INDIANAPOLIS— With the media sessions winding down late last week at the Super Bowl, it was time for Roger Goodell to take the podium.
The NFL commissioner addressed numerous topics during his 42-minute press conference, with a few pertaining to the Colts.
Here are a few of the highlights of Goodell’s comments with the entire video linked here:
On future Super Bowl sites:
“As far as other communities, we know there’s interest in other communities hosting the Super Bowl. I think the ownership - we’ll all sit back and review that when we’re done, but we have a very aggressive process in how to select cities. The ability to host a Super Bowl is more and more complicated, more and more complex, because of the size of the event and the number of events. So, the infrastructure’s incredibly important. We’re well over 30,000 hotel rooms needed even to host the Super Bowl. So, there’s some communities that may not even be able to do it from an infrastructure standpoint, but we know the passion’s there.
“There’s such a demand for Super Bowls right now. The number of cities that are going to get multiple Super Bowls at one time I think are incredibly limited. We see the opportunity for us to continue to expand our game, come into new markets, and we find that valuable to the league. I think the membership does, and that’s reflected in how they voted. Each market has its own challenges. It is clear to see over the last two weeks, there have probably been more weather complications in a lot of other markets where we’ve played multiple Super Bowls and we’re scheduled to play more Super Bowls. Weather is a factor when you play in the United States in February, and that’s what we’re going to have as a continuing challenge. We’re prepared for that. The communities in which we play are prepared for that, and that’s why we have contingencies. I believe we need to get to as many communities as possible, and give them the opportunity to share not only in the emotional benefits, but the economic benefits. It helps the NFL, it helps our fans, and it helps grow our game. That’s what’s so exciting about being here in New York and New Jersey.”
On the problems during Wild Card weekend in teams selling their tickets:
“To your first point, I don’t take the challenges that we had on Wild Card Weekend as any reflection of our fans’ passion. Those were mistakes that were made by us, the NFL, and our clubs. What we have to do is recognize that technology has changed and that we have to use technology more efficiently and more intelligently to make sure we don’t put our fans in that kind of position. Green Bay, as an example, sold close to 50,000 tickets over a five-day period, including New Year’s Day. We shouldn’t be in that position, and that’s on us, and we have to fix it, and we will. But that is not an indication in any way of the fans’ passion. To the second part of your question: it’s an ongoing challenge. With the experiences at home through our broadcast partners and all the other media alternatives that we have, it’s an incredible experience and it will continue to get better as technology advances. What we have to do is say, ‘That’s a great experience, but let’s make the most important experience and the best experience, which is our stadium experience, better.’ Technology into the stadiums is a big part of it. Making people feel safe when they’re in our facilities is a critical component. But there is nothing like being in the stadium for an NFL game. I was up in Seattle for the NFC Championship Game, and, if you want to feel energy, you go up to Seattle. That’s around our league in various stadiums, and we will continue to make this a major focus and make sure that experience is a great one.”
On the future of instant replay and if the league is thinking about having a central location:
“The most important thing for us – we think there’s plenty of room for us to improve the game of football and officiating, in particular. What we all want is consistency, fairness in our officiating, and we believe that we might be able to achieve more consistency when we bring instant replay with us – more of a centralized version and decision-making process – and that’s something the Competition Committee is going to consider over the next two months and come back to a recommendation for the membership. I do believe there’s a possibility that some version of that will occur where our office can at least be involved with the decision. May not make the decision, but can at least provide some input that would be helpful to the officials on the field to make sure they’re seeing every angle, to make sure they have the proper opportunity to make the best decision.”
On the possibilities of expanding the schedule:
“We always look at our season structure, from preseason to regular season to postseason. There has been a great deal of focus over the last year on if we would make any modifications to our postseason. We currently have 12 teams qualify for the playoffs, as you know. We are looking at the idea of expanding that by two teams to 14. There’s a lot of benefits to doing that. We think we can make the league more competitive. We think we can make the matchups more competitive towards the end of the season. There will be more excitement, more memorable moments for our fans. That’s something that attracts us. We think we can do it properly from a competitive standpoint. This will continue to get very serious consideration by the Competition Committee and then the ownership will have to vote on it."