NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, unhappy with the pace of the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, released a statement on Tuesday, urging the league and players association to accelerate talks ahead of March 4, the day the current CBA expires. Neither the NFLPA or league have made any headway in preliminary talks, as both sides have come away from the bargaining table unhappy. The major sticking point has been the distribution of revenue, with the NFLPA wanting to keep its edge and the owners looking for a bigger cut.
However, his words urging for talks to get into gear were hollow in many ways. Goodell used the opportunity to, more or less, beg for money, noting the owners needed an increase in revenue to offset costs associated with running teams and keeping the league moving forward.
Goodell says owners need more money to offset “costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums.” He adds: “We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego.”
With stadium costs rising, as evidenced by the billion dollar albatross that is Cowboys Stadium, it’s tough to take Goodell serious in this instance. After all, it’s the owners storming away from the bargaining table and filing unfair labor charges against the NFLPA. It’s been the owners cancelling meetings more than once in the last week, taking to the media to blast the players’ union.
With a little over two weeks left until the current CBA expires, the NFL and NFLPA face an uphill battle to get a deal done. Without a new CBA, the owners have vowed to lock the players out. It’s a battle that could drag on well into the 2011 season, with the very real possibility of no football in 2011 looming.
We’ll keep you posted on the negotiations as more becomes available in our NFL lockout StoryStream.