UPDATE: BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — It’s been more than two years since Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Louisiana would help pay for renovations to the New Orleans Superdome. But officials Thursday finally agreed to a financing deal that will have the state contributing up to $54 million toward the improvements.

The state will use $27 million in federal pandemic aid and $27 million authorized through the state construction budget to put up 12% of the $450 million cost of the upgrades. Senate President Page Cortez called it a “better relationship” for the state and the Saints. The joint House and Senate budget committee and the Bond Commission agreed Thursday to critical pieces of the deal.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration and Louisiana’s legislative leaders appear to have struck a deal to use $27 million in federal pandemic aid to help pay for a portion of the renovations to the New Orleans Superdome. The administration describes the Superdome upgrades as key to striking a new deal to keep the Saints in the state for decades.

The federal money and a companion plan to let the Superdome manager pay off a state debt early go before two panels for approval Thursday. Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, Senate President Page Cortez and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder said they have agreed on the outlines of the plan.