Mayor Reed squashes rumors about Falcons moving to L.A. - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mayor Reed squashes rumors about Falcons moving to L.A.

ATLANTA (CBS46) -

It's hard to imagine but rumors about the Falcons leaving for another city like Los Angeles have a lot of people talking, and Mayor Kasim Reed is right in the middle of it all.

It all got started when the mayor sat down with City Council members individually to talk about the latest in the negotiations to get a new stadium. The mayor said the rumors got started when those discussions got misinterpreted.

The mayor described the discussions with council as a briefing - to get them up to speed on conversations they aren't a part of. In those briefings the mayor said he talked about the competitive market for NFL teams, particularly in L.A.

"It was a briefing and I just pointed out what are well known and obvious things, so it was really a conversation about the landscape," said Reed.

And because of that competitive market, the mayor's office admits the discussions didn't stop there. Representative Sonji Jacobs Dade said the mayor went on to talk about the importance of a new stadium and the city's possible role.

"There could be an option where city takes more active role. It's premature to talk about the details because we don't have those yet but the mayor did let council know there are different options and that it could be possible for the city to take a more active role," said Dade.

Opponents of the new stadium said they see that as a direct threat.

State Sen. Vincent Fort has been against the new stadium from the very beginning. "It's more than a scare tactic; I believe it's black mail. We should not have a deal done with a gun at our head," said Fort.

But Reed said that's just not true. He said in no way were the briefings supposed to be some kind of threat.

"The Falcons are staying in Atlanta. I made it clear in those meetings that at no time has Mr. Blank threatened to leave the state or the city at all, but I did take them through the landscape that is the sports world," said Reed.

No matter who you believe, it's enough to have Falcons fans like Mark Nanna and Al Johnson a little nervous. They both said losing the Falcons would be a disaster.

"It would definitely be a big loss for Atlanta if Falcons move to another state," said Nanna. "If they leave Atlanta it will hurt economically, for the fans and everything. It would be bad," said Johnson.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. 

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