The Atlanta Falcons cleared the final political hurdle on Thursday on the team’s plan to build a $1 billion retractable-roof downtown stadium.

Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, voted 8-1 to approve issuing more than $200 million in bonds backed by city hotel-motel taxes that would partly finance the NFL franchise’s new home.

The moment marks the culmination of more than two years of negotiations that were surprisingly close to fizzling in January amid concerns from state lawmakers about giving public funds for a private venture.

Gov. Nathan Deal punted the project earlier this year to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who launched a sales blitz to convince city leaders and residents to back the plan or risk the team fleeing to the suburbs or beyond. Reed hopes the deal helps the city lure a Super Bowl, a soccer franchise and other marquee sporting events.

The timing of the vote comes as Atlanta prepares to host the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament at the Georgia Dome, a 21-year-old facility which would be demolished in the deal.

The Atlanta City Council and Georgia World Congress Center, which would own the property, have already signed off on the plan. Invest Atlanta was also expected to approve it last month, but the board wanted more time to consider a range of late amendments added by councilmembers.

Julian Bene, the lone Invest Atlanta board member to vote against the proposal, said it will create “surprisingly few jobs” and said the money could be better spent elsewhere, such as a streetcar route on the Beltline. He said the city should lobby state legislators to change a law requiring that the hotel-motel taxes be spent on a stadium.

“What do we get from this in terms of jobs?” said Bene. “My perception is that we’re switching one stadium for another and that we don’t get an additional amenity for the city.”