Arthur Blank diagnosed with prostate cancer

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Arthur Blank diagnosed with prostate cancer

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons owner Arthur Blank has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

“In December I was diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer,” Blank said in a statement on Tuesday. “Over the last several weeks Angie (Macuga) and I have visited a number of expert doctors and hospitals across the country to identify the best treatment options for me.

“I have chosen an aggressive approach that will include surgery and the overall prognosis is good. I’m looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing a very active lifestyle, my upcoming wedding, as well as continued active involvement in our businesses and philanthropic efforts for years to come.”

A spokeman for Blank said the owner would have no further comment.

Blank, 73, and Macuga, his fiancee, are engaged to be married in June.

Blank talked with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday in San Francisco.

He was in good spirits while discussing the condition of the football team, the premum seat license situation for the new stadium and the hopes for landing the Super Bowl in 2019 or 2020.

Blank, a co-founder of Home Depot, purchased the team in February 2002 from owner Taylor Smith, the son of team founder Rankin M. Smith, Sr. He investitgated buying the Atlanta Braves in 2006, but withdrew from consideration. He also has founded the MLS expansion franchise the Atlanta United FC, which is set to begin play in 2017.

The Falcons and the United are scheduled to open play in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2017.

The Falcons, who were purchased by Blank for $545 million, were estimated to be worth $1.67 billion by Forbes magazine in Sept. of 2015.

Blank’s ownership tenure has been colorful. The Falcons have reached two NFC championship games, finally posted back to back winning seasons in 2008 and 2009 and the team posted five straight winning seasons from 2008 to 2012.

Also, his ownership has been marred by some controversy. Early on he fired coach Dan Reeves, the only coach to lead the Falcons to a Super Bowl. There was also the federal dogfighting investigation into the activites of former quarterback Michael Vick, which led to a prison sentence and the team fortunates dipping.

Also, coach Bobby Petrino left the franchise after just 13 games in the middle of the 2007 season. He thought he was signing up to coach the talented Vick.

Blank, who’s often seen on the sidelines during games, also fired Mike Smith, the winningest coach in franchise history after the 2014 season.

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