AM

    This church sounds like its trying to make some quick $$$

  9. selenecrear says: Jul 5, 2013 11:19 AM

    This is so disgraceful of this church, trying to get more money. The church is not suppose to be about money, it’s suppose to be about the word of the lord. And I’m sure the lord it’s not pleased with this so called pastor who is suppose to be preaching his word. What has become of the true meaning of the Lord’s word, it’s definitely do not believe the lord above would approve of such disgrace.this church should be ashamed of themselves.

  10. ingloriousmaster says: Jul 5, 2013 11:22 AM

    religious types…typical. The only God I pray to is the God of Football!

  11. raiderufan says: Jul 5, 2013 11:22 AM

    $71,000,000,000 dollars a year are not put into the US system due to tax exemption status for the churches and religions of this country. A church valued at $24.5 million in downtown Atlanta on a street I’d guess has, at the least, 10-15 others is lunacy….the city paying that tab to get a stadium built should have people in the street rioting.

  12. selenecrear says: Jul 5, 2013 11:26 AM

    Sorry for some missed spelled words, but this is very displeasing to me. There is no amount of money that can buy the love and respect of the lord. This pastor and he’s followers should be ashamed of themselves. I know I am. And I’m a borned and raised Georgian. And this disgusts me.

  13. atlfan31833 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:33 AM

    The problem that most don’t understand is the fact that there is a monetary cost associated with relocating the church both temporarily (while new church is being built) and permanantly. The price of land in Atlanta is not cheap and will require major design & permitting costs in addition to the land and Construction cost$.

    signed,
    a civil engineer who has permitted projects in Atlanta since 1997

  14. apmn says: Jul 5, 2013 11:33 AM

    Many inner-city churches are struggling financially these days, a legacy of white flight to the suburbs. I don’t know if that is the case for this particular church, but plenty of churches have been closing down due to lack of funds. The myth of wealthy churches taking advantage of their tax exempt status is mostly false.

  15. hedleykow says: Jul 5, 2013 11:37 AM

    The church could be used as the visitors locker room when the Saints come to town.

    Get it? ….when the “Saints” come to town.

    ?? Get it ?? Church …. Saints ???

  16. metalhead65 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:37 AM

    this is a case of a church and it’s leaders being greedy simple as that. I am all for getting was much as you can but there comes a point where logic and reason must take over. they will never see that much money again if they keep refusing to take it. imagine all the good they could do with that type of money in addition to taking care of any debt they might have. they could build another church for half of what they will be getting and still have plenty of money to do the lord’s work. if the people of the church are going along with this greedy stance then I hope the city goes on and modifies and builds around it.

  17. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jul 5, 2013 11:49 AM

    Just don’t serve beer. It is ridiculously overpriced anyway.

  18. swagger52 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:49 AM

    The only time Jesus was ever mad is when selling was done in a place of worship. If I were a falcons fan, I would be worried..very worried.

  19. swagger52 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:52 AM

    Swagger 52:1
    The NFL, Beer and Worship are all great things, but do not mix them.

  20. jeagan1999 says: Jul 5, 2013 11:53 AM

    Those of you who think the church is “greedy” may want to know that this historic church…founded just after the end of the Civil War in 1866…is one of the oldest African American churches in Atlanta. It’s roots reach back to the tumultuous time of reconstruction when the devastated city was being rebuilt. there is a historical value attached to it besides a monetary one. If the city or the Falcons ownership want the land, they should negotiate a price that is acceptable to both parties. The directors of the church have shown they are willing to negotiate with the city. Remember, if they sell the location to the city, they must find or build another church to serve their congregation…and that can be very expensive in a major urban center like Atlanta. If I were Arthur Blank, I’d try to meet them half way and pay the difference out of my own money. Teams already get too much in terms of subsidies from the tax payers as it is.

  21. barbeaux says: Jul 5, 2013 11:55 AM

    Got some statistical reports to back that up?

  22. r8rsfan says: Jul 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    I believe in a God who doesn’t require payment to take an interest in me.

  23. lightcleric says: Jul 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    A city and a multi-billion dollar corporation wants to bulldoze a church for a project that could cost half a billion over the course of bond interest etc, paid for in large part by taxpayers rather than the corporations themselves, and we’re going to call the church the greedy party?

  24. radiofriendly420 says: Jul 5, 2013 12:22 PM

    More proof that religion is nothing more than a business. Meanwhile, billions of people on the planet still can’t seem to figure it out. (sigh)

  25. doe22us says: Jul 5, 2013 12:27 PM

    Split it down the middle $20m…

  26. silverblack666 says: Jul 5, 2013 12:51 PM

    If I believed in a god he or she would be so omnipotent that money would not matter!

  27. fmwarner says: Jul 5, 2013 12:51 PM

    lightcleric says: Jul 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    A city and a multi-billion dollar corporation wants to bulldoze a church for a project that could cost half a billion over the course of bond interest etc, paid for in large part by taxpayers rather than the corporations themselves, and we’re going to call the church the greedy party?
    =================================

    EXACTLY. Oh, and “religion is a business”. Whatever. I’m sure all of you would take anything the Falcons and the city offered for your house, even if it was under market value. After all, you’re not greedy and the NFL has never screwed anyone out of money, right?

    Whenever a little old lady refuses to sell her house for some new development, everyone cheers. But since it’s a church, it’s open season.

  28. knowmewell85 says: Jul 5, 2013 12:52 PM

    That Pastor is about to be balling! LOL

  29. geefan1 says: Jul 5, 2013 1:14 PM

    Sounds like a great opportunity to apply eminent domain…

  30. hatesycophants says: Jul 5, 2013 1:15 PM

    Actually, the “easy” solution is to adjust the design to accommodate the 100 yards. Problem solved, church gets nothing. Of course, the builder should be prepared for the next money-grab attempt.

  31. xxwhodatxx says: Jul 5, 2013 1:20 PM

    If someone came to me and said we will buy your house for 15 mil and I thought could get 25, I’d hold out too.

  32. raiderufan says: Jul 5, 2013 1:23 PM

    fmwarner says:
    Jul 5, 2013 12:51 PM
    lightcleric says: Jul 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    A city and a multi-billion dollar corporation wants to bulldoze a church for a project that could cost half a billion over the course of bond interest etc, paid for in large part by taxpayers rather than the corporations themselves, and we’re going to call the church the greedy party?

    I agree. The fact that anyone not the owners of the team thats banking massive profits has to foot at least a large portion of the bill is insane to me. That doesn’t change the fact that the value fo that church cannot be any where near $24.5 million dollars.
    =================================

    EXACTLY. Oh, and “religion is a business”. Whatever. I’m sure all of you would take anything the Falcons and the city offered for your house, even if it was under market value. After all, you’re not greedy and the NFL has never screwed anyone out of money, right?

    Whenever a little old lady refuses to sell her house for some new development, everyone cheers. But since it’s a church, it’s open season.

    The government isn’t going out of it’s way to pay that little old lady a dime over value for her house and sure as hell isn’t going to pay her for the priceless memories she’s leaving behind.

    I have a hard time believing that church is valued at $24 million dollars without some sort of religous value added to it. In a country founded on seperation of church and state the people doing the bargaining should value that church with the same eye they valued that little old lady. The government doesn’t and shouldn’t pay for memories.

  33. tigersfandan says: Jul 5, 2013 1:30 PM

    I doubt the church is in it for the money. They probably just don’t want to be left the holding the bag because the Falcons knocked over their building and they can’t afford to buy property and build another one.

  34. roddytorock84 says: Jul 5, 2013 1:33 PM

    I’d cheer if they were refusing to sell because of its historic value. I think that would be commendable. But the fact they just want twice as much as was offered is greed. And the guy saying a large part is paid by the taxpayers has no idea what he is talking about. 800 mil is paid by Blank. 200 is paid by the taxpayer. I think the 800 is the “large part” not to mention the money that Blank out of pocket is going to pay To help rebuild the surrounding area around the stadium. Also Blank will cover anything over 1 bil out of his pocket.

  35. surfinbird1 says: Jul 5, 2013 1:40 PM

    They could always sell wine. Church should be ok with that.

  36. wydok says: Jul 5, 2013 1:50 PM

    The Friendship Baptist Church congregation is pretty historically important. It was established in the 1860′s and was the first blank Baptist congregation in Atlanta. It was integral in the creation of Spelman College.

    Now this building is NOT that old (not sure when it’s from), but you’d think the importance of this congregation to the city should lend it some respect.

  37. wydok says: Jul 5, 2013 1:52 PM

    Mean black… not blank.

  38. joe2jerry says: Jul 5, 2013 1:53 PM

    I love how the God haters come out in full force whenever an issue like this arises. What if the church uses all that money to open up a shelter, a soup kitchen, a free dental clinic, or subsidizes any ministry to that community with that money? Some of y’all are just using this board as a vehicle to hate on what you don’t understand. How about you attend that church for a month before you JUDGE them. That is the buzzword that God/Church haters like to use isn’t it?

  39. SeenThisB4 says: Jul 5, 2013 2:08 PM

    Hang tough Friendship Batist, don’t sell for less than one penny of what you think your history and heritage is worth. Blank wants a new stadium to feed his ego, let him purchase the land for what it is worth to those who have been using it their entire lives.

  40. johndont says: Jul 5, 2013 2:09 PM

    Just got layed off from my IT Manager job, gee I think I will become a priest, I can make more money and have a beautiful Aventador Lamborghini costing only $441,600 and have my own Learjet 60 XR costing $1.700,000. But it’s used.

  41. willyshock says: Jul 5, 2013 2:17 PM

    Serve every beer with a wafer of unleavened bread and call it Communion. Problem solved.

  42. nitehump says: Jul 5, 2013 2:24 PM

    Greedy Churches … should burn them all down…Religion…..cause of every war in history…..You would think in the 21st Century people would have given up on that fairy tale!

  43. sprizzle2182 says: Jul 5, 2013 2:33 PM

    i personally think that the churches shouldnt be torn down..they are some of the only remaining buildings from the civil war in the area and there are other options on the other side of the dome for the new stadium to go…theres no need to tear down history just for the benefit of a better view…last time i checked the most imprtant view at a game is between the endzones…

  44. sprizzle2182 says: Jul 5, 2013 2:35 PM

    lightcleric says: Jul 5, 2013 12:08 PM

    A city and a multi-billion dollar corporation wants to bulldoze a church for a project that could cost half a billion over the course of bond interest etc, paid for in large part by taxpayers rather than the corporations themselves, and we’re going to call the church the greedy party?

    not sure how u think 20% is considered paid for in large by the tax payers, and unless u stay in a hotel in atl most of the time, none of it is coming from ur tax dollars…

  45. mrlaloosh says: Jul 5, 2013 2:37 PM

    I bet if it was a synagogue Blank wouldn’t demolish it.

  46. mrtreyseven says: Jul 5, 2013 3:00 PM

    I can.see if the church was abandon but apparently they still have service there, how are they money hungry, if you buy a house that you lived in for a long time have. this house have been in your family for many years people buried, got married, etc. in that house or on that land wouldn’t you be reluctant to give it away. not to mention where would you have service at until the new church is built, its not like churches come ready made to be put up in a day….but the church is greedy, they want money, why not don’t the Falcons want the stadium, they have a price pay it if they can’t oh well….people don’t say anything when companies are purchased for millions, but because the church has a price its unGodly smh people are dumb

  47. 8to80texansblog says: Jul 5, 2013 3:03 PM

    nitehump says: Jul 5, 2013 2:24 PM

    Greedy Churches … should burn them all down…Religion…..cause of every war in history…..You would think in the 21st Century people would have given up on that fairy tale!
    ==========================

    Believe me I’m no religion lover… actually quite the opposite but a vast majority of wars are started in the “name” of religion, but most really are about money and power.

  48. westpalmlion says: Jul 5, 2013 3:14 PM

    The real question here is why on earth do the falcons need a new stadium when the georgia dome is only 20 years old…

  49. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 5, 2013 3:53 PM

    Throw in luxury box seats with all the booze you can drink for the clergy and that should close the deal.

  50. httr73 says: Jul 6, 2013 7:53 AM

    Just put an exemption in the law for events occurring at the stadium.

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