ATLANTA -- At midday, a survey crew analyzed the preferred new stadium site south of the Georgia Dome, a site endangered by the apparently stalled talks to buy two churches.
As an August 1 deadline approaches, backers of the new billion dollar stadium are starting to set their sights on the plot of land north of the Georgia Dome that serves as Plan B, should the south site talks fail.
On Sunday, Mayor Kasim Reed appeared at Friendship Baptist Church during services to introduce a dignitary. Board of Trustees president Lloyd Hawk said there were no discussions with the mayor about the city's offer to purchase Friendship.
Hawk said the city was unable to schedule talks last week; he's hoping for a meeting this week.
Reed told 11Alive News in June that the city had offered more than $15 million for Friendship. He said the church wants more than $24 million. The mayor has declined to comment on the specifics of talks since then.
Plan B would put the stadium at Northside and Ivan Allen Drive, on a piece of empty land. Backers put the north site on a back shelf because they preferred the MARTA rail accessibility of the south stadium site. Under both plans, the Georgia Dome would be demolished.
The Georgia Dome currently sits directly across the street from the Vine City rail station. The new stadium on the south site would sit just as close. But to get from the Vine City MARTA station to the stadium's proposed north side site would be a considerable haul on foot.
You'd have to hike past the existing Georgia Dome site, past the even larger site of the Georgia World Congress Center, all the way to the north site a half mile away.
Outside City Hall at midday, opponents of the new stadium's funding formula gathered signatures to try to force the project onto a citywide referendum.
But the more immediate question concerns a looming deadline for the new stadium's location -- and whether the two churches will force backers to settle for the Plan B site away from public transit.