American Football - Atlanta stadium set for green light

The Atlanta Falcons' plan for a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta has passed its final significant hurdle, according to a report.

Reuters
American Football - Atlanta stadium set for green light
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Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith congratulates wide receiver Roddy White after his touchdown against the Detroit Lions (Reuters)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said that the city's economic development arm approved issuing more than $200 million in bonds covered by city hotel-motel taxes by an 8-1 vote. The team intends to have the stadium completed by 2017.

Mayor Kasim Reed told the Journal-Constitution that the deal will keep the Falcons in Atlanta for the next 30 years.

In a statement, the Falcons said the remaining construction costs will come from the team and other private funds.

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Jason Hanson announced his retirement from the NFL after 21 seasons as the Detroit Lions' kicker.

Hanson, a second-round pick in 1992, opted to retire when a contract agreement couldn't be reached with the Lions for the 2013 season. Hanson said he didn't want to play for another team.

No player in NFL history has played more games with one team (327). The 42-year-old is the NFL-record holder with 52 field goals of 50-plus yards and is third all-time with 2,150 points and 495 field goals.

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Defensive lineman J.J. Watt, who had 20.5 sacks last season, has said he was playing at less than 100 per cent from Week 1.

Watt dislocated his elbow in the first week of the Houston Texans' training camp, and it remained sore while he played wearing a brace the entire season.

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The Arizona Cardinals are scheduled to hold a private workout Saturday at USC for quarterback Matt Barkley, according to ESPN.

The Cardinals own the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft. Despite completing a deal for quarterback Carson Palmer on Tuesday, the Cardinals are still interested in finding a long-term solution at the position.

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The Falcons have released starting right tackle Tyson Clabo, leaving another hole on their offensive line.

The move was designated as a post-June 1 release in order to save the Falcons room under the 2013 salary cap.

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Quarterback Pat White has signed with Washington, and the Redskins also re-signed cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who was released March 11.

Washington will take a look at White during offseason workouts, but where he potentially fits within the offense remains a question. The team also re-signed Rex Grossman, who served as the third quarterback behind Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins last season.

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The Kansas City Chiefs have signed free-agent linebacker Frank Zombo.

Zombo, 26, has played in 25 games in three NFL seasons with the Green Bay Packers, beginning in 2010. He came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent after a collegiate career at Central Michigan.

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With a stated mission to regain traction in the home vs. stadium football experience, the NFL plans to install cameras in the home team locker room to enrich the game day access of their paying customers.

The league also intends to mandate replays be shown in every stadium after "key plays." In many venues, questionable or disputable calls aren't always replayed on the big screen.

Footage of halftime and post game from the home team locker room will not be required to be shown by the NFL, but the league will push for teams to make it available to fans on team apps and other mobile platforms.

Commissioner Roger Goodell shared parts of the plan in February, and last year made a commitment to have wireless internet available free of charge in all 32 stadiums by 2013.

There will be no cameras in visitor locker rooms.

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