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Congress Center Lawyers Up In Stadium Quest

On the matter of a new Atlanta Falcons stadium, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority has power players in its corner. The GWCCA is represented by the law firms who landed stadium deals for the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans, which the AJC calls an "offensive strategy" in ongoing negations with the Atlanta Falcons. Why does this matter? In opting for the law firms Greenberg Traurig and Winstead PC, GWCCA officials have passed over dealmakers who usually represent municipalities. The goal, according to the GWCCA: Have a team that knows what the Falcons may want and spare taxpayers from being overcharged.

The AJC points out that critics smell something fishy in the arrangement. "If you want to sell a deal to the public this is a useful way to spin," a University of Texas at San Antonio professor and critic of public spending on sports facilities and convention centers told the newspaper. As if you need reminded, the GWCCA and Falcons are trying to strike a deal to build a (possibly) $1 billion retractable-roof roost to replace the 20-year-old Georgia Dome. The plan calls for about $300 million of the funding being raised through hotel-motel taxes in unincorporated Fulton County and Atlanta. A GWCCA honcho has asserted that those funds could not be used otherwise for luxuries like more teachers and road improvements.

· Sports-team lawyers will be deal-makers for Dome, Falcons [AJC]