News

Goodell talks playoffs, London and L.A.-based teams

Goodell talks playoffs, London and L.A.-based teams

NFL: "One of the great things about the NFL other than it's unscripted is that every team starts the season with hope," Goodell (pictured here in December) said. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said league owners are considering an expanded playoff format and that he would like to see franchises in Los Angeles and London.

Nearly every game during the final week of the NFL’s 2013 regular season had playoff implications and Goodell said the league needs to maintain that competitiveness, and expanding the current 12-team postseason format could be the answer.

“That is under serious consideration,” Goodell told an event in New York on Tuesday. “One of the great things about the NFL other than it’s unscripted is that every team starts the season with hope.”

While Goodell admitted that NFL owners are considering the addition of two wild-card teams to the playoff mix, he did not offer a timeline for when such a change would occur.

He did, however, offer support for basing teams in London, where the NFL has held a regular season game each year beginning with the 2007 season, and Los Angeles, where the league has been without a team since 1995.

Los Angeles has been the largest U.S. market without an NFL team since the Raiders left for Oakland nearly 20 years ago.

The NFL’s International Series, which began in 2007 with one game per season at London’s Wembley Stadium, was created to help grow the league’s fan base. The game’s regularly attract crowds of over 80,000 and three games will be held at Wembley in 2014.

“I think it’s possible if we continue to have success in London that we would have a franchise there,” said Goodell, who did not express a preference for which city – London or Los Angeles – might land an NFL franchise first.

“I don’t know which will be first and I’m not sure I care. I’d like to see if we can be successful in both ultimately.”

With New Jersey set to host the NFL’s first cold-weather Super Bowl on February 2, Goodell said there is no guarantee other cities in cold climates with outdoor stadiums will get the chance to host the league’s championship game.

The New York and New Jersey area were awarded hosting rights for the Super Bowl back in 2010 with a bid that trumped others in projected economic benefit for the league and ticket sales.

“This is obviously innovative and it’s something new but it’s also unique because it’s New York,” said Goodell.

“Every city can’t host a Super Bowl just because of the sheer enormity of this event. And it’s not just a football game. We have a week full of events, we probably have well over 150,000 coming in to the New York region for this event.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Royals beats Giants 7-2, even World Series 1-all

Fresh
Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

The Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 7-2 Wednesday night to even the World Series at one game apiece.

in Sports

Vegas police probe complaint against Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin put the ball to his face as he reacts to being called for a foul against the Sacramento Kings during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, April 12, 2014. The Clippers won 117-101.

Police are investigating a man's allegation that Clippers star Blake Griffin attacked him in a Las Vegas nightclub during the weekend.

in Sports

NBA owners vote down lottery reform

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver addresses the media during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Silver announced that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the league in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

NBA owners have voted down proposed changes to the league's draft lottery system, staving off efforts to curb tanking for the time being.

in Sports

Nine UNC employees fired or disciplined in scandal

University of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt, left, and President Tom Ross prepare to address members of the media with results of an investigation into academic irregularities following a special joint meeting of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

The probe found that nearly half of the more than 3,100 students enrolled in classes they didn't have to show up for, were athletes.

in Local Sports

Four Whatcom County prep football teams in AP state poll

Prep footballs

The Lynden Lions fell in the polls follow a tough loss to Ferndale. Find out where the Lions and the other local teams check in.