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ATLANTA -- The organizer of a petition drive calling for the end of public financing for a new Falcons stadium says hope is dwindling as the deadline nears for gathering signatures.

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William Perry of Common Cause Georgia said Thursday the group continues to gather signatures ahead of Saturday's deadline but knows it will need a "miracle to get over the top."

Perry says the group knew it was a long shot to gather 35,000 signatures in 60 days to qualify for the November ballot, but it's been worth the effort.

State and city officials have signed off on the $1 billion stadium project that includes an estimated $200 million in public bonds.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has said the stadium is an important project to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods.

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