Super Bowl organizers not concerned about lockout

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Indianapolis officials expect next year's Super Bowl to be played on its scheduled date, Feb. 5.

If it's not, well, the host committee believes a title game will be played in Indy in another year.

On Wednesday, for the first time, chairman Mark Miles acknowledged that although the committee plans to be ready on game day 2012, league officials have indicated Indy would host a future game if a labor stoppage forced a cancellation.

"We believe we will have a Super Bowl in 2012, and if we don't, we'll have another one," Miles said during a news conference about 400 days from the scheduled game. "It's understood, that in the extremely unlikely case that we didn't have one, we would have a future one."

Miles declined to say what year that might be. The 2013 Super Bowl is scheduled for New Orleans, with the 2014 game slated for East Rutherford, N.J. So the next open date would be 2015.

A cancellation of the NFL's biggest game has never occurred, even in the strike years of 1982 and 1987. In '82, the season was shortened to nine games. In '87, the season was shortened to 15 games and owners brought in replacement players for three games — all of which counted in the standings.

Concern over a potential lockout because the collective bargaining agreement between the players union and league expires in March raised questions about the 2012 Super Bowl.

Indy organizers don't expect the game to be the first cancellation. League officials asked the city to block out hotel rooms and space for two weekend dates, one for the originally scheduled game, the second as a contingency plan for the next weekend, during the bid process.

League officials have not asked the host committee to block out any additional dates, Miles said, and Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn't expect any changes.

"I've talked to the commissioner about it, and honestly, I think that's putting the cart way before the horse," Irsay said. "To me, I really just think it's speculation because we're so far away from that scenario."

But if the game were canceled, Irsay said, it was a "given" that Indy would host a future Super Bowl.

In August, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said it was not unusual for the league to seek a backup date.

The contingency plan could be used for anything from an expanded 18-game schedule to bad weather, but most believe it would be necessary if there is labor strife.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has said he does not expect a new deal completed anytime soon and is predicting team owners will lock out players.

Players already are preparing for the worst. As early as the summer of 2009, player representatives instructed teammates to start saving additional money for health insurance and living expenses in case of a lockout.

Earlier this week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent an e-mail to about 5,000 fans, writing that "if both sides give a little," the two sides "can and will reach an agreement."

The next day, Carolina owner Jerry Richardson told reporters he believed the two sides were not making much progress.

In Indy, where these words can resonate, committee members haven't changed a thing.

"If there were a lockout and even if it was quite prolonged, we still would probably have a Super Bowl, so nothing changes what we're doing," Miles said. "So we expect to have our Super Bowl in February 2012 and we expect to be ready for that date."

And instead of worrying about a labor stoppage they can't control, Miles and host committee president Allison Melangton are focused on the things they can determine, such as getting volunteers ready to shovel snow, dealing with parking issues and getting observers to Dallas for next month's Super Bowl.

NFL teams have started laying out some plans in case there is a lockout.


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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.