NEW YORK — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appears to be a firm believer in the saying “the more the merrier” — hence his determined pursuit of expanding the playoffs.
During his annual Super Bowl address Friday, Goodell outlined the benefits — saying there’s “a lot” of them — for expanding the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams, adding one team per conference. The 2014 season is not an option for playoff expansion, but Goodell said it will “continue to get very serious consideration” from NFL owners.
“We think we can make the league more competitive,” Goodell said. “We think we can make the matchups more competitive towards the end of the season. There will be more excitement, more memorable moments for our fans. We think we can do it properly from a competitive standpoint.”
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday that he hasn’t seen a proposal from the league regarding playoff expansion, calling it “a speculative proposal.”
Regarding the wintry Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Goodell described the handling of events in New York and New Jersey as “fantastic.” He said the demand to a host a Super Bowl is high, especially now that open-air, cold-weather stadiums could be options.
“We need to get to as many communities as possible and give them the opportunity to share not only in the emotional benefits, but the economic benefits,” he said.
But Goodell said that hosting a Super Bowl has become “more and more complicated, more and more complex, because of the size of the event and the number of events.”
“So the infrastructure’s incredibly important,” he said. “We’re well over 30,000 hotel rooms needed even to host the Super Bowl. So there’s some communities that may not even be able to do it from an infrastructure standpoint.”