Falcons stadium plans hitting snag


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.

38 responses to “Falcons stadium plans hitting snag

  1. No kidding. The church shouldn’t take a loss if they have to move, buy new land and build. Seems like the stadium plans were a little far advanced to not have this part figured our…

  2. The real issue is that the proposed location turned out to be a mass-grave filled with victims of Aaron Hernandez and the police have made it a crime scene.

  3. The land is not worth 25 mill. They are trying to get paid as they should but not that. Those does not stop the stadium project. Plenty of other places are available

  4. From an outsider’s POV the church seems to have a valid point, as what’s $6M for an NFL franchise that’s looking to spend $1B on a new place to play 10 (or at best 12) games per year. Even if they’re unreasonably being greedy, IMHO the team should just suck it up if they’re set on that piece of land.

    The core of capitalism is “Supply & Demand” and if this church has all the leverage they have no reason to give the local NFL franchise discount.

  5. Because God needs that additional $9 million.

    For important stuff.

    Like a really nice big-screen tv with surround sound.

    To watch Falcons games on.

  6. GOD loves thy GREEDY? can anybody say, ok you win! get 25 million,,BUTTTTT, you must give up your TAX EXEMPT STATUS!!!did i just hear someone cancel a CARIBBEAN cruise???

  7. This church has gone off the deep end. The current congregation has 450 members. The stadium can be built by turning the project in a different direction and then, they’ll be coming to church on Sundays in the fall with 70,000 tailgating next door.

    The offer right now equates to half a million per member of the church. No way they have “savings” to that extent. They’re overplaying their hand. “Friendship” Baptist needs to re-think their position. They could relocate with $15M and buy much more property nearby, build a new facility and still have enough left over to run the church for a decade.

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

    Mr. Hawk must have failed 2nd grade math…

    The 2 sides were $11,000,000.00 apart, and the city has already increased their offer to reduce the amount to a $9,000,000.00 difference.

    This is a money grab by the Friendship Babtist Church, which is downright “unfriendly”.

    This church deserves to have the property taken via eminent domain and have the compensation reduced by “five or six million dollars” (which using Mr. Hawks math would be more like $9 – 11,000,000.00).

  9. The Falcons want to build it on the north end anyways where there is more space. It’s the mayor that wants it on the south end.

  10. It really isn’t worth building this team a new stadium anyways. They haven’t won anything and their current team is led by a terrible qb and two average receivers.

  11. A 1 billion dollar stadium for a team that has never won s-t? Sad, funny but sad. Poor lil Failcants. That stadium won’t give a Lombardi for your empty trophy case.

  12. So the church thinks that 15.5 million isn’t enough to cover moving costs…really?? This looks like more of a money grab than a desire to compensated fairly.

  13. I like that the church is not going to be bullied into settling for only $15.5 million. Hope they stand their ground.

  14. The church has the leverage to get a good deal, they would be foolish not to use it. No clear thinking person or group should do anything different. It’s not like they are building an orphanage. When a player’s skill declines a bit, the team uses it’s leverage to cut his pay. What’s the difference?

  15. I have an idea, since this is a public works project, how about the city goes out and gets bids on the cost to move the church, and a public assessment of the value of the land, and give all the numbers to the public, so that it either puts pressure on the church to accept what should be a reasonable bid.

    The church should do the same, so that again, the press can see what the church is estimating for their move & land value, and put more pressure on the city.

    Without either of those things happening, public comment on the negotiations holds no weight by anyone outside of the two sides, and it’s a he said, he said debate.

  16. If they were really creative, they would come up with a design that would incorporate the church into the stadium. They could have a “Tailgate Prayer Breakfast”, morning mass, and then go into the arena and watch the game. The church choir could sing the National Anthem every week and the church folks could sell Lunches and refreshments at prices lower than normal stadium concessions. And in cases like last seasons last minute playoff climax, patrons could run into the chapel and pray for the team to complete that last second TD pass.

  17. joenash72 says
    “Because God needs that additional $9 million. For important stuff. Like a really nice big-screen tv with surround sound.”

    Out of line.

    You have no idea what expenses a ministry has. Not only will this church have to relocate, but they’ll have to buy new land and build a new church building. Have you researched to cost of land to build on there? Have you researched the costs of building a church of equal or greater value and quality to what they are giving up?

    And you comments hint that they waste money because of greed. You don’t know that. Churches contribute to worldwide missions. They feed the hungry because tax payers refuse to. They help people with utilities and rent. It goes on and on.

    We don’t know the level of involvement of this church, but their costs may well be valid. And even if they were not, they own the property. They will be inconvenienced. The church has a right to make a profit off the sale. That said, the money has to go into the operations of the church itself and its charities. Otherwise it should not be considered “nonprofit”.

  18. Hey there, Falcons buckaroo’s!!!

    Does the name, “Hawk”, ring any bells for ya? Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. Y’all beat “The Hawks”, fair and square, with good throws by Ryan.

    But there are other Hawks out there that might not have taken kindly to that last 25-seconds win. Ya git my drift?

    Now you be nice to that Hawk fella, ya hear? We Hawks, stick together.

  19. It would seem that a church near the Georgia Dome would be a nightmare to access and leave on home game Sundays. Think they would take the money and get away from that traffic fuster cluck. Just sayin’

  20. THere is no way a church that size can purchase land and build a replacement building for $15 million. The church is absolutely right in their stand. Our church just spent three million on a building no where near what that church would need and we had to go out of the city to even get that price. Pay the church. It is already going to be hard on the members who live close and have to commute, especially the elderly. Blank is going to make a killing on “site licenses” and other revenue for decades to come. Doesn’t surprise me a bit that Blank and the “city fathers” are squeezing a church. Makes you curious how many box seats the city council and Mayor’s office have been promised. I know this town’s government wouldn’t miss a chance to step to the front of any line.

  21. People love to attack religion as being all about the money, but let’s be reasonable here. You can’t just up and buy new property and build a new building without an incredible amount of cost and inconvenience.

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