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BOSTON (AP) -- NFL owners have approved a $200 million loan for construction of a new stadium in Atlanta.

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The Falcons received the money Tuesday at the NFL's spring meetings. The multipurpose stadium could cost as much as $1 billion.

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Falcons owner Arthur Blank says the approval is an "important milestone in moving the new stadium project forward." Blank says the design and construction will take place over the next four years.

The stadium will be built with $200 million from public bonds, with the rest coming from Blank. The Georgia Dome, which opened in 1992, will be demolished when the new stadium opens.

Plans call for the Falcons to open the 2017 season in the new building.

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