The biggest issue facing the Atlanta Falcons' eye-popping new football stadium: whether to build it just north of the current Georgia Dome, which would mean greater distance from hotels, the airport, transit, and the city's skyline, or just south, which would mean buying the land presently occupied by a pair of historic churches.

The team prefers the south site. Those churches also prefer the south site. Friendship Baptist, established in 1866 and the wellspring for both Morehouse and Spelman colleges, has rejected the city's offer of $13.5 million for the property, asking for nearly double that. Mayor Kasim Reed told 11 Alive he's upped the offer by $2 million. Meanwhile, the state is negotiating with Martin Luther King Drive's Mount Vernon Baptist.

While the houses of worship could stand to collect windfalls (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the combined land is worth just more than $2.2 million), they are of course not governed strictly by financials:

"I don't think [money] should even enter our decision-making. I really don't," said [Friendship] parishioner Juanita Jones Abernathy, whose late husband [Ralph David Abernathy] was a confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "It's a landmark. I think it should remain. It's been there for generations, and it needs to be there for generations to come."

Considering Mt. Vernon Baptist's real estate is worth an amount similar to Friendship Baptist's, it could cost the city and state significantly more than $30 million to secure the land, which could raise the public cost of the stadium beyond the $200 million for which it's on the hook. A $30 million price tag would amount to 3.7 percent of the $800 million the team's committed to building the facility, and it wouldn't include the $50 million Arthur Blank's setting aside for undetermined neighborhood improvements as a part of the overhaul.