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Mayor says part of Falcons stadium deal done

An artist rendering of the Atlanta Falcons stadium concept design provided by 360 Architecture.

An artist rendering of the Atlanta Falcons stadium concept design provided by 360 Architecture.

Atlanta officials have reached a $19.5 million preliminary deal to buy the property of one of two churches needed to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, according to multiple reports.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed confirmed the reports on Tuesday. The agreement to buy Friendship Baptist Church amounts to a partial victory for stadium supporters, Yahoo! News reported. To complete the deal, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority would still need to reach an agreement with a separate church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Those talks broke down recently. Afterward, the state authority said it would explore a different site north of the current Georgia Dome.

Reed wants the stadium built on a site south of the existing stadium. The Democratic mayor said in a news conference that the originally proposed site would be better served by public transportation, alleviating game day traffic jams in the city. Reed said that he asked former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to serve as an intermediary to help relaunch talks between the state agency and Mount Vernon.

The Falcons responded to the news with the following statement:

“We commend the Mayor, city officials and the congregation of Friendship Baptist Church for all of their hard work in reaching a tentative agreement for the acquisition of the church property,” the release said. “ The church property purchase price falls within the terms of the MOU for the acquisition of property adjacent to the proposed south site for the new stadium. This is certainly a positive development for the south site; however, other significant issues and requirements remain unresolved on that site.”

The team said it would have no other comment.