ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons want to demolish the Georgia Dome and build a retractable-roof stadium in its place.
The NFL team and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority said Wednesday they are negotiating a deal.
Falcons president Rich McKay said team officials, who previously favored an open-air stadium, now believe a retractable-roof facility is the best solution for all parties. The new stadium would accommodate both indoor and outdoor events.
The Falcons have rejected plans for a renovated Georgia Dome or adding a retractable roof to it, pointing out that 22 teams have moved into new or completely rebuilt stadiums since the dome opened in 1992.
McKay and GWCC Authority executive director Frank Poe say much work remains to be done to reach a deal but said progress has been made.
Last year, the cost for an open-air stadium was estimated at $700 million. But a new analysis commissioned by the GWCC puts the cost of a retractable-roof stadium at $947.7 million.
Poe said the state contribution to a new stadium would be capped at the estimated $300 million covered by the hotel-motel tax extension passed by the Georgia Legislature in 2010.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, during a visit last year, made it clear a new stadium would be needed if Atlanta wants to land another Super Bowl. The Georgia Dome hosted the championship game in 1994 and 2000, but two bids to bring the game back to the city have been rejected.
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority run runs the current stadium as well as the massive convention center and nearby Centennial Olympic Park.
If a new stadium is built, the city would have four downtown stadiums seating at least 50,000 within about 2 miles of each other. The Atlanta Braves play at Turner Field, while Georgia Tech's football team uses Bobby Dodd Stadium.