FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The annual commissioner’s news conference on Friday of Super Bowl week is one of the biggest, and most attended, events of the week for the NFL. Every year, the question-and-answer session serves as a state of the union address for the league, two days prior to the biggest game of the season.
With hundreds of national and international media present and NFL owners and league executives looking on inside, Commissioner Roger Goodell delivered a brief opening statement Friday before taking questions from the assembled reporters for about 50 minutes. Of the approximately 35 questions Goodell answered, 10 dealt directly with the status of the negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement, which is set to expire next month.
It’s one of the best opportunities of the calendar year to hear Goodell speak directly on the most important topics. The enormous conference room — with three sections of chairs probably 50 rows deep between the stage and the camera risers in the back — was nearly silent as Goodell discussed the CBA, international games, the Pro Bowl, future Super Bowls, the Rooney Rule and the status of franchises in Jacksonville and St. Louis.
Those who attended included Saints owner Tom Benson, Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Falcons owner and CEO Arthur Blank and Giants chairman and executive vice president Steve Tisch.
Photographers and cameramen were quick to surround Goodell at the front of the stage for the photo op with the Lombardi Trophy, before the commissioner made his way through the crowd to the NFL Network set for a one-on-one with Jason La Canfora.
– Frank Tadych