Labor storm could hurt Super Bowl

May 21, 2008
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upshawThere’s a dark cloud hovering over Indianapolis’ selection by National Football League owners to host the 2012 Super Bowl.

The roar that raced from Atlanta where the decision was made Tuesday to Indianapolis almost obscured the stormy labor dispute that is brewing between team owners and players.

Sure, it seems like three years is a long way away, but the fact that all 32 team owners voted yesterday to opt out of the current labor agreement with players shows how serious they are. The current labor deal ends after the 2010 season, the season before Indianapolis is to host the big game.

“The current [labor agreement] is just not working,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell following the decision. “This has to work financially for both sides. We tried it for two years, and it’s not working.”

Moments after the decision, NFL Players Association chief Gene Upshaw summoned reporters in Atlanta to a conference call, where the tension could be heard in his voice. Upshaw said communication has broken down between players and owners, and he didn’t like the way the matter was being handled by owners.

By all accounts, it sounded like this could be a protracted fight. Just how long? Who knows?

If they can’t get a deal worked out, Upshaw said there could be a work stoppage. And a work stoppage would certainly jeopardize the 2012 Super Bowl. And if the NFL resorts to using replacement players all the way through the Super Bowl, that would be devastating on the economic impact here.

“You’d think they’d get this worked out by then, but its difficult to say what these guys will do,” said ESPN analyst John Clayton, who was in Atlanta covering the meetings.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay seemed somewhat concerned, but quickly pointed out that a work stoppage has never halted a Super Bowl. Goodell said the effect of a work stopage on the Super Bowl host city is an issue on the minds of all team owners.

“It’s a bit of a dark cloud,” Irsay said. “But I’m hopeful we’ll get something worked out in time.”
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  • Boy, if the owners and players can't get this worked out in 3 years, there is some real greed pushing this. Of course, I'd have to agree with Clayton, I think a different set of motivating factors pushes these guys compared to most other folks. It will be a real sad irony for Indy if the two sides don't pull it together.
  • The only thing worse than NE Patriots making it to this Super Bowl and all their fans taking over the city is a bunch of scab players playing the game.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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