Church preps to discuss stadium negotiations

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ATLANTA - The city of Atlanta came to an agreement to buy Friendship Baptist Church, one church needed on the site of a proposed new falcon's stadium. But Mount Vernon, the other site, is still holding out.

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach tried to talk to some members about the ongoing negotiations with the city to buy the property to put the new stadium at the downtown church.

Some didn't want to say anything until after a specially called meeting Tuesday for the congregation. Others said they just want to get it over with.

Less than a week ago, plans to put the new Falcons stadium on the preferred south site seemed dead.

That was until Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday the city had reached a tentative deal to buy Friendship and wants to reopen talks with Mount Vernon across the street.

Willie Peterson, 83, has been a Mount Vernon member since 1946 and has seen a lot of changes.

"I do know one thing. We would lose a lot," he said.

Documents revealed the state's final offer to Mount Vernon of just over $6 million is about $14 million less than the church wants, and much less than the $19.5 offered to Friendship Baptist.

"It's something to think of because you have a lot of people live close around, to move it would throw a lot of senior citizens," Peterson said.

The church set a special meeting for Tuesday night for the church family to discuss the negotiations and dispel any rumors.

"What do you hope happens? What do you want to hear?" asked Gehlbach.

"I would like for them to just let it be. Let it stay here," Peterson said.

Mount Vernon is the more critical of the two churches because the actual stadium would go on that side of the street.

Meanwhile, the Falcons are continuing to look at all their options, including moving the stadium to the north site.



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