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Governor asks Falcons to change stadium deal | News

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Governor asks Falcons to change stadium deal

ATLANTA-- Governor Nathan Deal wants the Atlanta Falcons to agree to reshape an agreement struck to build a new stadium, with an eye on reducing the public share of the project's funding.

Falcons officials met Friday with officials in the Governor's office to discuss reducing the state hotel-motel tax contribution, sources say.  Last month, the Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center agreed to set the hotel-motel tax contribution of the billion dollar project at $300 million.

Deal wants to lower that contribution to $200 million, which would potentially eliminate the need for legislative approval of the deal.  Current law sets the GWCC's borrowing limit on hotel-motel tax funds at $200 million.

Deal's spokesman Brian Robinson confirmed the meeting, but would not discuss its details.  A GWCC spokeswoman said the GWCC was not part of the talks. 

The talks are described as ongoing. 

The reduction of the public contribution would potentially defuse a thorny political issue for the legislature, which would have to vote to raise the debt limit to $300 million.  Many lawmakers tell 11Alive News that the stadium deal, which would largely be funded by the Falcons, is politically unpopular in their districts.