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Doraville doesn't see stadium idea as a winner

By April Hunt

Doraville wants the Falcons to nest elsewhere.

In a unanimous vote earlier this week, the City Council rejected what it said is a conceptual plan being pushed by DeKalb County: Build the NFL team a new stadium where a shuttered General Motors plant now stands near I-285 and MARTA rail.

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“The county seems to think a stadium would be a wonderful thing,” Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins said. “Our citizens overwhelmingly are not for that.”

DeKalb Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis said the county does not favor any concept, including a stadium. Rather, he remains open to any ideas that meet his goals of restoring 4,000 jobs lost when the factory closed in 2008 and puts the property back on the tax rolls.

"It becomes difficult to say no to any idea when we haven't seen any concrete plans," Ellis said. "There is nothing on paper yet."

Redevelopment of the 165-acre site has been a hot topic since GM announced the plant closing in 2007. Doraville residents have long clamored for a mixed-use project that brings offices, restaurants and possibly homes.

But with the City Council's vote Monday night, Doraville officials worried that DeKalb's answer to mixed-use was to put the Falcons' practice fields and administrative offices on the site, along with a new stadium.

Plans for a stadium were first floated last year by the Sembler Co. during its negotiations with GM.

A feeble economy seemed to kill the idea until rumors began swirling around Doraville in recent weeks that the county was reviving plans for a football stadium. Talk intensified when city officials revealed earlier this month that the county plans to acquire the land with a developer.

Doraville officials worry that move would push the city out of the redevelopment. The city has conducted studies that show the need for mixed-use projects and how they connect to nearby universities and offices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We need to spur this redevelopment, but we must do it in a way that is sustainable and consistent with our goals and planning," the council members said in a joint statement following the vote. "We are certain that our vision, rather than a stadium, will accomplish that."

Whether the Falcons -- whose owner Arthur Blank has been a booster of downtown -- would want to move north from the 17-year-old Georgia Dome is another question.

Blank has said he wants a new stadium when the bonds sold to build the Dome are paid off, expected between 2015 and 2020. The team's lease of the state-owned facility expires in 2020 or when those bonds are paid.

Team spokeswoman Kim Shreckengost said Thursday that discussions regarding any site the team was considering would be "very preliminary" and she declined to comment further.

Ellis said the county has solicited input from Doraville and other stakeholders such as developers and GM on how to best redevelop the site. A Florida developer said earlier this month that the county was working with it on plans for a multiuse project, with or without a stadium.

"We have just brainstormed about some of the ideas that are out there," Ellis said. "We're engaging in an exchange of ideas until one idea takes hold and we move it into action."

http://www.ajc.com/news/doraville-doesn-t-see-170166.html

I think eventually it would be pushed thru, but not without a fight!!

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I think it would be silly to build a new stadium just because its seems even when we are winning its hard for us to fill the stadium on Sunday. JMO

Those reasons wouldn't be why Blank wants a new stadium, in the NFL even bad teams build new stadiums, in the long term it makes financial sense to the team owners. (see the Lions) Even LA who doesn't even have an NFL team has plans to build a stadium.

Edited by aerosmith67
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Do us all a favor and just build it in some of that undeveloped area close to the Mall of Georgia in Buford. There are tons of kids & young adults in the area to man the jobs in the stadium and it puts the stadium in one of the wealthiest towns/cities in the state, plus it is a VERY low crime area.

A good portion of those who don't like the Falcons being downtown are those who have a phobia of being in an city, living in suburbia has mentally damaged quite a few people around the state of Georgia.

People don't like the Falcons being downtown because it sucks down there. It's almost an hour from where most of us live and parking your car downtown is a risky proposition.

Edited by pr0d1gy
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Doraville residents have long clamored for a mixed-use project that brings offices, restaurants and possibly homes.

Because there's no offices or restaurants around the current Dome.

I think it would be silly to build a new stadium just because its seems even when we are winning its hard for us to fill the stadium on Sunday. JMO

You're missing the point. The Falcons organization doesn't own the stadium they play in. That is a HUGE financial strike against the team in terms of worth. Plus, a new stadium in Atlanta could almost guarantee another Super Bowl in town, which is an economy boost for the local area and the city as a whole.

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Do us all a favor and just build it in some of that undeveloped area close to the Mall of Georgia in Buford. There are tons of kids & young adults in the area to man the jobs in the stadium and it puts the stadium in one of the wealthiest towns/cities in the state, plus it is a VERY low crime area.

I wish. That's the area that I live in. I would buy season tickets if that happened.

Emmitt

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Do us all a favor and just build it in some of that undeveloped area close to the Mall of Georgia in Buford. There are tons of kids & young adults in the area to man the jobs in the stadium and it puts the stadium in one of the wealthiest towns/cities in the state, plus it is a VERY low crime area.

People don't like the Falcons being downtown because it sucks down there. It's almost an hour from where most of us live and parking your car downtown is a risky proposition.

Several flaws with a facility near the Mall of Georgia.

Public transportation - There is none. You must have some means of transporting large numbers of people without causing congestion on the roadways. I've been by the Mall of Georgia on a typical weekend and the traffic is horrible. Now, imagine adding an extra 65 - 70 thousand people. It won't work and it won't happen

Location north of Atlanta - What about the fans on the south side? Are you assuming there are none, or that they can fly helicopters up for the games?

Parking - How can parking downtown be any worse than parking in Buford? I can assure you that if there is a large field of parked cars, someone is bound to take advantage of the situation and break in to those cars regardless of the location.

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I think it would be silly to build a new stadium just because its seems even when we are winning its hard for us to fill the stadium on Sunday. JMO

How about just build a stadium with a smaller capacity. The Dome holds about 71k. I think 65 or so would seem about right. Like you mentioned there always seems to be some last second push to sell tickets to a home game once or twice a year.

Lucas Oil stadium where the Colts play officially holds 63k but it is configurable to 70k for basketball, concerts, conventions and the Super Bowl.

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Do us all a favor and just build it in some of that undeveloped area close to the Mall of Georgia in Buford. There are tons of kids & young adults in the area to man the jobs in the stadium and it puts the stadium in one of the wealthiest towns/cities in the state, plus it is a VERY low crime area.

People don't like the Falcons being downtown because it sucks down there. It's almost an hour from where most of us live and parking your car downtown is a risky proposition.

:lol: How many stadiums can you list that are in "wealthy areas"? So because YOU live near the Mall of GA that means MOST fans live in that area? :huh:

LOL wtf?

Whatever you are smoking....stop now. :P

See the post above by pr0d1gy, suburban life can warp some minds. Working south of the city and knowing people outside the perimeter and reading comments like the one above, something has happened to some that live outside the perimeter. I can't put my finger on it, but most of their complaints are baseless accusations about how bad Atlanta truly is.

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The Dome will stay in the city of ATLANTA. The CITY of ATLANTA has to much to loose if the Dome moves. Most of these new venues that are being built downtown are being built because of the Dome, Phillips Arena, GWCC etc... Moving the DOME out of the City will make Downtown Atlanta less attractive to visitors, conventions, NCAA, etc...

Some of you are saying move to Buford, Flowery Branch, Doraville etc... None of these cities have 5 star hotels or resturants to support the stadium. Public transportation plays a major role in location for the new Dome and none of the cities above Doraville has Public Transportation. So unless Buford etc... are ready for Marta, and we all know ya'll don't want that to happen. The Dome will stay in downtown atlanta.

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The Dome will stay in the city of ATLANTA. The CITY of ATLANTA has to much to loose if the Dome moves. Most of these new venues that are being built downtown are being built because of the Dome, Phillips Arena, GWCC etc... Moving the DOME out of the City will make Downtown Atlanta less attractive to visitors, conventions, NCAA, etc...

Some of you are saying move to Buford, Flowery Branch, Doraville etc... None of these cities have 5 star hotels or resturants to support the stadium. Public transportation plays a major role in location for the new Dome and none of the cities above Doraville has Public Transportation. So unless Buford etc... are ready for Marta, and we all know ya'll don't want that to happen. The Dome will stay in downtown atlanta.

The dome isn't going anywhere....we can't move a 10,000 TON building....

The FALCONS are moving to a new stadium

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Knew what would happen? Nothing has happened. The county asked the city along with others what they thought of the preliminary proposal. I know what the county thinks. They would scoop up all of the local tax on sales of season tickets to every thing else.

That the residents of the county would veto it. Like I said it will get done, but it is going to be a fight.

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What this story leaves out is the City voted on a preliminary proposal that was submitted to them for approval. If Blank wasn't serious about building in Doraville, he never would have submitted the proposal to begin with.

This is step one in building the stadium in Doraville, not the nail in the coffin that stops it.

Given that the county and Blank are behind it, Doraville will probably lose out on this one.

Never said that it wouldn't get done. I was merely stating that the residents were against it and they will fight it tooth and nails before it get done.

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