by: Tony Thomas Updated:
ATLANTA - Atlanta city leaders and the Atlanta Falcons insist there is no deadline for when negotiations over funding for a new downtown stadium need to be completed.
"I don't have a timeline because I think whenever you say, 'It's going to be a month from now,' it never seems to happen," said Falcon President Rich McKay.
He made the comments after the first public hearing on the matter.
Another big hitter at the gathering was former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.
"Everything that has happened in this town has been
controversial," Young said.
Young told the council members that building a new stadium is "another opportunity that gives us a chance to shape the future."
The Falcons and city leaders are negotiating a deal to fund a new retractable roof stadium to replace the Georgia Dome.
The city would contribute $200 million from the city's hotel/motel tax fund and the team would pay the rest.
Not everyone supports the plan.
"Oh, absolutely save the dome. You know, it's not like we have to save the dome, let's just not tear down something that's working perfectly fine for us. We still owe $100 million on it," Atlanta resident Molly Read Woo told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.
Joe Stalls told the council he's only missed eight Falcons home games since they came to Atlanta. He said not building a new stadium would be a mistake.
"The Falcons are a child of the city of Atlanta and we need to pay our child support," he said.
There is no actual proposal before the Atlanta City Council yet but members will meet again on Friday to discuss what they'd like to see in any potential agreement.