From the start, the selection of the site of the Falcons new Billion Dollar stadium has been a political process. Anyone that has been in Atlanta for more than a few years knows that we have our own brand of southern politics. Here, Kasim Reed has made a concerted effort to insert himself in the process and impose his will that the stadium be built on the smallish "South Site," despite some obvious shortcomings.
Critics have characterized this process as a "land grab" for the mayor's own benefit and his interest in creating momentum for the long stalled Multi-Modal Train/Bust station.
Despite the fact that this questionable project has been on the minds of Atlanta politicians for over 20 years, Reed is insistent.
Conversely, although it is .5 miles away from the Dome MARTA station, many Atlanta residents (and Falcons' fans) claim the North Site to be superior in every way since it will be easier to get to with more tailgating space and a better view if the city.
More, it is only 500 yards from the Aquarium and Centennial Olympic Park. The development of that part of the city has much greater potential.
For his part, Arthur Blank seems hesitant to wade into this political morass. At a forum Wednesday morning, Blank was non-committal when asked if he would contribute to the purchase of Mount Vernon Baptist Church to enable construction of the new stadium on the "South Site" along Martin Luther King Drive.
Blank said the decision on where the stadium could be located - the South Site more preferred by the city and the Falcons, or the North Site along Ivan Allen Boulevard - should be made within the next couple of weeks.