The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

Apple Pie - 18 Games

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Expanding the NFL regular season to 18 games is a no brainer for all parties involved. The league, the TV networks, the fans and the players get on board as soon as possible. This is like Apple pie - everyone loves it and it should be done. Of course with any new wrinkle there will always be some naysayers, but the positives of far out weigh them.

The number one benefit of the expanded regular season is that there will be more legitimate and meaningful games played. Fans want to see live football not pre-season kabuki. The fans are charged comparable ticket cost and beer prices at a pre-season game as at regular season with less stars. More good games played will build and maintain the fan base.

The second benefit to the league and its players is the obvious financial windfall and revenue that will be derived from the additional two games. From ticket sales, to beer revenue, to increased sponsorship to higher prices for luxury suites to increased television fees its all win. If the league makes more revenue then of course the owners and the players will see increased profits. The players will see increased revenues through either a new CBA (Collective bargaining Agreement) or the increase in the Total Football Revenue (TFR) that determines the current player's percentage of the football pie. Players already play 20 games counting the pre-season under the current system so they might as well be paid their regular season salaries for these games. This is the no-brainer part of the equation.

The small downsides of the increase in games is the fact that the back end of the training camp rosters will see less opportunity to demonstrate their skills thus decreasing their chances of making a team. This however has already been taken into account by the tremendous increase in off-season programs that weed out the wheat from the chafe. The other possible deterrent is that increased games will increase the risk of injuries to players. However again, they are already playing 20 games so the increased risk is actually a relative minor increase, if any at all.

At the end of the day, given the current economic condition of the nation and the NFL, creative and intelligent ways to increase revenue and fan loyalty is necessary to maintain its position as the number one professional sport in the world. Expanding the regular season to 18 games is an easy answer that benefits all sides. It will continue to increase the fans appreciation for the game and, at the end of the day, it will grow the size of the financial pie for the league -- and everyone is in favor of apple pie.

By Peter Schaffer  |  March 25, 2009; 10:49 AM ET  | Category:  Peter Schaffer Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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