Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank has reportedly told Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed that he has been approached by Los Angeles leaders who have expressed interest in moving his NFL franchise to L.A. However, Blank hasn't used that as a threat in talks regarding a new $1 billion stadium.
“Arthur Blank has never played that card, and I give him credit for that,” said governor Nathan Deal, who added that “I have not had any direct conversations about this.”
ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas thinks this talk is just standard negotiating procedure for teams that are looking for a new stadium and that the odds of the "Los Angeles Falcons" coming to fruition are a very long shot:
"I don’t think the Falcons really are in play for Los Angeles. First off, Blank and team president Rich McKay already have several years of talks with local leaders invested in getting a new stadium built. I don’t think the talks have suddenly fallen apart. I also don’t get any sense that Blank is looking to get out of Atlanta. ... I also don’t think the NFL would want to give up a market like Atlanta. Blank wants a new stadium in Atlanta and I think that still is likely to happen. There also has been some talk that a stadium could be built in the suburbs if a deal can’t be worked out to make it happen downtown. I see the Los Angeles option only as a last resort if Blank simply can’t get a new stadium built in Atlanta or anywhere near the city."