Construction on the Atlanta Falcons' stadium is now on schedule, and the team's owner, Arthur Blank, said revitalization of the area around the stadium continues.
Blank said Wednesday the team remains set on its goal to complete Mercedes-Benz Stadium by June 2017. That's a few months later than originally planned.
Along with the stadium, Blank said efforts to revitalize the English Avenue and Vine City neighborhoods surrounding the stadium are going well.
“It's not perfect. It's better. It's absolutely better,” Blank said. “Whether it be blighted homes, security issues, public education, a whole variety of things, job training, job placement in a whole variety of industries.”
Some people who live in the area have said they see Blank's efforts as a form of gentrification.
Frank Fernandez, vice president of community development for the Blank Foundation and a leader of the organizations working on the revitalization, said they're intent on keeping current homeowners and small businesses in the neighborhood.
The Falcons are scheduled to play their first game in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium next fall.