After a summer of wrangling to buy two churches that stood in its way — including political maneuvering and a bit of high drama when negotiations broke down at one point — the new Atlanta Falcons stadium is officially set for the site that the city and state preferred all along.
The story you’re reading is premium content from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Subscribers get total access to all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive premium content. You can now also buy a 24-hour digital pass or 7-day digital pass.
Read MyAJC.com now — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24-hours
Read MyAJC.com all week — 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7-days
Subscribe to AJC for as little as 33¢ per dayView Offers
AJC Print subscriber — I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
AJC Print subscriber — I’ve already registered my account.Sign In
Staff writer Katie Leslie contributed to this article.
STORY SO FAR
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has covered the Falcons’ pursuit of a new stadium since team owner Arthur Blank broached the idea in an interview with the newspaper in 2006. The Falcons formally settled Monday on a stadium site just south of the Georgia Dome after successful negotiations with two churches to acquire their properties near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Northside drives. How the negotiations with the churches unfolded:
March 15: The Georgia World Congress Center Authority board approves a stadium deal with the Falcons. It calls for $200 million of the construction cost to be paid from proceeds of city-issued bonds backed by hotel-motel tax revenue, and the rest to be paid by the Falcons, personal seat license sales and the NFL. In all, the deal calls for 39.3 percent of Atlanta’s 7-cents-per-dollar hotel-motel tax to go toward costs of financing, operating and maintaining the stadium through 2050 — hundreds of millions of dollars more than the initial $200 million, according to projections.
March 18: The Atlanta City Council votes 11-4 to approve the deal.
April: Negotiations begin with two churches, Friendship Baptist and Mount Vernon Baptist, that would have to be purchased and razed for the stadium to be built on the “preferred” site just south of the Dome.
July 30: The Falcons declare the south-of-the-Dome site “not feasible at this time” because the needed property hasn’t been acquired at this point, and the team begins a study of the alternate site one-half mile north of the Dome.
Aug. 1: The GWCCA terminates negotiations to purchase Mount Vernon Baptist after the church rejects a $6.2 million offer and seeks $20.375 million.
Aug. 6: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces a tentative $19.5 million deal for the Falcons to purchase Friendship Baptist and calls on the GWCCA to “try harder” to reach a deal with Mount Vernon Baptist.
Aug. 16: Reed announces Mount Vernon has dropped its asking price to $15.5 million.
Sept. 11: The city confirms it has made a $14.5 million offer to Mount Vernon, with the Falcons supplementing the state’s $6.2 million.
Sept. 19: Mount Vernon votes to accept $14.5 million for its property.
Sept. 22: Friendship votes to accept $19.5 million for its property.