By Maria Saporta
When the Atlanta Falcons play the Dallas Cowboys Sunday evening, there will be more on the line that just the team’s 7-0 record.
Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, will be in the house — where he is expected to visit with some of the Atlanta Falcons top sponsors as well as owner Arthur Blank.
Before the game, Goodell will be attending a “Fan Forum” at the Georgia World Congress Center in the Building C Ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. when Falcons fans can ask the commissioner any question on their mind.
One huge question facing Atlanta and Georgia today is the status of negotiations between the Atlanta Falcons and GWCC Authority on building a new retractable roof stadium adjacent to the current Georgia Dome.
The project, estimated to be about $1 billion, will have to be built on GWCC land if the Falcons want the stadium to receive about $300 million in hotel-motel taxes. Those taxes are basically a continuation of the taxes that have been going to help pay back the bonds for the Georgia Dome. Those bonds are expected to be paid off between 2017 and 2018.
While he’s in Atlanta, Goodell will be meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday morning. And then he will be the speaker at the Rotary Club of Atlanta luncheon at noon.
Kim Shreckengost, an executive with the Atlanta Falcons, said that “no announcements are planned” while the commissioner is in town.
Asked about the status of negotiations between the Falcons and the GWCC Authority, Shreckengost said they could best be described as “ongoing.”
By the way, the record of the Dallas Cowboys is 3-4.
One of the last times Goodell was in town about two years ago, the commissioner strongly endorsed the idea of a new stadium. The newly-elected Gov. Deal also seemed enthusiastic with the possibility. For a story on that visit, please click here.