Why Don’t Fans Want More Games?

by npiller88

Roger doesn't know either

NFL owners like their cash, and Roger Goodell tends to like what the owners like. That’s probably why he continues to endorse this disgraceful policy of locking season ticket holders into packages including full-cost preseason tickets that nobody wants (and are difficult to sell for 20 dollars on scalping sites, according to some fans).

The proposal to eliminate some of the 4 preseason games (which are inconsequential, insignificant, and expensive), and add two regular season games is nothing but a cash grab by the owners, because they know about fan dissatisfaction with preseason football, and would like to maintain or drive up revenues while still addressing the fans’ grievance. Their “solution” is to keep prices high and still lock season ticket holders into about 10 games, but appease them by making a couple meaningless games meaningful. As the new Collective Bargaining Agreement gets debated to death, the essential question will be, do fans (and more important, season ticket holders) want two more regular season games?

The answer thus far, is No. If you take a look at today’s ESPN “SportsNation” Poll, over 100,000 respondents (likely big sports fans) voted on whether or not to add two regular season games to the NFL schedule. In keeping with the results of other recent polls, like the recent Associated Press poll, fans have thus far shown disapproval for the expanded regular season, with 76 % of fans not in favor. Is this because the average fan sees the proposal as an excuse to justify high prices? Some have pointed to the issue of player safety, given that regular season football is more contentious and violent, but I doubt fan concern really has much to do with player injuries. If it did, why the sudden outrage over a problem that has manifested itself in scary ways for many years (see copious concussions, decrepit, old NFL veterans and the recent crackdown on illegal hits)?

It’s all puzzling, because the average NFL fan is not a season ticket holder. If the real concern is having to pay full price for preseason games, why the opposition to an expanded regular season schedule? It would incrementally increase the prices of regular season season ticket packages, but wouldn’t the average fan prefer more regular season games and fewer preseason games? And to the point of injuries, if that is really a fan concern, its not as if the preseason is some parade of pro-bowl style soft ball. Injuries happen in the preseason all the time–remember the sudden, meteoric rise of former grocery store stockboy and Arena League Quarterback Kurt Warner with the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams? Made possible by the preseason-sustained season-ending injury of former Rams starting QB Trent Green.

I was honestly shocked to see the SportsNation poll today. Maybe fans truly want the option to buy reduced-price season ticket packages with lower cost preseason games. But why wouldn’t they be on board with the expanded schedule? Not everyone can afford season tickets, and the responsible ones among us who can (and who aren’t shelling out 50% of their salary on season tickets) are likely to be able to afford a slight increase in price per game on account of changing two lame preseason games into exciting regular season ones. Notwithstanding the obvious greed of the NFL owners, what’s wrong with more games? Or at least, what’s SO wrong with it that less than 25% of fans, who LOVE football (by far the nation’s most popular sport), are in favor of the expanded schedule?

A purist might say: “The beauty of the NFL is that every game matters.” But would adding two games really make anyone less excited about week 1? In this football-crazed nation where last weekend’s Super Bowl was the most watched television event of all time? No and NO.

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