Online NFL Betting – Where We Stand On the NFL Lockout
Sports betting enthusiasts hate the words “lockout” and “strike.” Those words mean that a professional sports league is not playing, and that is the last thing that a sports fan wants to see. It is unlikely that a lockout would stop online betting on Kentucky Derby favorites, but a lockout has paralyzed the NFL. As the horse betting enthusiasts get ready for the “Run for the Roses,” football fans get ready to watch the NFL picks in this year’s NFL draft, and then wonder if those rookies will get the chance to play in 2011.
What Started it AllThe genesis of many of the problems is the owners’ insistence on an 18-game regular season schedule. For the past several years, each team has played four preseason games and 16 regular season games. The owners want to change that to two preseason games and 18 regular season games. It seems like a simple switch of logistics to the owners, but the players do not like it.
An 18-game regular season means two more games per year of punishment on players’ bodies. The post-career health care offered by the NFL is not very comprehensive, so the players want it to improve. Most starters do not play in the final two preseason games of the year. With an 18-game schedule, the starters would play two extra games but not get paid any more than they do now for 16 games. The players want more money.
For the owners, an 18-game season means better attendance at the last two preseason games and more television revenue. Right now, preseason game tickets are prices pretty much the same as regular season games, but preseason games are sparsely attended.
The owners say that they need the additional revenue to expand the NFL and prepare for the future. But the owners have not stated exactly what those future plans are.
Other IssuesThe players want an even 50/50 split on revenue, and the owners do not. The current gap is about $1 billion between what the players feel is fair and what the owners are willing to give. The owners also do not want to pay any more for the additional regular season games. The owners feel that the players’ salaries are high enough and putting too much financial strain on the league. The players want to see the financial data that shows how much the owners make and where the money goes, and the owners have refused.
Post-LockoutThe owners locked the players out on March 11, 2011. The players filed an anti-trust lawsuit trying to get the courts to lift the lockout. On April 11, 2011, a federal judge ruled that the owners and the players must get back to the bargaining table. The two sides are in the process of setting up mediated negotiation sessions.
The OutlookThe lockout is all about money, and a lot of it. When the NHL locked out its players for the 2004-2005 season, it took years to get fans and sponsors to come back to the games. The NHL lost millions of dollars because of the lockout. The NFL stands to lose more because the stakes are higher. The television revenue is higher, and the per game revenue is also higher than the NHL.
The NFL recently released its 2011 schedule and that got everyone hopeful that the lockout is coming to an end. Releasing the schedule is a tactic by the league to put pressure on the players to come to an agreement. Unfortunately for football fans, it won’t work. The players are standing pat on their issues and are not showing any indication that they will budge at all.If the lockout extends into the middle of June, then the season could be lost. Both sides seem uninterested in negotiating at this point, and that is never a good sign. But the lockout will eventually end. It will end it time for there to be some sort of abbreviated 2011 NFL season. The owners need a certain amount of regular season games just to break even, so that is how many games the teams will play. But the quality of football in 2011 will suffer, and the NFL will spend years trying to recover from the 2011 lockout.