Goodell talks mediation, Los Angeles and Super Bowl with fans
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in conference calls with Cleveland Browns' and San Diego Chargers' fans addressed mediation talks with locked-out players, Super Bowl scheduling contingency plans and the future of football in Los Angeles.
“I am going to do everything I can,” Goodell said of his efforts to strike labor peace through mediation that will resume Tuesday in Minneapolis more than a month into the league’s labor stoppage. “It is a positive sign that both sides are continuing to communicate.
“We are going to work hard to understand one another’s issues, identify solutions, and hopefully, reach that agreement because we know the uncertainty is not good for anybody, most importantly our great fans.”
Among the worst-case scenarios of the labor dispute is an altered Super Bowl date in Indianapolis, and Goodell told the Browns’ fans Thursday, “We have the flexibility to move the Super Bowl one week,” because of consideration of an 18-game NFL regular season that the commissioner said is “still on the table.”
Friday, Goodell addressed Chargers’ fans concerns about their team’s possible relocation -- most likely to Los Angeles -- from an aged Qualcomm Stadium.
“Everyone wants to continue to have the Chargers be a big part of the San Diego community and continue to be successful there,” Goodell said. “Any team that cannot continue to operate in its market has to apply to the league. It is formally approved by a vote of the 32 clubs, and 24 of the 32 clubs would have to approve it.
“They would consider under our relocation policy different factors about the support of the team in the community, the stadium issue and a variety of others.”
Regarding Los Angeles, Goodell told the Chargers’ fans, “We recognize the fans that we have there … we would love to get back into that marketplace, but it’s going to take the right solution for the community and for the team. We really need to focus on a stadium solution. That’s more and more challenging in today’s environment, but that is going to be the focus of what we do. The second piece of that is obviously addressing the team. Expansion could be part of that solution.”
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arrives arrive for a court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 15, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Credit: Hannah Foslien /Getty Images