Due to dispute with churches, Falcons Stadium on brink of shifting sites

AP

The Falcons will get their new stadium, but apparently not in the spot preferred by the powers-that-be.

The Associated Press reports that, in a letter to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, Falcons CEO Rich McKay explained that the first choice for the stadium location won’t work out because two churches in the footprint of the facility weren’t purchased.

The focus now turns from the south site to the north site, which is farther away from the mass transit line that would bring fans to and from the venue.

Actually, the Falcons originally wanted the north site, but state and city officials wanted the south location, which has the two churches in its path.

McKay’s letter could be the last effort to get the Friendship Baptist Church to blink.  The church wanted $24.5 million, and the offer had maxed out at $15.5 million.  The deadline for striking deals with the Friendship Baptist Church and Mount Vernon Baptist is Thursday.

44 responses to “Due to dispute with churches, Falcons Stadium on brink of shifting sites

  1. I guess the Friendship Baptist church isn’t really friendly at all is it. Its all about the money to that church…….. now that’s a real Christian way to think. 15 mil is pretty good.

  2. Is the church worth that much?ean, seriously. I understand the power play, I mean, ownership of land is power. You own the land that someone wants, so they should pay your price. I think the church should rethink the stance and consider lowering the asking price to meet in the middle or close to it because that amount of money could a lot of good for the parishioners. $18-19M

  3. Baptist preachers and deacons are all about money. I’ve never met so many green grubbers in my entire life. Working with guys like this for a year turned me entirely against organized religion. Note how many TV “preachers” are Baptists. Take away their tax exempt status and these guys would negotiate in a New York second. This is the 21st century. Time to put a nail in all the mumbo jumbo that messes up so many lives and causes so many wars.

  4. I don’t know a whole lot about Atlanta’s real estate market but $25MM seem like a lot of money for a church.

    The Houston Dynamo bought the tract of land their stadium is built on for $3MM and its downtown….

  5. $15.5 mil won’t be enough to buy land, build a nice new church, and still have plenty left to help people? Instead of helping people in need the church is being greedy.

  6. Cant wait for a few generations of internet kids who have unlimited access to information….Churches will be bankrupt and 15.5 million will be 50 times what they could normally suck from the public sector…God Bless

  7. When it comes to real estate, it’s all about location. Clearly the church is sitting on some very valuable property. I don’t see any problem with the church holding out for more money. They don’t want to move, and the NFL is a billion dollar industry.

  8. I’m betting the church will end up taking the offer at the last minute since they will never get an offer like that again. If I was representing the Falcons I’d lower the offer just to mess with them.

  9. It’s not all about the churches and their holding out. It’s also about Mayor Reed and his zeal to have this stadium built without listening to the people. Granted, the churches are in the way and the failure to strike a deal is the biggest part of the holdup, but when an elected official states that a stadium is going to be built no matter what voters and constituents think…that tends to rub some people the wrong way. I always thought they’d put a new stadium on the North side anyway.

  10. I’ll take a different stance than everyone who thinks its all about the money with the church…

    15.5 might be a fair offer, who knows, but there are a lot of things to weigh out for the church when making a decision to move so the price has to be right for them to go through all of that. How long has the church been there? How long will it take to build a new building? Where do they go until they find a place? How many members? Where do most of those members live? How many will they lose in the move? The list goes on and on…for example someone would have to offer me well above market for my house just because of family memories being worth so much to me…especially if they are just going to tear it down.

    Sounds like the falcons are blowing the deal because of 9m, but it doesn’t make good sense to them to pay that much. The same could be said about the church. It might not make sense for them to take ‘only’ 15.5…who knows.

  11. Poor billion dollar NFL. The value of the land is what someone will pay for it. What is an extra $9M to the Falcons/NFL? They’ll just raise parking $.25 and make that back the first year.

  12. Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are over 100 years old and still kicking… The Georgia Dome is like 15 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s sad when some of the players on the team have been almost in the league as long as the stadium.

  13. I’d love to see the offers accepted by the other businesses in the area. Especially the profitable ones that don’t have one EXACTLY like it within a mile or so on every street in the area. And before you argue that the beliefs are different and blah blah blah…that’s irrelevant to the government. Or at least it should be.

    I’d bet that a profitable diner that’s been in the area for 40-50 years and been a staple to most of the residents that’s all inclusive and will be sorely missed for years to come wouldn’t sniff anything close to the value this church is getting let alone $9 million more. They wouldn’t place value much above fair price for the diners memories and they shouldn’t do that for the church and it’s trinkets.

    Sorry people, but the church should be viewed as a business by the government….and it’s value is not $24 million…or $15 million.

  14. billsmafiaordie says:

    “Cant wait for a few generations of internet kids who have unlimited access to information….Churches will be bankrupt and 15.5 million will be 50 times what they could normally suck from the public sector…God Bless”

    Yeah, unlimited access to information. So now they can read endless volumes of information and still not have a clue what the hell this is all about.

  15. I doubt it’s a coincidence that the middle of the two numbers is exactly $20 million.

  16. You guys act like the Pastor is just going American greed.

    You have no idea what outreach ministries they have or what foreign missionaries they sponsor.

    At least for 24 million some souls are being saved for Jesus. No idea where the 17 trillion our nation is in debt has gone.

    Our government spent 27 million on pottey classes in Monaco and I am worried about a church- To quote Ocho Cinco Child Please!

    Sidenote I attend the SEC Championship game about every year what exactly is wrong with the existing Georgia Dome?

  17. Thats 27 million on pottery classes. I love how the uneducated electorate get upset about the private sector spending money when no entity on the face of the earth pisses away more of anyones money then the government.

  18. And if Churches should be viewed as business the bowl industry sure as hell should be. Take away their tax exempt status.

  19. I’m surprised in today’s climate of dwindling individuals rights that the City of Atlanta just doesn’t come out and claim ’eminent domain’ and just pay the churches the appraised value of their land. Local governments have done it for WalMart. This project is for the glorious NFL.

  20. “Well I love the Lord……if lovin’ the Lord is wrong….I don’t wanna be right!!!”

  21. cappa662 says:
    Jul 31, 2013 10:32 AM
    Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are over 100 years old and still kicking… The Georgia Dome is like 15 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s sad when some of the players on the team have been almost in the league as long as the stadium
    _________________________________

    21 Years old… but that’s a good point. Now while I’ve never been to the Georgia Dome it seems like a fairly decent stadium. Avg to above average seating capacity. Plus they just dumped like $300MM in renovations from 2007 – 2009.

    30 years is about the target length for a stadium. It’s not like they play at the Oakland Coliseum or Candlestick….

  22. I find it funny that so many of you, when faced with the decision to say either an NFL team or a church is being greedy, point fingers at the church. Just a little ridiculous…

    And for the person who wanted to talk about the churches non-profit status — How about the NFL’s non-profit status??

  23. noring4youstill says:
    Jul 31, 2013 11:27 AM
    Yay! A brand new Factory of Sadness. FalCants
    _________________________________

    Blasphemer! There is only one Factory of Sadness and it resides in Grieveland.

  24. If the church is 700-1000 seat church, if it has a school and other things it could cost more the $15,500,000 to build with parking lots, permits, road proffers. I work at a church. It is true that church’s are non profit but we do pay, payroll taxes, sales taxes if you sell books or anything else on site.

    Churches do a lot of good to, we have a food bank that helps feed over 100 families per month that is very efficient with a budget amount of around $12,000 and other outside donations from people and business’s.

    They do outreaches for at risk children.
    Counseling, for drug abuse, marriage, family, depression, and eating disorders etc.
    Sex trafficking prevention and tons of other stuff.

    Churches do a lot of good with very little.

  25. Church leaders have been fleecing the most ignorant and poorest societal members for centuries. It is quite entertaining and almost acceptable to witness them attempting the same feat on billionaires.

  26. augrad00 says:Jul 31, 2013 11:06 AM

    At least for 24 million some souls are being saved for Jesus. No idea where the 17 trillion our nation is in debt has gone.
    ______________________________________

    The correct responses are wars, bailouts and corporate/farm welfare.

  27. Kind of makes the $9 million scoreboard dispute between the Orioles and City over Camden Yards (built the same year as the Georgia Dome) laughable now. Funny/Sad that stadiums don’t last as long as a typical 30 year mortgage. The Hoosier Dome didn’t seem to last much longer either. Horrible planning, greed or a mix of both?

  28. Of note, these churches are historical sites…I would hope that is why they have a huge price tag but I wish they would just come out and say “We have a 150 year old church we don’t want to destroy” versus putting a $24M price tag on their “history”. I have no dog in the fight as I would rather the Falcons get the stadium outside of the 285 perimeter anyway, into Gwinnett County maybe, heck the abandoned GM plant in Doraville…but the proposed north site isn’t very far from the south site so this isn’t some gigantic move, it merely makes public transit inconvenient…which sucks because parking at the Dome stinks now and I always ride public transit for night games when I takes my kids for safety reasons. I love my Falcons but I’m tired of hearing about the damned stadium. The design is hilarious…the Sphincter Dome…the Stankonia Dome…the Precious Flower Dome…

  29. You DO all see the irony here in chastising the church for being “greedy,” yes?

    I’m sure the Falcons are just barely scraping by — how on earth could they possibly come up with another $9m to get this deal done?

    I think most of you have acquired the wrong target for your outrage.

  30. With a total project cost of $1 billion, $9 mm to pay the church is a rounding error. Sounds like its the Falcons playing the heavy here.

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