Big news that concerns Indianapolis: there is a potential for an NFL Lockout. That means that Indianapolis, next year’s Super Bowl host, may not get the opportunity. The current collective bargaining agreement is to last another week but it expires Friday, March 11 at 5pm.
This lockout is about, what else? Money. The NFL owners want to pay players less for more games, the players don’t want anything to change; they want the same pay for the same amount for the games. Two years ago, NFL owners opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement, effective after the 2010 season. If they don’t get a new deal done by the end of the league year, the owners can choose to lock out the players with no pay or benefits until the players agree to a different deal. (see article).
Remember the National Hockey League lockout of 2004-2005? This lockout was about getting players to accept salary caps (commissioner Gary Bettman wanted the players to accept a salary structure linking salaries to league revenues). Who were the perceived bad guys in this lockout? According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted among Canadians, the perceived bad guys in this lockout were the players (52%) and not the owners (21%).
Hockey season just didn’t happen that year. Not only were millions of fans (perhaps, mostly Canadians) disappointed, but there were other rippling effects of the lockout. For example, a major manufacturing company specializing in making hockey pucks InGlasCo, based out of Sherbrooke, Quebec, had to lay off half of their employees (see NY Times article). However, there were also some positive outcomes. The NHL lockout led Canadians to watch other sports; there was a rise in attendance at CFL games (Canadian Football League) as well as a rise in TV ratings. Even Canada’s other national sport, lacrosse, had an increase of interest (wiki: 2004-05 NHL Lockout).
Although many Americans may not follow hockey, they definitely follow football. This potential NFL lockout could follow a similar pattern to that of the NHL lockout. For example, it’s possible that other sports could see an increase in popularity like, Nascar racing, for example, or even hockey. However, the deadlines for these negotiations keep getting extended, which could be a sign of both sides coming to an agreement.
Despite all of the talks of the potential lockout, preparations in Indianapolis continue as planned. Super Bowl committee members went to the Cowboys Stadium to observe the events of Super Bowl 2011 — and to learn from their mistakes (notes that they probably took: make sure there is no falling ice at the stadium, make sure that paying fans get a seat, and make sure the singers know the words to the National anthem). In addition, over 18,000 hotels rooms have been blocked out in anticipation of the event (see article). Until otherwise announced, Super Bowl XLVI is set to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts, on February 5, 2012.
NFL lockout: a summary of the issues is here.
Everything related to the NHL lockout is here.