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NFL’s Falcons Reach Stadium Finance Plan With City of Atlanta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the National Football League’s Falcons agreed on terms for financing a $1 billion, retractable-roof stadium downtown with a public contribution capped at $200 million.

Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development agency, will sell bonds for the public’s share backed by a hotel tax that currently supports the Georgia Dome, according to a news release sent by the city. The Falcons will pay about $800 million, including $50 million for infrastructure improvements.

“I am pleased that we reached an agreement that will ensure the Atlanta Falcons remain in the heart of our city for many years to come and will lead to revitalization of some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods,” Reed said in the release. “Equally important, a new stadium will lead to the creation of well-paying jobs during construction at a time when many of our friends and neighbors are seeking employment.”

The proposal requires approval by the Atlanta City Council.

Team owner Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot Inc., has said the team will sell personal-seat licenses to help pay its share of the cost. Blank bought the Falcons for $545 million in February 2002 and has said the team needs a new stadium to attract big events such as the NFL’s Super Bowl.

The 20-year-old Georgia Dome, the Falcons’ current home field, hosts the Southeastern Conference college football championship game each year and will be the site of the 2013 college basketball Final Four tournament.

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