LEADOFF: NFL commissioner Goodell will attend Falcons’ home opener


Good morning. This is LEADOFF, the early buzz in Atlanta sports. 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will attend the Falcons’ first regular-season game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday night. 

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Goodell’s plans in an e-mail Wednesday. 

It will be Goodell’s first look at the $1.5 billion stadium since cranes were removed from what is now the playing field. 

“He toured the new stadium in January and is looking forward to Sunday night,” McCarthy said. 

The Falcons will play the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game, which the Falcons won 44-21 in their final game at the Georgia Dome. The Dome now awaits its Nov. 20 implosion.

Sunday’s 8:30 p.m. game will be nationally televised on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” 

The Falcons plan to play the game with their new  stadium’s unique retractable roof open if weather conditions are favorable. 

It would be the first time an event is held in the stadium with the roof open — and the first open-air Falcons game in Atlanta since Dec. 15, 1991, the team’s final game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

RELATED: Falcons will miss goal of PSL sellout by home opener

Suggested video:


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Julio Jones skips first day of OTAs 
Julio Jones skips first day of OTAs 

Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones did not attend the first session of the team’s organized training activities, which started today, according to a source with knowledge of the attendees.  The team would not comment on his absence and said that head coach Dan Quinn would address the situation on Tuesday during his regularly scheduled...
Five things to know at start of Falcons’ OTAs
Five things to know at start of Falcons’ OTAs

The Falcons, who will have their full allotment of 10 organized training activities (OTAs) sessions this season, start the glorified practices Monday. » More: Falcons depth chart as OTAs start Here are five things to know about the OTAs:  1. Where’s Julio? Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones has spent most of the offseason...
Falcons depth chart: A look at the roster at start of OTAs 
Falcons depth chart: A look at the roster at start of OTAs 

The Falcons have assigned new defensive tackle Terrell McClain jersey number 99.  Here’s a look at the Falcons’ depth chart heading into OTAs, which start on Monday: OFFENSE  WR 11 Julio Jones, 18, Calvin Ridley, 14 Justin Hardy, 16 Reggie Davis, 86 Lamar Jordan LT 70 Jake Matthews, 74 Ty Sambrailo LG 67 Andy Levitre, 63 Ben Garland...
Several Falcons on Gosselin’s all-time special teams unit
Several Falcons on Gosselin’s all-time special teams unit

Before the NFL butchers its kickoff-return rules and forever alters the way the game is played at the league owner’s meeting, which will be held Monday through Wednesday in Atlanta, let’s look at Rick Gosselin’s all-time special teams unit.  Gosselin has covered the NFL for 44 years, including stints reporting on the Lions...
Vegas: Saints have best odds to win NFC South 
Vegas: Saints have best odds to win NFC South 

The good folks over at Bovoda.lv installed the Saints as the early favorites to win the NFC South.   New Orleans Saints 9/5   Atlanta Falcons 2/1    Carolina Panthers 3/1   Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6/1  Here’s a look at the odds in the rest of the divisions:       Philadelphia Eagles 5/8   ...
More Stories