Qualifications from 10 firms interested in providing architectural services for the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium have been submitted to the team and the Georgia World Congress Center, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

The next step in the process of designing the nearly $1 billion stadium with a retractable roof is for the firms to submit design services proposals by Feb. 1. It is not clear whether the number of firms will be short-listed before proposals are sought.

The GWCCA expects to contribute about $300 million in bond financing to the project, though that is contingent on winning an increase in bonding capacity from the state Legislature to $300 million from the current $200 million. The bonds would be secured by hotel and motel tax collections.

The Falcons and the National Football League would pay the balance of the project's costs.

The winning firm will design a nearly two million-square-foot facility with permanent seating capacity for up to 72,000 for NFL games, including luxury suites and premium seating. The design will allow for parking and seating to be expanded to 80,000 for marquee events such as Super Bowls and World Cup Soccer final matches.

The Falcons currently play home games on artificial turf in the enclosed Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta, which was financed by the GWCCA.

The team has wanted to play outside the Dome for years. An open-air stadium was initially considered, but that was later revised to incorporate a more expensive retractable roof.

The firms that submitted architectural qualifications for the new stadium are 360 Architecture, AECOM, Eisenman Architects, Ewing Cole, HKS Inc., Populous, RGC Stadium Design, Rosetti, TVS Design/Heery/Gensler, and Woods Bagot, according to the Chronicle.

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