Due to a scheduling conflict, the NFL Draft is being moved to mid-May next year. Radio City Music Hall is instituting a spring show featuring the Rockettes, therefore bumping the draft back a few weeks.
Commissioner Roger Goodell stated today at the league meetings in Boston that the league may eventually look to move the draft out of the Big Apple if the RCMH conflict goes on past next year:
“We haven’t found the location in New York that meets our requirements and where we think we can continue to grow the event. If we do, that will be one of the alternatives. I think one of the things we have to do at some point is start looking at other cities.”
Super Bowl L (50) to be held in February of 2016, will take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California – the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. It will be the first Super Bowl held in the Bay Area since 1985, when the 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto.
Super Bowl LI will be hosted by the city of Houston at Reliant Stadium, home of the Texans. It will be the second time since the Texans joined the NFL in 2002 that the game will be held in Houston. The previous time was in 2004 when the Patriots beat the Panthers in a thriller.
Other quotes from Goodell’s presser:
On playoff expansion:
We asked the Competition Committee to look at it. There was a lot of discussion. We had a report briefly at the March meeting. We are going to continue to have more dialogue with the Players Association, which is a big part of that discussion, and the second is with broadcast partners. Yes, we are continuing discussions on that but not today.
On the future of the Pro Bowl, including the site:
We committed to Hawaii, as you know, for the 2014 [Pro Bowl] game. It will be the week before the Super Bowl. Our intention is to keep it in that time period. We think that it works well from a season standpoint and finishing the season on a high note with the Super Bowl. There is interest in potentially bringing it back to the mainland in multiple sites as early as the following year.
The big focus we have had now is how to make the game more exciting from a fan’s perspective. One of the concepts that was discussed today is the idea that the players are selected as they are now with a vote from players, coaches and fans but the actual teams are drafted by captains. That is an idea that came from our players. We are continuing to have dialogue with the players on that idea. We think it is exciting. It could have some fun attached to it. It is something we may do this season.
On the NFL’s partnership with Microsoft and the in-stadium fan experience:
[It helps] in multiple ways, and it is not just the Microsoft agreement. One of the things that we updated our membership on today was our mobile partnership, which is currently with Verizon, and where we are with those discussions. Also we talked about where we are with trying to use the technology that Microsoft can bring to the table, that Verizon can bring to the table, and other technology partners to make the experience in the stadium better. We have to solve the Wi-Fi problem and the DAS problem, which is to try to bring in more capacity so people can use their phones and their mobile devices in our stadiums. We want to be able to use that content in the stadiums to give them unique experiences. That is the really key thing for us. We want to make that experience in the stadium the best ever. I believe there is nothing better than being at an NFL stadium with 75,000 people excited and passionate about their team and about the game. From using scoreboards to using technology that Microsoft can help with by creating more interactive experiences that they will be doing on XBOX that we might be able to do with mobile devices in the near future, we are going to allow fans to have a better experience to stay connected. This is even when they are at their games with their fantasy football teams, for example, or following what is going on around the league and watching highlights from other games. We will use the scoreboards for that, but we will also allow them to use their mobile devices. We think mobile is a huge opportunity for our fans to get closer to the game and a huge opportunity for the NFL.
On the options to modify the structure of the NFL season:
[The options] are all on the table. As I have said before, I think the structure of the season is something that we consistently reevaluate. I have been quite open about [indicating that] we have to address the quality of the preseason. I hear from fans consistently that they want to make every NFL event more valuable. They see the preseason as being less valuable to them because they don’t see the best players and the games do not count. We have to address that, whether we are looking at 18 [regular-season games] and two [preseason games] or 16-and-two and expanded playoffs. They are all on the table and things we are going to evaluate.