Major League Baseball teams today have been spreading the word about GLAAD Spirit Day in hopes of shining light on LGBT youth and bullying issues. But a vocal group of Atlanta Braves fans aren't entirely thrilled with the effort.
Earlier this morning, the Braves organization posted a message on Facebook that encouraged Atlantans to wear purple for the cause. As Deadspin points out, there's been hundreds of negative comments left in response. Some people told the team to keep its posts baseball-related, while a handful had publicly declared that they're no longer fans. We've included a sample of what's being said after the jump:
For several months, the city and state engaged in highly scrutinized negotiations to purchase land from two churches so they could clear the way for the new Atlanta Falcons stadiums. During the past week, Friendship Baptist Church and Mount Vernon Baptist Church agreed to deals worth a grand total of $34 million.
Many thought that with the deals finalized, the last obstacle left in constructing the $1 billion multi-use facility was for the Atlanta City Council to approve $15 million community benefits package. Not so fast! Now there are reports that six more pieces of property, mostly parking lots near the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive overpass, need to be purchased to build on the south site.
According to WSB-TV, eminent domain hasn't been ruled out of the equation just yet. Reporter Craig Lucie yesterday looked into the matter with Atlanta and GWCCA officials:
When Channel 2's Craig Lucie asked the city of Atlanta about the six properties, they referred us to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.
Lucie asked the GWCC to get the exact locations for the six properties and who they belong to. Their spokeswoman, Jen LeMaster, sent an email stating, "As these are active property negotiations, we cannot discuss any details."
Lucie asked the GWCC if they will have to exercise eminent domain.
"No, we have not ruled that out. We hope we can reach a fair market value deal, but if we can't, condemnation is a possibility," LeMaster wrote in her email.
So, that intense media coverage over stadium negotiations (CL included to an extent)? Expect more. Not to mention the possibility of eminent domain.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank remains deep in talks over the possibility of landing one of MLS' four planned expansion teams. The league expects to create those teams - three of which Commissioner Don Garber says are "spoken for" already - between 2015 and 2020. According to Sports Illustrated, multiple sources have confirmed that advanced discussions are ongoing. The AJC reports:
Falcons owner Arthur Blank is in significant discussions with Major League Soccer about bringing an expansion franchise to the city, according to two people with knowledge of the situation but who wished to remain anonymous because the discussions aren't complete.
Blank has long expressed an interest in a team. The recent approval of the new Falcons' stadium accelerated the talks between Blank and the league. The construction of the stadium is scheduled to be finished in 2017 and the two parties have discussed opening the stadium with an MLS game.
If all goes according to plan, the new squad would play at the new Falcons stadium. Considering that $1 billion multi-use facility's plans are supposed to include space for an MLS office, you can bet Blank will fight for the right to host countless 90-minutes matches during which no goals are scored.
This would be the city's first top-tier soccer team since the legendary Atlanta Chiefs dissolved in 1981. Who will be the next Carl Strong? Only time will tell.
For the last 58 days, Common Cause Georgia has set up outside public events, farmer's markets, and street corners to try and collect more than 35,000 signatures in 60 days. The group, which had become a thorn in Mayor Kasim Reed's side during the stadium negotiations, had hoped to trigger a referendum over whether hundreds of millions of dollars from the city's hotel and motel tax would subsidize the estimated $1 billion athletic facility.
"The good news - this process has been well worth the effort for us," CCGA Executive Director William Perry said in a statement. "The bad news - we will not have enough signatures to force the issue onto the ballot."
He continued: "As the clock runs out, it appears the 'Hail Mary' pass we threw in the air will not result in a touchdown. But as most football fans will tell you, if there is no other option to win a game when your team is down - you have to throw the ball up in the air and try your best - and we did."
Perry says the nonprofit and volunteers don't know exactly how many people signed the petition - they'll have a better idea in the next few weeks once volunteers' sheets are turned in - but he estimates the figure is around 10,000. Perry says failing to reach the goal was not "a result of people not caring about the issue or wanting public money to be used to build a stadium. It was more a result of a lack of resources to reach 35,000 people in 60 days."
Negotiations over where the stadium will be built - either south of the 21-year-old Georgia Dome or near the intersection of Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard - have continued in recent weeks. The mayor on Tuesday announced that he'd struck a $19.5 million deal with Friendship Baptist Church (that's contingent on approval from the 151-year-old church's congregation) to relocate the parish and make way for the stadium. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority will have to iron out a deal with Mount Vernon Baptist Church, which is also needed to build the stadium on the south site.
Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker, who's the unofficial inspiration for the mullet-maned, politically incorrect Kenny Powers of "Eastbound and Down," visited Reddit yesterday to participate in one of the social website's "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer sessions.
It was exactly what you would hope a Q&A with the baseball player, who in 2003 ended a Major League Baseball career marked with controversial statements, would be. He got trolled. He lacked a filter. And he even answered some serious questions about baseball! Below are some pearls of wisdom and insight from the man, the myth, the Rocker (all typos have been preserved, because this is journalism, the rough draft of history).
Davy_Grolton, 20 hours ago
My gay friend, Steve, just told me to tell you to go fuck yourself.
johnrocker49, 20 hours ago
sounds like you may have some tendencies "Davy". If you weren't gay you would call yourself David...... Not that that makes you a bad person.
TheGreenShepherd, 20 hours ago
What did you do with all the batteries that the Mets fans threw at you during the '99 playoffs?
johnrocker49, 20 hours ago
I give the batteries to your girlfriend for her vibrator
kowboytrav, 20 hours ago
Thanks for apparently inspiring the character of Kenny Powers. Other than that, you can fuck right off.
johnrocker49, 19 hours ago
What have you inspired besides numerous abortions.
GoBravos, 20 hours ago
What do you think of Kenny Powers?
johnrocker49, 20 hours ago
Moderately flattering. A creepy fact if you are into trivia. I was born in Bullets Country Hospital in Statesboro Georgia in 1974. Danny McBride was born in that same hospital in 1976.
DayCMeTrollin, 20 hours ago
Why do you have such a potty mouth?
johnrocker49, 19 hours ago
Because I've grown up dealing with despicable shitheads; so many of whom we have formally met today. If you don't like it; go and fucking do something else.
Mayor Kasim Reed said last Thursday the city's final offer for the stadium property stands at $15.5 million - $10 million less than what the historic 151-year-old church is hoping to receive.
The hard-line stance continued this week as Reed turned down the church's request for mediation. CL's Rodney Carmichael's latest column delves into that matter, saying that:
If Reed and Blank are as committed as they claim to be about uplifting the community surrounding the new stadium, this deal with Friendship is the real litmus test. While Hawk says that the church is 100 percent committed to striking a deal with the city - provided that the congregation's needs are met - Reed seems less than amiable in recent days.
But as seen in chief operating officer Duriya Farooqui's recent memo to Reed, the city doesn't look like it'll back down:
The negotiation with Friendship church has not yielded a resolution and no further delays can be absorbed. The offer made through the City has increased from $10 Million to $15.5 Million. The asking price by Friendship Church has meanwhile moved in a direction away from an initial ask of $20 Million to a recent proposal as high as $24.5 Million. This leaves the gap between the two offers substantially the same since initial offers and no closer to a resolution within the time frame [that] a location and orientation decision is needed.
The City and the Falcons are now re-evaluating orientation options on the south site that would leave Friendship Church intact. While a move to the North site accomplishes the same objective, the south site feasibility has improved on other dimensions and it continues to be a location that the Falcons and the City support. The attached conceptual plans indicate options under which Friendship Church can remain intact.
According to conceptual renderings, the church and the stadium would sit nearly on top of one another. It's hard to imagine that solution being ideal for churchgoers, who would likely battle hordes of Falcons fans through traffic on the way to Sunday services during the fall and winter.
For now, the clock continues to tick toward the August 1 deadline set by the Atlanta Falcons. That's when team officials say they'll need to know whether the South site will work for the new $1 billion athletic facility. So it'll be interesting to see what happens with the city, who seems hell-bent on making the South site work for the new stadium in some way, shape, or form.
Last month, the Fuse network caught footage of Wiz Khalifa challenging Atlanta-based rapper Trinidad James to a pick-up game of hoops. At which point, James proceeds to tell Khalifa (aka Amber Rose's baby daddy) to come with his A-game or don't come at all.
Turns out, James has been backing up his slick talk on the court, fronting his own five-man Gold Gang team in the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League. The newly formed competitive summer league composed of celebs, street ballers, NBA, and top-ranked college players is the brainchild of organizer Jahi Rawlings, who won a 2009 World Basketball Association championship with the Buford Majic.
As you can see from the footage above, this is no vanity league. These cats are actually breaking a sweat. James doesn't have a bad jumper; he sinks two near the two-minute mark. Last weekend, he scored 18 points, and his team has won two in a row. Other notable players have included J.J. Hickson of the Portland Trailblazers, music industry exec. Coach K, retired NBA champ Derrick Anderson, and up-and-coming Atlanta rap group Migos.
The games are every Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at Central Park (on Linden Ave. between Parkway Dr. and Central Park Pl. in Old Fourth Ward). Though the inaugural season started June 15, the official kickoff is July 4 and runs through July 22. With free live entertainment and DJ.
But it'll cost the city at least $15.5 million to uproot the historic Friendship Baptist Church.
Mayor Kasim Reed today told 11 Alive that the current offer to the Castleberry Hill religious institution is $2 million more than its initial offer.
Friendship Baptist Church has since countered with a $24.5 million asking price. The city, Reed says, can't afford to pay that much, but he remains "60 to 70 percent" confident about striking a deal sometime in the next three weeks.
The historic church, which was first established in 1862, has negotiated with city officials over the past three months regarding its relocation. Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, the other place of worship in the stadium's path, remains in talks with state officials over the terms of its move.
If both deals with the churches aren't reached by August, the stadium could then be considered at an alternate site along Northside Drive near the intersection of Ivan Allen Boulevard.
Lead designer 360 Architecture, which previously presented two possible looks for the stadium, unveiled a whole slew of new renderings today to Falcons and Georgia World Congress Center Authority officials. The proposals give the strongest sense yet of what the estimated $1 billion structure will look like. And earlier today, both organizations voted in favor of "The Pantheon" design. That's the one that Mayor Kasim Reed said "looks like the Starship Enterprise or Battlestar Galactica."
"The conceptual design does not necessarily represent the final structure, but it is intended to provide direction for further design work," GWCCA spokesman Jason Kirksey said in a statement. "360 Architecture and its partners will now move into a detailed schematic design of the stadium, during which time the concept will become more clearly defined."
The Falcons and GWCCA also OK'd a joint venture with Holder Construction Company, Hunt Construction Group, H.J. Russell & Company, and C.D. Moody Construction Company as the stadium's general contractor.
We've included a handful of slides from 360 Architecture's conceptual proposal for the 'The Pantheon' design after the jump:
Three local design firms will help shape what the new Atlanta Falcons stadium will look like in the coming months.
Goode Van Slyke Architecture, Stanley Beaman & Sears, and tvsdesign will help 360 Architecture, the Kansas City-based company that was awarded the lead contract two months ago, make a conceptual Falcons stadium design, which will be presented to the public next Tuesday, a reality. (Yes, you read that right - next week we should learn if Atlanta will be graced with the Pantheon or the Solarium concepts trotted out a few months ago.)
Saporta Report breaks down what each of the local designers brings to the table for the new Falcons stadium design:
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