Goodell Has A Lot Of Political Work To Do


Five ownership groups want new stadiums.

The on-field action is done but the business of the National Football League is a 366 days a year event in leap years. Commissioner Roger Goodell’s main job is to carry out the agendas of 31 different owners and the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors and that means Goodell has to put on his lobbyist and negotiator clothes and get new stadium deals for various ownership groups including Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and the Kansas City franchises. Goodell has endorsed a Chicago Bears’ ownership plan to build a stadium in Soldier Field’s south parking lot. He is also backing a Bears’ ownership quest to build a stadium on property the Bears ownership has in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The problem in Arlington Heights? Taxes. Bears’ ownership does not like the tax bill on the parcel it owns.

Goodell will probably be advocating the passage of a Jackson County, Missouri referendum on April 2nd which, if passed, will funnel money into the reconstruction of the Kansas City football stadium and also provide money for a Major League Baseball stadium for MLB’s Royals’ ownership perhaps in downtown Kansas City. Goodell has also endorsed a plan for a new or rebuilt Jacksonville football venue. In Cincinnati, the lease between the Bengals; ownership group and the local municipality is done in 2026 so the clock is ticking in terms of getting a deal done and the Browns’ ownership’s lease with the local municipality is finished in 2028. The problem Goodell has is getting leverage for all the owners except Chicago’s McCaskey family because there are no municipal governments in non-NFL municipalities that have a stadium plan for right now. The NFL vacated Oakland, St. Louis and San Diego because there were alternatives. That is not the case today.

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Commissioner Roger Goodell talks about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award during the NFL Honors ceremony as part of Super Bowl 55 Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)