LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A plan to expand the NFL regular season by up to two games could be presented to club owners in May, said league commissioner Roger Goodell.
Pre-season games would be cut to make room on the calendar possibly in time for 2011, Goodell told reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting in Dana Point, California.
”There’s a very strongly held view, internally and I believe with our fans, that they don’t believe the pre-season games are up to our standards,” he said. “By modifying the 20-game structure and swapping pre-season games for regular-season games, that’s a very positive change for our fans and improves the quality of what we’re doing.”
Teams now have four pre-season outings before the start of the 16-game regular season. Expanding the season would also boost revenue for the league which last month announced the loss of 169 staff jobs and a voluntary pay cut for Goodell of more than 20 percent due to the global credit crunch. An expanded schedule would be a key topic in collective bargaining negotiations with the players union, whose agreement with NFL owners expires after the 2010 season.
Beyond more money at the turnstiles the league would command a richer deal from the TV networks by turning pre-season games into regular-season contests.
”Players and everyone else have to understand that in this environment we have to do everything we can to improve the quality of what we do,” Goodell said. Any extra regular-season games could be staged abroad.
”It gives us an opportunity to … grow revenue and to hopefully broaden the appeal of the game on a global basis which the players will benefit from,” added the commissioner. (Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Tony Jimenez)
I couldn’t agree more with Rodge. Preseason games are brutal to watch. Players are just as susceptible to injury preseason game or not. The more they play, the more fantasy football we play. Its a good deal.. -TO
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