SBD/August 19, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Owners Pushing To Keep Four-Game Preseason If Playoffs Are Expanded

Preseason NFL games could move to a variable pricing model to appease fans
Even with expanded playoffs "likely on the way" for the '15 NFL season, the league's four-game preseason "probably is here to stay, as some owners of NFL teams have put aside the notion of cutting the number of preseason games," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. This "renewed support for a four-game preseason marks a departure from how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and others within the league were talking about the preseason in recent years." The "initial thought by some observers was that the playoff expansion perhaps would be accompanied by a reduction of the preseason." But Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy said the two concepts are "not necessarily" linked. When the NFL was "proposing a lengthened regular season and a reduced preseason, the idea was that the revenue gains from additional regular season games would more than offset the revenues lost from fewer preseason games." But if the owners can "add two playoff games without cutting any preseason games, there would be primarily only revenue gains." Still, the NFLPA "could ask the owners for something in return for agreeing to additional postseason games, perhaps a reduction in preseason games." Meanwhile, Giants President & CEO John Mara said, "I think you might see more and more teams go to variable (ticket) pricing to deal with the preseason issue." Murphy added, "I think a number of teams, somewhere around 10, have moved to the variable pricing. I think a lot of us think that’s part of the solution with the preseason. If people aren’t paying full price for it, they’re less likely to object" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/19).
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