A long-planned project to expand the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex with a domed stadium may be slowed once again because of the recession.

Currently, the $500 million project, which would be bond-financed, is largely dependant on a pledged $19 million annual contribution from Birmingham, plus another $3 million from a city lodging tax, according to published reports.

Last week, new Mayor William Bell told convention complex board members that he supports the expansion project but the city may need to seek assistance from the state or private partners.

Plans to expand the convention center with a stadium have been in the works since the 1990s. Convention center bonds are issued by the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Authority.

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