Falcons' stadium deal killer?

6:16 PM, Aug 24, 2012   |    comments
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Atlanta Falcons fans wait outside to enter the Georgia Dome. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- The Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority are getting close to reaching a deal on a proposed new open air stadium. 

Chances are high that the stadium will require more state money to make it happen and Georgia State Representative Mike Dudgeon (R-Johns Creek) is saying no way.

"I oppose this because I don't think it's the appropriate use of taxpayer money to finance stadiums for the NFL and for the Falcons," he said.

Right now it's looking like a new stadium with a retractable roof could cost up to $948 million. The Falcons would commit $700 million and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority would have to provide the rest. 

However, the Authority has a $200 million cap on borrowing which means it may have to go to the legislature to get more funding.

"What I want to do is to try to block any expansion of any State funding or any State taxpayer backed bond funding for the stadium," Dudgeon said.

The local hotel-motel tax helps fund a new stadium deal through 2050 but it won't be enough to cover the full cost of what is now being proposed.

Rep. Dudgeon says he will wait to see what kind of deal is reached before introducing any legislation.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority expects a deal before the end of the year but would not comment on Dudgeon's plan.

The GWCCA sent the following statement to 11Alive News:

"Everyone is working diligently through a very complex set of issues to achieve the goal, which is deal with an NFL team on our property for the next 30 years or more."

The Falcons issued this statement: 

"Our discussions with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have been productive, and we hope an agreement can be reached soon. Out of respect for the negotiating process, it is inappropriate for us to comment beyond that."

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