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Mount Vernon Approves Stadium Deal, Friendship Baptist Votes Sunday

From News Services | 9/20/2013, 2:21 p.m.
If the membership of Friendship Baptist Church votes no, then the Falcons and the Georgia Congress Center Authority will look at building the $1 billion stadium on the north site on Northside Drive just past the Georgia World Congress Center.

Reed was joined at the news conference by the Rev. Turner from Mount Vernon Baptist and Lloyd Hawk, chairman of Friendship Baptist's board of trustees. Both men said they believe the proposed deals are fair and that they will recommend that their congregations approve them. Both churches said they are considering several sites, and Reed said the city will be willing to provide some assistance and advice for their relocation.

The churches have been the main obstacles to a site south of the Georgia Dome, the Falcons' existing stadium. Reed has repeatedly said that site is preferable to an open site on the north side of the Georgia Dome because it would be better served by two public transit stations, lessening game-day traffic jams and making it easier for fans to access the games using public transportation.

But if the congregations vote against the new proposals, Reed said he won't push it. Instead, he said he will join the Falcons in preparing for the north site.

There are six other parcels of land that will still remain to be purchased even if the churches agree to sell their land, but Reed said that, unlike the churches, none of those pieces is essential. Building the stadium without any of those parcels would be more difficult but not impossible, he said.

(Source: The Atlanta Voice and Associated Press)