NFL: NFL busy preparing contingency plans

Reuters, NEW YORK

Fri, May 27, 2011 - Page 20

Despite the ongoing labor dispute with players, the NFL still plans on a 16-game schedule and a Super Bowl in Indianapolis, although commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would be prepared for anything.

“We spent the last two days making plans, including going through our kickoff and 9/11 plans with our clubs,” Goodell said of the scheduled NFL opening week at a news conference following the owners’ two-day spring meeting in Indianapolis. “We are approaching the 2011 season as we would any other season as far as making plans. That is our intention.”

Asked whether the NFL had back-up plans in case the season could not start on time in September because of the lack of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), Goodell drew some laughs.

“I would say we have contingency plans for our contingency plans,” he said.

Players have been locked out by the owners for more than 10 weeks after talks on a new CBA broke off and the players union decertified. Nine of the players then filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

Goodell said an agreement would not be forged in protracted legal battles and had to be negotiated in bargaining.

The commissioner voiced a sense of urgency about getting back to the table, saying mounting revenue losses would be reflected in the economic proposals owners made to players.