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View Full Version : Time to rein in the NFL


TexanSam
02-08-2011, 12:49 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020705610.html?hpid=artslot

Good article. Unfortunately the 32 rich men in the NFL will probably get what they want.

don't know about you, but I don't want to live in Jerry World. In Jerry World, a $1.15 billion stadium looks like the Taj Mahal on the outside, but inside some of the seats violate the fire code. In Jerry World, the state of Texas spends $31 million to host the Super Bowl, even as deficits force public school cuts. In Jerry World, it can cost $900 just to park. In Jerry World, fans pay hundreds of dollars to stand outside the stadium.

Buried somewhere in all of the superbull, the booze, bad concerts and relentless commercial squeeze, there was a good football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But to be honest, it was an ancillary event. The NFL may want to rethink that strategy. It may also want to rethink its tendency to look like the Marie Antoinette of the sports world.

Everything you need to know about the future of the NFL could be seen in the gloriously decadent stadium that hosted this Super Bowl. As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell pointed out, "Quite frankly, that's our stage." It was the cleanest, safest, nicest stadium anyone has ever visited. It was also the most extravagant and economically stratified. It cost double what Jerry Jones said it would, and taxpayers financed about a quarter of it, yet its innermost marble interiors are totally inaccessible to the average fan.


It's not clear what the pain threshold of the average NFL fan is: Thirty-two owners digging relentless in our pockets haven't found the bottom yet. But the NFL would be advised to recognize that it's getting close. Those folks who found themselves without seats? Many were among the league's most loyal paying customers, season ticket holders. Yet they were treated like afterthoughts, awarded half-built, jerry-rigged seats, folding chairs on auxiliary platforms. Which begs the question of what the "NFL fan experience" really means anymore. A day later the league did its best to make it up to them with offers of tickets to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis and Goodell called it "obviously a failure on our part."

This Super Bowl was the future, and it set some lousy precedents. Every owner in the league wants a stadium like this one, and they will be pitching - maybe even extorting - their communities to help them build one. They want ever-larger luxury suites and bigger restaurants, and giant scoreboards and TVs, so they can replicate this Super Bowl, and sell standing room space in plazas and blocked views of a big screen for $200.

"Of the 100,000 and change tickets they sold, how many of those people actually had seats, and how many could actually see the field?" asks Neil deMause, a stadium-financing watchdog who co-authored the book, "Field of Schemes." He adds: "That's revolutionary if you can sell tickets to not actually watch the game. That's a whole new ballgame. So obviously everybody is saying, 'Hey, we want to get one of those.' "

It's the shiny new toy in the league. New stadiums are such a priority for owners that it's a critical piece of the labor negotiations taking place with the players' union. A major reason owners resent the 60 percent cut of revenue that goes to players is because it's not easy to finance stadium projects. They want a restructured agreement so "we can make the kinds of investments that grow this game," Goodell says, bemoaning the fact that no new construction has started since 2006.

gary
02-08-2011, 01:16 PM
The owners know how much we crave football and I don't see that stopping.

Double Barrel
02-08-2011, 02:22 PM
This is what really makes me wonder about our priorities as a nation:

The last great building binge in the NFL was from 1995 through 2003, when 21 stadiums were built or refurbished in order to create more luxury boxes, at cost of $6.4 billion. Know how much of that the public paid for? $4.4 billion. Why are we giving 32 rich guys that kind of money, just to prey on us at the box office and concessions?

Cities are strapped for cash and are cutting police, fire, and emergency services. Streets and critical infrastructure (i.e. water and sewage lines) are deteriorating and not being fixed or upgraded. Many schools are falling apart, and many are too crowded for children to really get even a modest education. The list of things that directly benefit citizens is long, and the funds have continuously been diverted to build sports complexes for billionaire owners and millionaire players.

Parallels to Rome really are comparable when citizens bleat for more entertainment over the rather mundane, but necessary, things that we continuously take for granted.

And I guess I'm as much a small part of the problem as a fan, too. Perhaps it's time to change.

As fans, we share blame for being willing to pay anything for it. We've allowed league owners to cash in on American pride, and hunger for entertainment. We should insist they share American economic problems.

:thinking:

gary
02-08-2011, 02:29 PM
This is what really makes me wonder about our priorities as a nation:



Cities are strapped for cash and are cutting police, fire, and emergency services. Streets and critical infrastructure (i.e. water and sewage lines) are deteriorating and not being fixed or upgraded. Many schools are falling apart, and many are too crowded for children to really get even a modest education. The list of things that directly benefit citizens is long, and the funds have continuously been diverted to build sports complexes for billionaire owners and millionaire players.

Parallels to Rome really are comparable when citizens bleat for more entertainment over the rather mundane, but necessary, things that we continuously take for granted.

And I guess I'm as much a small part of the problem as a fan, too. Perhaps it's time to change.


:thinking:L.A. is building another new football stadium.:vincepalm:

The1ApplePie
02-08-2011, 02:34 PM
The only thing the NFL has to worry about is maybe the NBA thanks to all the stars aligning just right.

The MMA fad has already peaked
MLB is still old and boring
NHL... LOL

Kulluminatii
02-08-2011, 03:03 PM
L.A. is building another new football stadium.:vincepalm:

Both stadium plans in LA are being privately funded, and the proposed stadium in downtown LA already has a naming rights deal with Farmers Insurance for $700 mill :kitten:.

http://www.farmersfield.com/

Thorn
02-08-2011, 06:44 PM
With this kind of press, if there is a lock out this year it could be worse for the owners than they predict.

Showtime100
02-08-2011, 10:25 PM
I've thought the SB has been over-hyped for 20 years so I enjoyed the read. The NFL's arrogance has become a sight that is getting harder to miss.

Double Barrel
02-09-2011, 10:53 AM
With this kind of press, if there is a lock out this year it could be worse for the owners than they predict.

I agree. I think the owners are arrogant in their assumptions about their customers....errrrr....fans. People watch football as an entertainment escape. But once the business end of the NFL gets in the way of that, and the perception persists that billionaire owners are fighting with millionaire players while basically being subsidized by taxpayer financed stadiums, I think the patience of the common fan is going to be tested with each passing day.

I've thought the SB has been over-hyped for 20 years so I enjoyed the read. The NFL's arrogance has become a sight that is getting harder to miss.

yep. The hype of the event has reached extreme levels of goofy. My 8 yo son wanted to watch some pregame on Sunday, so we flipped on NFLN - you know, the channel devoted to the friggin' sport - and we see Eisen interviewing Jennifer Anniston and Happy Gilmore. Then they go into some really silly thing about showing all the female celebrities that Mariuci has interviewed all week and show all of his hugs in slow motion.

My son turned after a few minutes of this irrelevant nonsense and said "daddy, I thought this channel was about football. Can we go do something interesting?"

I had no problem turning off the tv until kickoff. The event is a giant media circus, and it seems like the only ones really enjoying it are the celebrities and media that get to attend. Media Day is no longer about insight to the game itself, but now goes into plain dumbass with questions about underwear color and other stupid crap. I have yet to meet a football fan that finds much enjoyment from the overwhelming hype.

Hervoyel
02-09-2011, 06:48 PM
I turned on the pregame show and for the first time (for me) noticed that they were talking to people on a "red carpet". People like Keith Urban, not other teams players or old coaches or football talking heads. Just celebrities. I turned it off until kickoff. I don't have any interest in watching that.

In fact I found it downright irritating that they kept showing celebrities in the crowd.

I don't watch the Super Bowl to see who walked the red carpet and where Harrison Ford is sitting. It's all so damned messed up now.

Grams
02-10-2011, 05:45 PM
I turn the TV on about 5 min before the Super Bowl starts.

All the rest of the shows and the previous 2 weeks is nothing but BS. Everything the media has to say or analyze is pure speculation and almost always turns out to be wrong come the game anyway.