NFL must allow Super Bowl Watch Parties in the hometown stadiums of competing teams

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Each year, the Super Bowl is (usually) played in a "neutral" stadium, i.e., a stadium that is not the home stadium of either team competing for the title. This year, the Super Bowl will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, 2018.

Hometown fans of the competing teams should be able to watch the televised 2018 Super Bowl in their teams' hometown stadiums or arenas. These gigantic "watch parties" would bring tens of thousands of fans together to share the thrill of watching their teams compete.

But the National Football League has historically prohibited this unifying civic event to happen, and maintained that refusal to us recently.  We want that to change.

It's time to #FreeTheSuperBowl !

(To read my column about this, click here.)

The NFL, which owns the broadcast rights to all of its pre-season, regular season and post-season games, patently forbids "mass viewing" broadcasts in stadiums, arenas, movie theaters and other venues the NFL deems too big to host a viewing.

The reason? The Nielsen system of TV ratings that is used to approximate the number of game viewers is allegedly not able to take into account viewers at these mass events. This matters because the Nielsen numbers determine how much television networks, which buy broadcast rights, can charge advertisers for commercials. Which determines how much the networks are willing to pay for the broadcast rights. Which determines how much team owners will bank.

They bank a lot.  The National Football League distributed a record $7.8 billion to its 32 teams in 2016, a jump of almost 10%.

This petition seeks to convince the NFL to suspend its prohibition on "mass viewing" for just one game a year - the Super Bowl - and in only two venues: the hometown stadiums of the two teams that compete for the Super Bowl title. 

Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League have happily hosted "watch parties" for hometown fans to view, inside their hometown stadiums or arenas, the away games of their teams during post-season play. The parties have been resounding successes.

It's time the NFL allowed the same experience to be enjoyed by millions of fans who have helped team owners make billions of dollars. 

Let's start with the 2018 Super Bowl.

Please sign the petition and then share it with others. Let's #FreeTheSuperBowl.

Thanks! 

 

 

 

 



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