Talks are afoot to finalize a nearly $1 billion deal for a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons by year's end, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The National Football League franchise wants an outdoor stadium with a retractable roof, and had hoped it would be open by the 2017 season.

The Falcons currently play home games on artificial turf in the enclosed Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.

The Georgia Dome was financed by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

The process of negotiating a new stadium has been complex because it requires determining where to locate the facility adjacent to the Dome.

The Dome's future is unclear. A consultant has examined future maintenance costs if it remains open. The newspaper said there have been discussions about razing the facility.

The authority sold $200 million of bonds for construction of the Dome in 1990.

Jennifer LeMaster, a spokeswoman for the World Congress Center Authority, told the newspaper that it is hoped negotiations will lead to a final decision by the end of the year.

The new stadium would be financed with a combination of team equity and bonds backed by a hotel-motel tax that was extended to 2050 by the Legislature in 2010.

The authority has about $100 million of bonds outstanding, which would be paid off by the time the stadium opened under the time frame envisioned by the team.

The new stadium's financing is still dependent on obtaining an increase in the authority's bonding cap to $300 million from the current $200 million, which is expected to be sought from the Legislature next year.

However, the Journal-Constitution said that Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Johns Creek, may sponsor a bill that would prevent the bond cap from being raise.

Dudgeon's opposition is reportedly based on the anti-tax sentiment that recently brought voters in the Atlanta region to soundly reject a sales tax hike for transportation projects.

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