Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new stadium site
SB Nation ^ | Jun 21 2013, 11:04a | Jason Kirk

Posted on 07/02/2013 4:43:57 PM PDT by Pan_Yan

The biggest issue facing the Atlanta Falcons' eye-popping new football stadium: whether to build it just north of the current Georgia Dome, which would mean greater distance from hotels, the airport, transit, and the city's skyline, or just south, which would mean buying the land presently occupied by a pair of historic churches.

The team prefers the south site. Those churches also prefer the south site. Friendship Baptist, established in 1866 and the wellspring for both Morehouse and Spelman colleges, has rejected the city's offer of $13.5 million for the property, asking for nearly double that. Mayor Kasim Reed told 11 Alive he's upped the offer by $2 million. Meanwhile, the state is negotiating with Martin Luther King Drive's Mount Vernon Baptist.

While the houses of worship could stand to collect windfalls (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the combined land is worth just more than $2.2 million), they are of course not governed strictly by financials:

"I don't think [money] should even enter our decision-making. I really don't," said [Friendship] parishioner Juanita Jones Abernathy, whose late husband [Ralph David Abernathy] was a confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "It's a landmark. I think it should remain. It's been there for generations, and it needs to be there for generations to come."

Considering Mt. Vernon Baptist's real estate is worth an amount similar to Friendship Baptist's, it could cost the city and state significantly more than $30 million to secure the land, which could raise the public cost of the stadium beyond the $200 million for which it's on the hook. A $30 million price tag would amount to 3.7 percent of the $800 million the team's committed to building the facility, and it wouldn't include the $50 million Arthur Blank's setting aside for undetermined neighborhood improvements as a part of the overhaul.

Can the Falcons show the city and state it's worth that much money to play a few blocks south? I don't know. I'm imagining the kind of church one could build with $20 million in one's pocket, but luckily, it's not my decision to make.

The Falcons stadium deal is, as far as stadium deals with public components go, a relatively good one for its city. That $200 million was earmarked for tourism anyway, and it's been argued that an even bigger public number would need to be spent in order to maintain the apparently far-more-aged-than-the-human-mind-can-fathom Georgia Dome. Land acquisition fees from the public's trusts will never be popular, though at least they'd be going to longtime local institutions and not some corporation, right?

The parties have until Aug. 1 to reach an accord. If none is found, the hemisphere's boldest stadium will be built just north of the team's current house.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Local News; Sports
KEYWORDS: atlanta; nfl
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last
Proposed stadium:


1 posted on 07/02/2013 4:43:57 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Hoodat; FreedomPoster; Perdogg

Opinions?


2 posted on 07/02/2013 4:44:59 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

How old is the Georgia Dome? What’s wrong with it? Seems like it was just built!


3 posted on 07/02/2013 4:49:41 PM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

The NFL is a non-profit organization that specializes in enriching the lives of minorities. These racist Christians need to go!


4 posted on 07/02/2013 4:49:41 PM PDT by sbMKE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sbMKE
These racist Christians need to go!

I assure you that the membership demographics of Friendship Baptist Church make this a little bit of a delicate subject.

5 posted on 07/02/2013 4:52:17 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
Oragami Field?


6 posted on 07/02/2013 4:52:26 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Obama lied, Stevens died, now Obama covers up the lies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: FlJoePa

No clue. The Georgia Dome opened in 1992 and apparently, despite only being 21 years old, is now totally obsolete for the Dirty Birds and thus the taxpayers of Fulton County are going to be on the hook for $200m to get them a new nest.

}:-)4


7 posted on 07/02/2013 4:53:35 PM PDT by Moose4 (SHALL. NOT. BE. INFRINGED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
Oragami Field?

That middle flower thingy is actually the moving roof.

8 posted on 07/02/2013 4:54:10 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

There has never been a publicly funded pro sporting arena that has ever been a benefit for taxpayers - they are black holes of funds, provide exceptional profit for team owners with minimal return to taxpayers. The formulas utilized to determine the economic impact of a stadium / sports team on a municipality are flawed on a level that is staggering. Look at the outstanding debt on all pro stadiums and tell me they benefit taxpayers. We are old demolishing stadiums that sill have outstanding bond debt on them?!?


9 posted on 07/02/2013 4:55:38 PM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

Looks like something a high-tech alien jumped out of, right before it went on a rampage and ate Atlanta.


10 posted on 07/02/2013 4:56:12 PM PDT by willgolfforfood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moose4
...the taxpayers of Fulton County are going to be on the hook for $200m to get them a new nest.

Now, now. They have constantly reassured us that it all comes from hotel taxes and thus is paid by out of state visitor with no effect of the local economy.

11 posted on 07/02/2013 4:56:28 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Moose4

Isn’t there some concern for the viability of the soft roof of the Georgia Dome..IIRC, there was considerable damage when a tornado hit a few years ago.


12 posted on 07/02/2013 4:56:51 PM PDT by ken5050 (Due to all the WH scandals, MSNBC is changing its slogan from "Lean Forward" to "BOHICA")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Moose4

I’m not a big Arthur Blank fan. Why didn’t the taxpayers tell them to go eff themselves? Even the Miami Dade taxpayers said no to Super Bowl renovations to Joe Robbie (still call it that).


13 posted on 07/02/2013 4:57:53 PM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Moose4

As of 2011, the GWCC (Which governs the Georgia Dome) had $112.6 million in debt still owed bonds from the construction of the Georgia dome, completed in 1992. They are about to double down and roll a hundred million of debt forward.


14 posted on 07/02/2013 4:59:17 PM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
Here's the church in question:


15 posted on 07/02/2013 5:01:06 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
Now that is pretty cool then!

Not sure about the rest though.

16 posted on 07/02/2013 5:02:49 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (0bama lied, Stevens died, now Obama covers up the lies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

Lucky for the churches they are on an “Protected list” else the city would “eminent domain” their A%%.

Otherwise I’m for the churches to squeeze the city and the falcons for all they’re worth.

(I love football but I’m tired of rich NFL teams soaking the local communities)


17 posted on 07/02/2013 5:04:08 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
The biggest issue facing the Atlanta Falcons' eye-popping new football stadium: whether to build it just north of the current Georgia Dome, which would mean greater distance from hotels, the airport, transit, and the city's skyline, or just south, which would mean buying the land presently occupied by a pair of historic churches.

The team prefers the south site. Those churches also prefer the south site. Friendship Baptist, established in 1866 and the wellspring for both Morehouse and Spelman colleges, has rejected the city's offer of $13.5 million for the property, asking for nearly double that. Mayor Kasim Reed told 11 Alive he's upped the offer by $2 million. Meanwhile, the state is negotiating with Martin Luther King Drive's Mount Vernon Baptist.

Ping for later

18 posted on 07/02/2013 5:04:12 PM PDT by Alex Murphy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
For what it's worth, this actually IS an historic church.

Friendship Baptist is the oldest black Baptist congregation in Atlanta, established right after the Civil War. The building itself dates from around 1880. Morehouse College moved to Atlanta from Augusta at their invitation, and Spelman actually started in their basement.

The present church site is directly across the street from the college/Atlanta University complex (though closer to Morris Brown), so they will lose not only historic value but proximity to the school.

But sufficient money ought to allow them to move the building brick by brick and set it up again nearby (lots of vacant land in the vicinity).

The problem is Mt. Vernon Baptist, which is actually closer to the Dome (on the same side of MLK and contiguous w/ the Dome - FBC is across MLK). The building is pure 1960s and has no historical value whatsoever - but they are in the middle.

I drive right through that intersection on my way to work.

19 posted on 07/02/2013 5:06:20 PM PDT by AnAmericanMother (Ecce Crucem Domini, fugite partes adversae. Vicit Leo de Tribu Iuda, Radix David, Alleluia!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

I support the separation of sports and state. The churches own the land, let the teams pay whatever the owners want.


20 posted on 07/02/2013 5:09:34 PM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

If they go by way of eminent domain, it would be purchased for fair market value.

That is not the it’s value to the church nor its value to the city, but what a willing buyer and willing seller would pay for the property in an arm’s length transaction.


21 posted on 07/02/2013 5:12:49 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey

Church properties can be acquired by way of eminent domain.


22 posted on 07/02/2013 5:13:21 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

I’m a big NFL fan but, surprisingly, I’m with the churches on this one. Unless the church’s facilities aren’t nearly as old as the age of their congregation, how brazen is it to ask a church to abandon the land that has carried so much history?

The Georgia Dome is hardly old. They should have paid to build a better stadium.

Houston is trying to decide what to do with the Astrodome that has gone largely unused since 2000. Maybe Atlantans could pay to blow up the Georgia Dome and then transport the Astrodome to the same site. It withstood Hurricanes Alicia (1983) and Ike (2008) with hardly a scratch. It could use a good paint job, though.


23 posted on 07/02/2013 5:13:39 PM PDT by OrangeHoof (Howdy to all you government agents spying on me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Church properties can be acquired by way of eminent domain

True but these are black churches in Atlanta.

Can you imagine the blowback from "community organizers" protesting destruction of histortical black churches for "white rich, team owners"?
24 posted on 07/02/2013 5:17:33 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

The property’s worth a little over $2 million. The church wants ten times what the property would be worth for any other purpose. And the corrupt third world politicians want to get the money to them.


25 posted on 07/02/2013 5:18:01 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

26 posted on 07/02/2013 5:18:53 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RobertClark
There has never been a publicly funded pro sporting arena that has ever been a benefit for taxpayers - they are black holes of funds, provide exceptional profit for team owners with minimal return to taxpayers. The formulas utilized to determine the economic impact of a stadium / sports team on a municipality are flawed on a level that is staggering. Look at the outstanding debt on all pro stadiums and tell me they benefit taxpayers.

If building and operating a stadium or arena were profitable, the teams would insist on building their own facilities, rather than stick the taxpayer with the tab.

27 posted on 07/02/2013 5:20:23 PM PDT by GreenHornet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: OrangeHoof

keep it secured for any kind of emergency headquarters etc. you can land helicopters inside if necessary.


28 posted on 07/02/2013 5:21:37 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: GreenHornet
If building and operating a stadium or arena were profitable, the teams would insist on building their own facilities, rather than stick the taxpayer with the tab.

Ding, ding, ding. Winner!!!

29 posted on 07/02/2013 5:21:52 PM PDT by RobertClark (My shrink just killed himself - he blamed me in his note!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
If they go by way of eminent domain, it would be purchased for fair market value.

Hah!!!

Guess you never had land taken by the state by eminent domain for fair market valve

My family has several times and we never got anywhere close to what we were offered by private buyers.
30 posted on 07/02/2013 5:23:13 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
Church properties can be acquired by way of eminent domain.

I heard the mayor giving an interview on a sports show and eminent domain is absolutely not an option. What he didn't say is it would be political suicide.

31 posted on 07/02/2013 5:23:48 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: GreenHornet
If building and operating a stadium or arena were profitable, the teams would insist on building their own facilities, rather than stick the taxpayer with the tab.

Damned straight!!!
32 posted on 07/02/2013 5:24:51 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother

I don’t think you could buy a similar property in the area, build two new churches of like size and caliber and get it all done for 30 million. Churches aren’t cheap to build and the land and design work is going to eat up about 7.5 of the 30. That leaves about a little over 11 per building — nope, not a good deal.


33 posted on 07/02/2013 5:27:06 PM PDT by KC Burke (Officially since Memorial Day they are the Gimmie-crat Party.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: PAR35
The property’s worth a little over $2 million.

Buying the dirt would cost $2 million. Buying another lot and building a very large replacement facility could easily cost $20 million.

34 posted on 07/02/2013 5:27:39 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: AnAmericanMother
I drive right through that intersection on my way to work.

Now I know who's responsible for me getting stuck at the light at Northside and MLK all the time.

35 posted on 07/02/2013 5:30:20 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: PAR35
The property’s worth a little over $2 million. The church wants ten times what the property would be worth for any other purpose.

It's worth what the owners(or for any other landowner's property) say it's worth.

If Alanta Falcons don't agree, let them buy land elsewhere.
36 posted on 07/02/2013 5:30:26 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey
If Alanta Falcons don't agree, let them buy land elsewhere.

Here's the sticky part. From what I understand the City has agreed to buy and prep the land as their part of the deal.

37 posted on 07/02/2013 5:33:19 PM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

Looks like an angry, open sore.


38 posted on 07/02/2013 5:40:31 PM PDT by gatorhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
From what I understand the City has agreed to buy and prep the land as their part of the deal.

There's a sucker born every minute. Nashville got stuck with a bad deal(IMHO) with the Tennesse Titans.

At least Nashvillians got to actually vote on it(suckers)
39 posted on 07/02/2013 5:49:25 PM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

I hate to see historic buildings destroyed for the sake of money. However, if the churches think money is more important than I say soak the Falcons and let the rich pay their fair share. I’d also hold out for season tickets, in perpetuity, for members of each church and their immediate families.


40 posted on 07/02/2013 5:52:29 PM PDT by teacherwoes (this tagline has been approved by the NSA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
One of the silliest social phenomena in my opinion is this worship of these sports franchises and public support of same.

I cannot name one professional athlete or coach of any stripe, I only know a few city locations and hardly any team names.

It's all ridiculous.

41 posted on 07/02/2013 5:53:33 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

Opinions? Yes, it looks like a dam cootie catcher. Not much imagination for a stadium.


42 posted on 07/02/2013 6:36:07 PM PDT by healy61
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

zero taxpayer dollars should be involved in this crap


43 posted on 07/02/2013 6:38:56 PM PDT by GeronL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
Opinions

  1. There is nothing wrong with the current stadium.
  2. Hosting a Super Bowl is not the panacea the NFL makes it out to be.
  3. The sheer cost of this boondoggle will make attending a Falcons game unaffordable.
  4. It is not a legitimate function of government to earmark taxpayer dollars towards subsidizing a multi-billion dollar business.

An appropriate site would be at the Paces Ferry Rd exit outside I-285. Tear down Home Depot corporate offices and use that location.

44 posted on 07/02/2013 7:07:51 PM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

“Buying another lot and building a very large replacement facility “

How ‘very large’ would it need to be with 450 on the rolls, some of whom probably haven’t been in the building since their momma quit making them show up?

I personally think a more western location - perhaps Los Angeles - might be a better choice. But let’s be clear. This is a chance for the Black power structure in Atlanta to fleece the taxpayers almost as fully as Blank is doing.


45 posted on 07/02/2013 8:15:58 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Hoodat

“n appropriate site would be at the Paces Ferry Rd exit outside I-285. Tear down Home Depot corporate offices and use that location. “

A better choice might be just south of Paces Ferry and Northside, where his foundation is located. (Yes, it fronts on Howell Mill, but it connects through an office park to Northside. )


46 posted on 07/02/2013 8:20:12 PM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan; AnAmericanMother; Broker; clee1; ctdonath2; Dick Bachert; DJlaysitup; epow; ...

GA ping.

My opinion is that I’m glad I’m not backing this, since I don’t live in the City of Atlanta. Or at least that’s my understanding of who ultimately backs this.

Let Art build his own stadium.


47 posted on 07/03/2013 5:53:15 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: FreedomPoster

The Mayor and his administration backs this. Team’s Owner backs it, even though he’s coming off a 21 year record on the Georgia Dome where the taxpayers, I’m assuming, still owe about half of the original cost ($200M?).

Atlanta has a history of what one might call unproven corruption in its government. All the way back to Maynard Jackson and his infiltration into the Atlanta Airport Concession gravy train.

Only one mayor since him has gone to jail, though. Bill Campbell for Tax Evasion.

On the whole, I’d say Kaseem Reid is for it because of the enormous ‘side benefits’ that could come with managing a $200 million plus development. Team’s owner is for it because he gets new venue for a bargain price.


48 posted on 07/03/2013 5:58:49 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan

If it’s such a great investment, let the Falcons pay for it. Why should anyone who doesn’t go to a game have to pay for this boondoggle?

Pray for America to Wake Up


49 posted on 07/03/2013 6:06:11 AM PDT by bray (Stop tolerating beheading!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yan
Proposed stadium:

Another instance of the taxpayers being screwed by the politicians and bureaucrats to benefit wealthy democratic donors. (A$$hole Blank donated to both parties, but more to the Democrats.) Atlanta's mayors ever since the reign of the late and totally unlamened Mainturd Jackson have kept alive the black democrat tradition of corruption and unethical dealigs when not engaged in outright criminal acts. Just one more unethical act of screwing the taxpayers for something that the majority of them DON'T want.

50 posted on 07/03/2013 6:13:45 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-63 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson