The new Exit 14 interchange on Interstate 985 in South Hall, due to be ready in August, could honor the Atlanta Falcons, whose training facility and corporate offices are in Flowery Branch.
House Resolution 449, sponsored by all of Hall County’s state representatives, proposes that the interchange be dedicated as the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Interchange. The Falcons’ training facility and corporate offices, located on Falcons Parkway near CW Davis Middle School and Flowery Branch High School, have been in the area since 1998.
The resolution states that the Falcons “have put the Hall County region on the international map” and “have served as a vital part of the fabric of the Flowery Branch and Hall County communities” for more than 20 years.
Tim Evans, vice president of economic development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, alo said the Falcons have been both an economic driver and an overall benefit to the community.
“There is tremendous goodwill value that goes with sports bylines that begin ‘Flowery Branch, GA,’ and having many of the Falcons players, coaches and senior management and their families living in the community,” Evans said in an email Wednesday. “Flowery Branch is a part of the NFL sports dialog among fans. Falcons players routinely support local charities and nonprofits through their giving and their time. The annual training camp in August draws Falcons fans far and wide to Hall County to support their team. And many small businesses in the community benefit from serving the business needs of the Falcons headquarters and training camp.”
State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gainesville, whose district includes the facility, said the Falcons have also contributed to local nonprofits and helped county schools.
“They’re like Jackson EMC or like Georgia Power. They’re like a lot of the people behind the scenes that help to sponsor and educate the young people,” Dunahoo said.
Neighboring Flowery Branch High shares the NFL team’s mascot and colors.
The Falcons have also partnered with nonprofits including Habitat for Humanity and Sisu Integrated Early Learning, according to the resolution.
Neighboring Exit 12 at Spout Springs Road is dedicated in honor of Rankin Smith, the founding owner of the Falcons.
An Atlanta Falcons representative did not respond to requests for comment from The Times Wednesday.
Work on the $34 million interchange, a Georgia Department of Transportation project, began in 2017.