The Atlanta Falcons' season is plodding along, but their plans for a new $1 billion stadium are marching forward.
The city held a meeting Wednesday night for neighborhoods near the site.
Dozens of people crowded the old council chamber at the old city hall building to sound off.
They wanted to know what benefits the planned stadium would bring to their communities.
Tracy Bates, who lives in the English Avenue section just west of the stadium, feared the Falcons and the city may ignore her neighborhood.
"I want to see the quality of life improve for the residents of the community," Bates said.
In the Castleberry Hill neighborhood, just south of the stadium, many business owners like the new development because it will bring more traffic.
Some residents, however, are unhappy with the planned stadium for the very same reason.
Regardless of whether they welcome or revile the stadium, Castleberry Hill community members want the city and the Falcons to ensure the neighborhood's safety and cleanliness once the new stadium is built.
"Please don't ignore Castleberry Hill," implored Yolanda Owens, who owns the Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa.
Owens hopes the stadium will bring new customers and help revitalize the community.
"It's an opportunity to increase and better the neighborhood," Owens said.
Owens said she also wonders if new opportunities will bring new problems.
"We're going to have people littering, hanging out, parking, vandalism," Owens said.
Stephen Johnson, who lives in Castleberry Hill, believes the new stadium will bring more headaches.
"We have issues in the area around crime at night. Why are they doing it?" Johnson asked.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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