NFL won't let Superdome host Super Bowl viewing party

Superdome officials say they’ve been inundated with requests from people who would love to get together with fellow saints fans and watch the Super Bowl on the big screens at the Saints’ home stadium. But the NFL won’t allow it.

“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of calls, and certainly wish we could show it, but there is a long standing NFL policy that you cannot show the game to a mass audience, so we’re just not able to do it. Sorry, wish we could,” Superdome spokesman Bill Curl told Fox 8 in New Orleans.

Similar requests have come up in the past, including when the Saints played the NFC Championship Game in Chicago in 2006. The league, however, stands in the way of that type of public broadcast of the game.

The reason? TV ratings, which are based on people who watch the game at home. The league doesn’t want tens of thousands of people to watch in a stadium, because those tens of thousands wouldn’t be counted toward the official TV audience that the networks use to sell commercial time to advertisers.

80 responses to “NFL won't let Superdome host Super Bowl viewing party

  1. this is stupid. they should make them register to hold the viewing; sell (or give out) tickets to the event; and force them to report the attendance and air all commericals as part of the agreement. why can’t that work?

  2. Yet they force home teams to sell out games in order to be broadcast? That is a lot of viewers right there

  3. It’s nice to see people’s priorities are still straight.
    Balancing that pesky spreadsheet must ALWAYS come first.

  4. I seem to recall the NFL actually sued a church group who was planning a Superbowl watching party, you know how out of hand those church people can get.
    I don’t think the NFL is the least bit concerned about official TV audience numbers because there are many ways to capture that, they are more concerned about charging several hundred dollar licensing fees to bars and restaurants all season long only to have new competition from the likes of the Superdome in New Orleans for their biggest game of the year. That’s the financial issue.

  5. But aren’t they guessing, on average, who is watching the game from home? This would give them an exact tally of how many eyeballs on the game via ticket sales(maybe). Look for a reason to make it work instead of a reason it can’t work.

  6. Surely it is possible to factor in the amount of people attending such an event. Besides, TV ratings are based on estimates – by having a stadium event you get the exact amount of viewers, and as a result it would be easy to consider when the final rating is posed.
    This aside, it really is a greedy move by the NFL. I thought the overall purpose was to make the sport popular? Such events (especially considering a certain stadium in Texas) pose a significant opportunity to fill stadiums in times when the team plays a deciding game away from home.
    Wake up, NFL!

  7. Surely it is possible to factor in the amount of people attending such an event. Besides, TV ratings are based on estimates – by having a stadium event you get the exact amount of viewers, and as a result it would be easy to consider when the final rating is posed.
    This aside, it really is a greedy move by the NFL. I thought the overall purpose was to make the sport popular? Such events (especially considering a certain stadium in Texas) pose a significant opportunity to fill stadiums in times when the team plays a deciding game away from home.
    Wake up, NFL!

  8. Surely it is possible to factor in the amount of people attending such an event. Besides, TV ratings are based on estimates – by having a stadium event you get the exact amount of viewers, and as a result it would be easy to consider when the final rating is posed.
    This aside, it really is a greedy move by the NFL. I thought the overall purpose was to make the sport popular? Such events (especially considering a certain stadium in Texas) pose a significant opportunity to fill stadiums in times when the team plays a deciding game away from home.
    Wake up, NFL!

  9. Considering that it wouldn’t be that hard to get the ratings people to adjust their data this just seems like laziness. It’s a shame really, because aside from the economic benefit the teams (and thus the league) would get, you’d also help to build a culture of attendance for large events which would further the brand. Seems to me they could do things like this all across america and more than certainly reap a far greater windfall than they could strictly via tv. So why not? They’re letting an opportunity for a new type of event pass them by because they’re too comfortable in their ways to put the effort in. Sounds pretty weak to me.

  10. So the agreement negotiated for the owners on this screwed their own pooch!
    Aren’t the millions of folks watching these games in sports bars being counted in viewership?
    How is watching in a stadiun any differant?
    If this is the best agreement the NFL could negotiate, we may be without NFL games for a long while!!
    When does spring practice start for the UFL?

  11. How many times do I have to keep saying it – “The NFL, and the corporate suits who run it, is a joke of a league”
    The only reason we love watching it is because we love pro football. That’s it.
    As a league, it is horrible and it’s only getting worse as the new breed of marketing guru-trained corporate unimaginative non-football people start to take it over and keep running it into the ground.
    example: – The debacle that is moving the ProBowl to a week after the conference championship games.
    -the rookie salaries which have been out of control since about 10-15 years ago and only in the last couple of years have these morons tried to do anything about it.
    -this example of the Superdome viewing party or even smaller ones like that church that a couple of years ago wanted to have a Super Bowl party and the NFL told them they couldn’t.
    the NFL sucks, period.
    Other leagues, like the NHL, get mocked because they don’t have great TV deals or apparel licensing deals, but as a fan, I couldn’t care less about any of that. I’m a way bigger fan of football than I am of hockey, but I’m a way bigger fan of the NHL than I am the NFL.

  12. How hard can it be to count the number of people in the Superdome and add it to the ratings? Why not give a waiver to the opposing city to do something like this? If they were smart, they would and the owners would realize they can make even more money off of it too.

  13. This is so stupid! The NFL treats it’s fans like shit!
    They only want you if you pay them. I live in South America, so I have to watch my games online (even the playoffs), and it is a constant struggle to find a stream that won’t get shut down by the greedy NFL.

  14. Yeah, I don’t think the NFL wants to be responsible for the amounts of men’s room rapes that go on in the Superdome during a viewing party like this. They had 4 reported during the NFC Championship (All time low)

  15. Like 60,000 or so people will make any difference in the ratings – plus, they’ve already sold all their ads. Morons. If entertainment is what drives the league (along with money), this is something it needs to allow because this is the type of entertainment event that creates community, which equals fan base, which equals, yes, more money.

  16. Its done every where else. I have watched the SB in Mexico a few times on a projection screen with hundreds of drunks!

  17. It took PFT planet about three minutes for the league to figure out a simple solution, and the NFL can’t see the resolution.
    Seriously NFL?
    A. A league run by some heavily educated businessman and lawyers couldn’t figure out how if they just add the attendance in the Superdome instead of the 1 viewer it would initially be counted as. So maybe it would take an extra 2 minutes to come up with ratings data that reflects the Superdome crowd, big deal.
    B. The NFL could potentially have one of the greatest shots ever- a full Superdome celebrating the Saints Super Bowl victory less than a decade after the Superdome was home to thousands of Katrina victims.
    Or they could you know, just do what every single football fan knows is stupid and doesn’t want them to do.
    Like they don’t make enough money anyway…

  18. in other news, Greg Oden takes pictures of his penis. sean salisbury is really hoping his lil’ sean’ pics don’t get out over the internet after seeing this.

  19. As usual when it comes to the NFL it is all about the almighty buck and a big eff u to the fans. It sucks.

  20. All I can say is that this is policy coming from a group of people who thought that putting the pro bowl BEFORE the super bowl was a good idea… I

  21. As rjwill says, show the commercials to and keep track of attendance. People usually want to see the SB commercials anyway, and its actually far harder to walk away from them in a stadium then in your home.

  22. You gotta be kidding me. The League can’t even make an exception for a city of a SB participant?! With the tens of millions of people that are going to watch the Super Bowl around the world the NFL can’t do without an extra 50 or so thousand in the ratings? Absolutely pathetic. I hope there is a lockout. And I hope Congress rescinds the NFL’s anti-trust exemption. The NFL needs to be taken down several pegs.

  23. Maybe the NFL needs to rethink the way they keep their statistics. This is total bullshit. More proof the NFL = No Fun League.

  24. We have two ways to deal with it…
    -Don’t ask just do it. Better to ask forgiveness then
    ask permission.
    -If you leave the doors open to the Dome and people
    just wondered in and just so happens the SB is
    played on the big screens just a coincidence right?

  25. Because the 50 or so thousand that might gather to watch it it would really hurt the numbers in the largest viewed show of the year in the world. That would amount to a drop in the bucket.

  26. Look, everyone here is complaining, myself included. I’m in Canada, and I believe it’s BS.
    The only way the NFL will understand is to boycott. Other than that, they will say and do as they please, and reap the benefits until it affects their bottom line.
    We will all moan and groan, but at the end of the day, we will all watch at home. After all, this is what they wanted right?
    They win!

  27. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
    Saints fans more than any other group of fans deserve better.
    There is a tenuous precedent for this. Back in the first season of the World League of American Football (remember that), the London Monarchs should have had home field advantage for their playoff game. However, Wembley was unavailable on that date, so the other team got to play the playoff game at home.
    It didn’t exactly make up for this travesty, but the league showed the game live on a big screen at the Wembley Arena (indoor facility next door to the stadium). I went – the atmosphere for what was basically watching a game on television was amazing! Stan Gelbaugh’s play action bomb to Jon Horton on 4th and 2 is still one of my all-time favourite football moments.

  28. No Fun Leauge Strikes again! What a bunch of blow hard Douche bags…..So much for caring about New Orleans or fans period

  29. Like the people who fill the Super Dome will make that huge of a difference in the number of viewers measure in the MILLIONS that are reflected in the ratings. You can allow a one time exception based on extraordinary circumstances here.
    Considering what the Super Dome stood for after Katrina, this would be an excellent way to recast that image. Thanks a lot, No Fun League.

  30. Gasp.
    They already charge some ridiculous amount of money for 30 second spots. Can you imagine if they can only charge $4 million for 30 seconds because 10K people watched the game in the dome.
    Bunch of greedy bastards.

  31. It isn’t rocket science. Just get NFL and Neilsen ratings together to figure out a way to count those in attendance at the big events. It’s simple counting. Kindergarteners do it every day. It isn’t even addition or subtraction. It’s freaking counting integers for crying out loud and the NFL says it’s not possible.

  32. Wouldn’t they make more money by selling tickets to said event? Perhaps they can even donate the proceeds… Sounds like a big ol’ write off to me.

  33. I thought the ratings were based on a certain percentage of families (Neilson families). Can’t they just say they will leave their TV on for the game, or somehow let Neilson know they watched the game somewhere else?

  34. We will all moan and groan, but at the end of the day, we will all watch at home. After all, this is what they wanted right?
    They win!
    Not all of us. I probably watched about 15 games tops this year…….13 of them being Steelers games. I’ve watched 2 playoff games. I haven’t spent a red cent on any NFL licensed merchandise this year. I cancelled my trip to Pittsburgh to see my annual once-a-year home game. And I refused to buy tix to see the Steelers in Miami (a few hours from where I currently live). it’s my way of boycotting the NFl’s continued pussification of the game for marketing purposes disguised as “safety concerns”. I doubt i’ll even watch the Super Bowl.

  35. God! This league can’t get out of it’s own way lately.
    Ridiculous policy. Denying this city what could be an incredible final step in the healing process after Hurricane Katrina.
    This could so be an incredible public relations boon for the NFL. Instead it’s a gaffe.
    Okay. I’m not an NFL executive, but some times it doesn’t matter how close you are to the product, common sense must prevail.

  36. That really is some country fried bullshit! Jesus, let the fans watch their game. What a bunch of dickheads!

  37. 72,000 People were actually in the Superdome watching the Vikings/Saints and it was the highest rated football game ever….. Those 72K obviously didn’t effect the Ratings. I think if the NFL actually would approve it and put a camera in the Dome, People would tune in just to see the crazy fans!
    And even better….. Sell Signage in the Dome so when the live feeds are shown, they can make money from that as well.

  38. So, gathering 15,000+ is going to cause a problem for those that want their commercials to be seen? Boy those guys are smart. If there was only a way to count people going into a stadium to watch a football game on a big screen and not TiVo through the commercials…

  39. The NHL has no problem doing this. I have gone to Sabres games every year where they opened the HSBC arena to fans and to get in you donate like $2 for a local charity or bring non perishable foods. The NFL could do a bit of good for both Indy and NO local charities if they let both cities do that, and like many said, it would be easy to count how many people watched the game this way.

  40. I understand this is all new to Saints fans. But how would you feel if you paid top $$$ to show NFL games in your establishment all year and some place jumped in at the SB and got to make a profit selling beer and food w/o paying to show the games as you have done all year?
    I thought so. The NFL is a business and doesn’t make decisions based on emotions.

  41. 1) sell tickets
    2) report the # of sold tickets to the NFL (= # of viewers)
    3) donate all proceeds to Haiti/Katrina/old NFL players
    Great PR for the NFL by donating $$$
    Great camera shots of Colts and Saints fans cheering
    NFL sells Super Bowl merchandise @ each location
    Stadium makes $$ selling food, beers, etc.

  42. What a darn joke. Somebody with lots of money should rent out the superdome and for 5 bucks allow people to come in and watch the game.

  43. Nowhere has anyone said that the Saints have made any such request, and that the NFL has turned them down. All we have is a Superdome spokesman saying that they can’t do it because of NFL policy. Big whoop.

  44. I remember back in the days when Chuck Daly coached the Pistons.
    In ’89 and ’90, in any conference finals or NBA Finals, the Palace would have a viewing party whenever the Pistons were on the road.
    I think the NBA still allows that, and if so, that would be one category it would be superior in over the NFL.

  45. Florio – again full of doo doo.
    The reason has nothing to do with TV ratings but why would that stop you from delivering up more of your inane nonsense…

  46. I went to one at M & T Bank Stadium when the Ravens played the Raiders in the AFC Champ. Game. It was great, rules must have changed since then….

  47. If i owned a bar in New Orleans and 20,000 potential customers were at the dome instead, I’d be pissed

  48. You can send $10 bucks to Haiti via the NFL but forget about this one…it ain’t gonna happen. Remember these are the suits who shut down a church group for setting up a TV for chrissake.

  49. If it ain’t the NFL’s party, it ain’t gonna happen. Why not boycott the friggen SB? That might get some attention.

  50. ahh all dem der ‘po folk dont have the colored television down der…lol but seriously wasn’t everyone out stealing new tv’s during katrina instead of helping each other?

  51. Hey its not like the NFL didn’t already give “the comeback team in the comeback city” quite a bit in the Superdome already. After watching the OT replay, that officiating crew needs to be investigated, and I’m a Bronco fan.

  52. goodell is a joke, the NFL is all smoke and mirrors, all they care about is bottom line profits and kissing up to all their corporate homies.

  53. ChillyP.
    Hey look we all love writing on here about each others team and moms and all kinds of crap. That’s cool, just trash talk. When anyone thinks it’s funny to joke and laugh about children being raped they definitely need to wake up. This is a good site to talk trash to each other but everyone needs to chill out with the bridge and katrina jokes. Keep this site fun but not cruel and ridiculous.

  54. Where’s Chad Ocho when you need him? This is the kind of thing he should jump on to drive Darth Roger crazy.

  55. I am certain that the nfl allowed the packers to open lambeau to allow fans to watch a playoff game within the last few years.

  56. Even financially I can’t see how this would be a bad thing. All of the commercials could still be played in the stadium, hell we all know some people care more about the commercials in this game than the game itself. Seems like a great way for the NFL to make sure 40-50,000 people are sitting right there watching the game.

  57. Well maybe the idiots who bring their movie cameras to games are to blame too. As I’m sure there would be thousands of youtube videos of the game, bootlegged from the megatron showing it at the superdome. So I can understand this. If your life too empty to watch it at home, go to a freaking bar to watch it there and get a life.

  58. This is yet another reason why Football will always lack the international success enjoyed by soccer. FIFA is filthy rich and doesnt care if a few thousand fans come together to watch the games.
    The NFL is just too greedy and cannot get enough of the green, even though it seems that Mr Goodell is a hard nosed “old school” traditional NFL guy. All he has done is fine players for every little thing they do. As much as i love footbal hearing crap like this makes me want to boycott the super bowl. as much as the people of New Orleans had struggled, what the hell is the big deal!! This just in the NFL will be selling the tickets to the championship parade for either team that wins the Super Bowl!!!

  59. I bet if they wanted to show it at some stadium in England the the NFL would say it was great way to generate fan interest. In the USA screw the core fan. Guess it would be real hard to add X number of fans at a stadium to the TV numbers. At least tell us a good lie.

  60. Yo, Goodell! Wake up! It’s the best NFL story since 1967.
    Try to get a picture of this, Roger:
    – The camera shows the Superbowl announcer crew who say, “…and now we want to take you to the Louisiana Super Dome where a few Saints fans want to send their team their best wishes…” Then the screen shows the dome full of fans screaming as they see themselves on the giant screens. Then back to the announcer crew, one of whom says, “…the Saints can turn out 70,000 fans in the Dome AND THEY’RE NOT EVEN THERE!!
    Goodell, THINK. Ask the sponsors what they would want. I guarantee it would be unanimous. Ask them if they want 70,000 people to watch their commercials together in the biggest party the No Fun League (NFL) has ever seen.
    What would Lombardi say?

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