Since March 11, the NFL has been in a labor dispute that resulted in a lockout initiated and sustained by the NFL. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, stated that the signs were obvious that fans were being affected by the lockout, not just the players and owners.
According to Goodell, fans are starting to waiver. The lack of spring pre-season activity and the cancelation of important events like the rookie symposium have left fans wondering what the coming season will hold. Ticket sales are down. TV ratings for the draft were down by a notable 4 million people. Even web traffic at NFL.com is down considerably.
Commissioner Goodell knows the fans want certainty. However, certainty may yet be far off. New hearings are scheduled for June 3rd in the 8th U.S. District Court on the appeal to maintain the lockout. A decision may yet be several weeks in the making after that.
In preparation for the hearing, the coaches have joined the players in their fight against NFL owners. The Coaches Association filed a brief expressing the significant impact the lockout is having. The brief detailed the economic hardship being placed on coaches and players as well as the affects of the lockout on the ability to properly prepare players for the coming season.
The NFL coaches are not asking for any financial compensation, either. According the NFLCA, all they want is the stay lifted and the injunction of the lockout upheld so that they can begin their off season training with the players. This, the coaches say, is the more important than the financial loss.
In the mean time, if the lockout stands, the NFL does not foresee any danger to any of the “big” games this season. They have sated that they are confident that the season will begin on time and that it will be a good season.