The Atlanta Falcons have big plans to build the next world wonder. It looks like it was designed with origami folds, twists open and closed and will cost about $1 billion. That is, if it gets built.
The Falcons already overcame the local government by pitching in additional $200 million to the project, as politicians balked at the massive price for the new stadium, particularly in the wake of revelations that stadiums really don't do as much for economic value as advertised. Now, Falcons owner Arthur Blank now faces another hurdle: the Friendship Baptist Church.
The church is located in the area the new Georgia Dome would like to occupy and they don't plan on moving.
Juanita Jones Abernathy, widow of Ralph Abernathy, noted that her church should not relocate from its current site because of its historic significance and sacredness. Slaves were shipped to the church in a boxcar during the Civil War and historically black colleges Spelman and Morehouse once held classes in the basement.
"The church is a landmark in the community and it needs to remain there as a landmark," Abernathy told NBC.
FBC, the oldest black church in Atlanta, asked for $24.3 million in order to move, $9 million more than they were offered. Designers then came up with another design that would allow the church to remain, but the church pointed out that they would be within 100 yards of the church and therefore unable to sell alcohol. So that ain't happening either.
The two sides plan to meet next week, where Blank will ultimately be left with the decision to pony up (again) or remain sober. Decisons, decisions...