NFLPA sends letter to Chicago mayor, Illinois governor

The NFLPA is warning government leaders in Chicago and Illinois that a complete lockout in 2011 could lead to $160 million and lost jobs and revenue in the NFL’s second-largest market.

The NFLPA sent a letter to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, warning them of the threat and urging them to push for good-faith negotiating by the owners.

It’s the latest in rhetoric from the players’ side with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire in 99 days.

“During one of the worst economies since the Great Depression, NFL owners are preparing to cancel the 2011 season and, in the process, devastate Chicago businesses and stadium workers who count on football Sundays to make ends meet,” NFLPA president Kevin Mawae said. “It is our hope that the owners will shelve this plan and negotiate in good faith to ensure that we are playing for the fans in 2011.”

The NFLPA points out that owners have secured more than $4 billion guaranteed in deals with television networks if games are not played in 2011. There is no such provision for the players or the workers and other industries that would be impacted by a lockout.

Chicago isn’t the only city that would be impacted. Workers and businesses across the country would feel the pinch if the NFL is not filling stadiums on Sundays in the fall. The players believe that owners are already determined to lock them out and they are not interested in negotiating toward a deal right now. Stay tuned. This storyline isn’t going away any time soon.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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