All the chatter about Atlanta Falcons’ stadium future, including recent advances by Clayton County, caught the mayor’s eye in Flowery Branch, home of the NFL team’s offices and training facilities.
“If a deal isn’t available with city of atlanta, Flowery Branch would be a great place for a new stadium!” Mike Miller tweeted on Wednesday.
“If all the other cities are putting their name out there, why not Flowery Branch?” he said in a later interview.
“We are their home and Exit 14, which would go right there at their facility, would be a great spot to put a stadium.”
Exit 14 is a proposed new interchange off Interstate 985, situated between Flowery Branch and Oakwood.
The project, years away from construction funding, would connect H.F. Reed Industrial Parkway at Thurmon Tanner Parkway to Martin Road at Falcon Parkway.
The team’s current lease with the Georgia Dome downtown is nearing an end, and team officials have said they prefer to build a new stadium instead of making improvements to the dome.
Falcons spokeswoman Kim Shreckengost said the Falcons remain focused on working with the city of Atlanta to reach an agreement on a downtown stadium.
State and local officials are considering plans to use a special hotel tax to help finance a new retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta.
Falcons President and CEO Rich McKay has told the Atlanta City Council that the team would have no choice but to consider other sites if negotiations on the downtown Atlanta site break down.
Gainesville real estate executive Frank Norton Jr., who was instrumental in bringing the Falcons to South Hall in 1999, gave this statement on the matter: “Hall County opened its arms and welcomed the Falcons ... for their corporate and training camp relocation (from Suwanee). It’s been a wonderful partnership for both sides.
“I’m sure that if the current negotiations were to break down, the Falcons would thoughtfully consider all options.”
For her part, Kit Dunlap, president and CEO of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, would prefer to see the Falcons remain in downtown Atlanta.
“I hope it becomes a reality that they can do what they want to do. It’s such a generator of income for the city of Atlanta and the whole state,” she said.
“Yes, we’re proud to have their headquarters here, but public transportation, parking, all that stuff that goes with (a stadium), I think it really belongs in downtown Atlanta.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.