Thursday, July 10, 2008

Goodell sits down with WGR

Good interview, talking about the new fan conduct policy, the Bills in Buffalo, revenue sharing, the CBA, and a little Marshawn Lynch

Q: There are a lot of questions right now about the future of the Bills franchise and lots of people have talked about how the franchise is going to leave. What can you tell the fans of the Bills who are nervous these days?

COMMISSIONER GOODELL: What's happened by going to Toronto for a game is actually helping to support the team in Buffalo. It's actually had the effect that we wanted it to have. By allowing the team to regionalize and to broaden its fan base in a market that has become smaller, as you know, I firmly believe that this has actually been good for keeping the Bills in western New York. It allows them to generate the kind of revenues that are necessary to continue to be successful. They’re an important part of the National Football League and I've pledged and I believe very firmly as long as we keep that team successful, it will be in western New York.

Q: What does the league define as keeping the team successful?

It just has to be financially successful, competitively successful and I think it has the ability to do that right now. I think the way Ralph has managed the team has proven it.

Q: We’ve been reading stories about the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium and the money they can get down there and the Giants and Jets getting millions of dollars by selling the corners of their new stadium. Keeping the Bills successful…. how hard is it? Is it possible they can maintain some kind of revenue level so that they don't get priced out and that there's not too big of a disparity to keep the team in western New York?

That's the beauty of our system. We have two things that counter that. First, we have revenue sharing so that the money that's created in Dallas and in New York is also shared in markets like Buffalo. That's why a franchise like the Green Bay Packers has been successful for so many years with no owner, as the community actually owns the team. So that's one issue. The second issue is that we have a salary cap and there's only so much money that can be spent on players. That again levels the playing field to some extent and we think it is why Buffalo continues to have competitive football teams.

Q: From the big market perspective … Jerry Jones, Bob Kraft …. the guys in New York, Washington, Dan Snyder… Do the big-market teams really care about whether or not the Bills of the world have a spot in the NFL?

Absolutely. I think all of our owners understand what the Buffalo Bills mean to this community but also what they mean to the NFL in general. I think when you see the Green Bay Packers and the Buffalo Bills continuing to be successful both on and off the field, that's a demonstration of why the NFL has also been successful because it can be compelling in all markets. It’s where a franchise can go from last to first in any given year. That's what makes it exciting and I know that our ownership understands that and respects that and I think that's one of the core principles and they’ve demonstrated that with the way that they share revenue.

Q: How do you balance the desire to always get bigger, whether it's playing games in London, playing games in Prague? I mean there's going to be a game a year overseas outside the U.S. So, how do you balance the desire to grow and continue to grow but also be true to and respect the parts of your league that kind of got it to where it is? The Green Bays, the Buffalos and the smaller markets that may have more of an intrinsic value than necessarily financial value.

That's always a balancing act. You want to continue to grow and to expand and that's what our job is. To try to find ways to do that. When I took over as commissioner there were three things that I focused on. We have to do everything to strengthen the game, we have to do everything to strengthen our 32 teams, and we have to continue to innovate. We cannot rest on our laurels and accept that our past success will dictate our success in the future. It won't happen. So growing is important and we're going to continue to go after pro-growth strategies. It’s one of the reasons we play our international series. But that doesn't mean that you want to weaken your domestic market or your 32 franchises. That’s a key point for us.



  1. I'm down with Rog, as long as he's not just blatantly lying.

  2. case anyone needed another reason to hate joe buck