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:

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan discusses facing the Green Bay Packers.  (Video by D. Orlando Ledbetter)

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