In Chicago for fall meeting, Goodell discusses issues

On the eve of the NFL’s fall meeting in Chicago, commissioner Roger Goodell dropped in on the Bears at their headquarters at Halas Hall Monday morning, meeting with team matriarch Virginia McCaskey, among others.

Goodell remains confident that a labor disaster can be averted even as the players talk more and more about the likelihood of a lockout.

“We continue to meet and we’re continuing to address the issues and we’re all going to work hard to make sure we get it done sooner rather than later,” Goodell said. “I keep saying I think the sooner it gets done the better. I think the longer it goes the harder it gets.”

Television ratings have been soaring this season and it’s evidence that there is a lot on the line for both the owners and the players.

“I think there is a lot at stake and I think in some ways that is a benefit because I think people will understand the importance of getting it done and I know the ownership is very intent on working to get something resolved and addressed and I believe the players are in the same position,” Goodell said.

While TV ratings have fared well, attendance at games is down slightly this season and multiple teams have had blackouts or needed extensions in efforts to sell tickets. That is an ongoing issue for the league and its teams.

“It’s always a challenge,” Goodell said. “The experience at home is tremendous. We have high definition television, 3D coming down, multiple platforms.

“What we’re trying to do is bring a lot of that technology to our stadiums. That’s why the stadium experience is so important. All of us have to work harder to get people to come into the stadium. But there is nothing like being in those stadiums. (Sunday) I was in Oakland sitting in the ‘Black Hole’ It’s a great experience being there feeling that passion and excitement. It’s something you don’t get at home. But the experience at home is great also.”

Addressing the Brett Favre situation, Goodell said the league is working to gather facts regarding the Vikings quarterback and what transpired when he was with the Jets.

“The first thing you want to do is find out the facts, and that's what we're trying to do,” he said. “We're trying to find out all the facts around it, and then once we determine those facts, then we determine what the next step is from there ... if any.”

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