John Mara says adding cameras to help refs is too expensive


Perhaps while they’re staying in one of the most luxurious resorts in America this week, the NFL and its owners will plan which week they’re going to pass the hat.

Because a lack of money is apparently keeping them from making what seems to be one of the easiest fixes among the current rules proposals.

Giants president and co-owner John Mara told Bob Glauber of Newsday that there wasn’t sufficient support for the Patriots’ proposal to add fixed cameras at the goal lines and sidelines to make replays more definitive.

Mara cited cost and inconsistent configurations of different stadiums,” the report said.

Previously, the NFL has received love offerings in the forms of taxpayer money for stadiums and gigantic sums of money from television networks and ticket revenue.

So the cost of 12 cameras (assuming one on either end of the goal line, end line and sidelines) multiplied by 31 stadiums (30 if the L.A. franchise ends up sharing) clearly would send the league to its bankruptcy and untimely death.

And to think, some people thought it would be something trivial like concussion lawsuits.

If Mara wants to say that architecture problems are the reason, that’s fine. It’s still not completely swallowable because goal-line technology (hey, now there’s a progressive idea) is in use in soccer stadiums around the world, many of which are much older and smaller than the NFL’s. And tennis has a Hawkeye system to help with line calls that hasn’t seemed to bring the game to its knees.

Maybe the league has just recoiled reflexively at the idea of the Patriots asking for more cameras.

But trying to justify a move to not make officiating more accurate and accountable because of cost is simply insulting, as the owners meet beneath the swaying palms.

129 responses to “John Mara says adding cameras to help refs is too expensive

  1. Is John Mara the new Jerry Jones? The media puts a microphone in his face and they suddenly think he speaks for everyone?

  2. This is a no brainer to me, at least along the goal lines. One camera on each side at ground level, and on each side from the upper deck. I don’t understand how that is so hard for the owners to get behind.

  3. This is a joke. Either a bad excuse to protect the shield by admitting refs can be wrong/need help to make calls or just greedy billionaires being greedy billionaires.

  4. I used to think the Mara name carried some credibility but this isn’t the case anymore. This is about the dumbest statement I ever heard. Too expensive!! PLEASE don’t insult me.

  5. “To Expensive”?
    Hmm. And how many billions of dollars does the NFL/Owners make per year? And they can’t afford a few extra cameras?

  6. Cost is an issue? Hell, just make fan jerseys $400. And reduce Goodell’s salary by 1%.

    Problem solved.

  7. This is why so many people are disgusted by the .1% wealthy people. They just don’t get it. No Mr. Mara I will not eat cake.

  8. The league and their network partners should also be consistent in camera deployment.

    For example,. deploying a low number of cameras for a lesser televised game in comparison with a high number for a highly televised game; the teams in the higher televised game have an unfair advantage due to the number of replay angles available.

  9. U mean the league that pays no taxes n makes billion dollars is gonna go broke from this another rich dumb owner not thinking before talking

  10. BUT….John Mara fails to see paying Eli Manning $16 Million a year to throw 20 INTs per year is “TOO EXPENSIVE”

  11. Well it’s like they say – old miser’s and their pennies are not easily parted. This is the same guy who claimed the FA was ‘mediocre’ to justify the fact the Giants pretty much kept the coin purse closed this year. Come on man. Quit being such a cheapskate. Paying for these camera’s is a drop in the bucket. Get it done.

  12. Wow…. just Wow.

    That is some serious weaksauce right there. 😠

    Football fans, time for a Kickstarter to bail out these broke billionaires. 372 Go Pros at a cost of less than $150k. That should take care of it.

  13. By this point, don’t we all know that the people running the NFL are genuinely stupid? The majority of them demand public funding to build their billion-dollar palaces, yet the league can’t afford a few cameras? Should we pay for those, too? And even if they really are too cheap to pay for the technology, don’t come out and mention cost as a determining factor. Make something up, you idiot.

  14. I noticed Mara talking about two teams in LA. Hmm, this guy must be trying to compete with Jerrah. He’s now starting to sound and act like him. Scary for Giants franchise.

  15. This is more likely a thinly veiled shot at the NFLPA and the current CBA. Under the current CBA, revenues are split 50/50. This has an effect of stifling league wide innovation. For example, say someone has an idea that could generate 2 million dollars in revenue for the league. That means, 1 million for the players, and 1 million for the owners. Now, if that idea cost $750,000 to implement, the owners are “only” profiting $250,000 while the players still get their million.

    That’s not to say the owners aren’t greedy, or that we should pity them – but simply to point out that the current system can and does inhibit innovation (I know from experience having worked for a team).

    Therefore, Mr. Mara’s statements could be a shot at the current CBA in order to negotiate allowing these types of changes to be taken off the top before splitting the revenue with the players.

  16. In other words, the league refuses to own-up to the rampant incompetence of the part-time officials. Using full-time officials or at least employing cameras for assistance would be too much of an admission. It’s surely not about money (the league is rolling in it) but rather egos.

    And this time, it’s not just a Goodell thing. This goes back to Rozelle and Tagliabue as well.

  17. I’m sure he examined each stadium and determined which ones it would work on and which one’s it won’t. He must be an amazing engineer to figure that out so fast.

  18. Right because tennis has 250+ lb athletes diving at the line all of the time.

    Think about this. There is a high injury risk to have these cameras posted at the goal line – since there are many plays that are run at either end of the goal line. And i am sure that cameras placed here would be damaged frequently.

    However, the further away from the goal line you put these cameras – the less accurate they would probably be – cameramen at the lines, etc.

  19. The architectural angle is pretty weak as well. Isn’t the field the same dimensions in all stadiums? They have room for the benches, cheerleaders, TV cameras, mascots, press photographers, sideline reporters, et al on the sidelines as it is.

  20. 12 cameras * 31 stadiums * ~$500 per camera = 186k
    50k annual salary * 2 people per stadium to operate them = 3.1 M

    There, for 3.3M/year – or less than 10% of Goodell’s annual salary – the problem is solved without any of these poor wittle billionaire owners having to cough up another dime

  21. A complete and utter joke. They have more money than they know what to do with and they can’t put fixed cameras on goal line and sideline? Unbelievable. They really do take the fans for granted. I assume cost is also why they can’t hire full time, competent referees who can be trained and ready to make right calls. Especially after two playoff games last year were decided by their incompetence. The NFL owners – the 1% at their worst.

  22. “Maybe the league has just recoiled reflexively at the idea of the Patriots asking for more cameras.”
    As a fan of the Patriots for 50 years I have to say this line was clever and made me chuckle. Not as much as I did at the thought of the NFL not being able to afford cameras that would help with the integrity of the game, you know, getting calls right, though. Mercy! These billionaire owners must think the fandom are complete morons.

  23. Also – people harp on the NFL being Tax Exempt – but they forget one key thing.

    The Teams are not tax exempt. So they teams are paying taxes, but the league overall isn’t. So, for example – when television revenue comes into the league, it isn’t taxed before being distributed to the individual teams. The individual teams are paying taxes – so this money isn’t taxed 2x…..

  24. This is a complete cop out.

    They could have a sponsor pay for the cameras.
    The sponsors name/logo could be permanently viewed at the bottom of the screen any time that camera is used.
    A sponsor would gladly pick up the cost of the cameras for their logo to be viewed every time there is a review.

  25. Easy fix. A touchdown must be touched down in the endzone. as it was meant to be. No grazing of the goal line by one atom on the nose of the ball. a firm downward motion must be applies to the ball in the field of play, in the endzones.

  26. Funny how every 7-11 and Convenience/Gas Sations have an aresenal of Cameras and the poor NFL can’t find a way to budget a few bucks from the 10 billion dollars it makes. Boo-hoo, I mean why give the Fans what they want? After all they are the paying customer? I seriously wish we all had the will power to boycott 1 Sunday. I doubt we could (I couldn’t), but what a message that would send. Now get out there and buy an imported replica Nike Jersey for $299!

  27. This should be done now, no reason not to have them. Soccer, tennis already are using technology to ensure that officials make correct calls

  28. I don’t want to hear it’s too expensive from a Billionaire. Not when I spend $3k on my two season tickets probably $800 in concessions, $1k in apparel and memorabilia per year, and hundreds of hours obsessing over the NFL. Just get it done to make sure the product I pay for remains top notch.

  29. With all the blown calls last year, you’d think they’d be all over the camera’s. Seems odd they are resisting them, kind of fishy. Maybe they can get Microsoft to sponsor them so they can shove them down the coaching staff’s and fan’s throats like they did with the Surface tablet last year.

  30. Why not just throw on another tax so the public can foot the bill yet again? The league’s already shaken them down for billions on sweetheart stadium agreements.

    You’d wonder why a growing, multi-billion dollar entity would need to be “bailed out” by the taxpayers, but there ya go: times are so bad, they can’t even afford cameras without it.

  31. That’s laughable, the NFL paid Goodell 44 million in 2012…dock him 20% for being a complete douche, and pay for the cameras. He also said on the record, he expects the NFL to earning $25 BILLION by 2027…seems like cameras would be a small investment to better your product’s results…Or strong arm the networks to foot the bill…as if they wouldn’t bend to put more camera views into their own view-able product. Or take some of the 4 Billion from the DIRECTTV deal, to cover the costs. Statements like Mara’s alienate fans, but we will still watch and pay for it. The NFL could take the interest off the money these networks have paid the NFL to cover these cameras. This whole thing is a joke.

  32. Poor owners. Maybe they could go back to one of their favorite funding sources one more time – blackmailing government for the needed cash. The NSA probably gets great deals on cameras.

  33. Belichick last year:

    “We just spent, whatever it was, how many millions of dollars on the replay system,” Belichick said. “I mean, there’s a thousand cameras in every stadium, so that if somebody spills a beer on somebody, we have it on record, right? Maybe we could have a bake sale. Raise some money for the cameras. Do a car wash.”

    Probably time to start collecting those brownie recipes…

  34. Where could a league that pays its commissioner $40 million a year possibly find the money to afford 372 cameras?

    Does the NFL pay for the Bose headsets coaches wear and forces players to wear in post-game interviews?

    Does the NFL pay for Microsoft to supply teams with its “iPad knock-off” tablets on the sidelines?

    Just call up a camera company and offer them a sponsorship in exchange for some free cameras.

    Then make me Commissioner. I’ll do it for $10 million a year.

  35. The kinds of camera’s they typically use for this purpose run in the neighborhood of about 80K apiece times 12 that comes to about 960K per stadium, at worst case, 31 stadiums you’re talking about 30 million leave or take a few thousand.

    About what Goodell will make by September of this year.

  36. It’s not about the money, It’s about being able to control the outcome of the games. If they put cameras in they lose that control.

  37. If that is an owner wide opinion then it’s just another reason to not bother watching/supporting this rapidly regressing league/product.

  38. The fix is in.
    With statements like above; with the referees becoming worse each passing season, it is becoming more clear the NFL owners are placing entertainment and money over integrity and sportsmanship.

  39. Maybe he could find a way to collude and steal the money from the Redskins and Cowboys again…oh wait…use the money he’s using to pay off that New York Indian tribe that keeps whining about the Redskins name. Mara is the most crooked owner out of the bunch.

  40. The call against the lions in the playoffs had plenty of camera angles and actual eyes on it and it still did not matter, the nfl wants the ability to guide the outcome of a game and more cameras do not help that cause.

  41. What he really means is that an increase in overhead expenses will cut into the profits by the Owners!
    OK then, how about holding the referees to the same level of accountability as players and coaches? If they make a bad call that results in changing the outcome of a game, penalize them and the tightwad owners HEAVILY! What happened to the integrity of the Shield?

  42. They should just take Bill Belichick’s advice and hold a bake sale or something. I mean, how could a billion dollar industry possibly find a few million for something crazy like cameras?

  43. Most everyone seems to be missing the most obvious point here. Those cameras could be offered for free and the owners would not want them. Do people really think the majority of refs throughout the league suddenly and collectively lost their vision and depth perception in recent years? Come on man!

    Certain games are meant to have pre-determined outcomes, to create better match-ups in the playoffs and superbowl, which in turn increases hype and TV/ticket revenues. A couple of blown or questionable calls per season can be explained away, but what we’ve seen over the past couple of years is simply laughable. The blatant tampering with outcomes of particular games, covering of point spreads, asinine comments about what the league cannot afford, the insistence that the game is so incredibly safe, non-refundable PSLs sold prior to tanking a team, cover-ups of star players’ criminal behavior, and on and on and on… A generation ago most owners likely did want to win above all else, but now I doubt more than a handful care one way or the other. If their fan bases are rabid enough, all they have to do is toss them a bone by signing a star player or two – just enough to keep butts in the stadium seats.

    The NFL owners have nothing but disdain for the “fans”, which they make so obvious with ridiculous comments like this one. We’re the 99% who they’ll never have to socialize or do business with…and they laugh at our gullibility. What else can possibly explain how a bunch of billionaires could make statements about not being able to afford the cost of some extra cameras without pissing their pants and spitting Crystal out their noses from laughing so hard?

  44. To the guy who said the people running the nfl are stupid- stupid how? Like a fox as far as I’m concerned. It’s incomprehensible they won’t spring for cameras when ultimately it is the fan that pays for these things but is anyone really going to stop watching? The problem is they’re not stupid and see it as a few million they can keep in their pocket. The miser/penny analogy guy knows what I’m talking about….and that’s not a voice of reason a couple posts above, that’s a conspiracy theory

  45. This isn’t about the NFL not being able to afford the cameras. This is about making the TV entities – CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN – blink and ante up the money themselves. The networks decide how many cameras to bring to a game (NBC will use far more for a Sunday nighter than CBS would send to cover a pair of 1-6 teams shown in just those two cities), so the NFL is attempting to “guilt” the networks into acknowledging it’s the networks’ fault there aren’t sufficient cameras/angles for replay.

    Frankly, the networks should cover it. It’s their responsibility to produce and pay for what the viewer sees, and two of those viewers are the replay official and referee. TV and replay don’t use anything from NFL Films… just what’s plugged into the TV trucks.

  46. a literal interpretation of the goal line would really hurt the Steelers ability to get touchdowns anywhere within 2 yards in meaningful games.

  47. Stadiums may be different, but the field dimensions are uniform, so camera placement shouldn’t be a problem. And the NFL can’t possibly say they can’t afford the costs of the cameras.

  48. Maybe we should have a collection across the USA to raise funds for some sideline cameras. Billionaire owners deserve a big break and we sincerely thank John Mara for explaining why they cannot afford the sideline cameras.

  49. So Mr. Mara says it would be too expensive.. HE IS THE ONLY OWNER IN THE LEAGUE THAT WOULD SHARE THE COST WITH ANOTHER OWNER!!!! John Mara is the sole reason the Redskins and the Cowboys had a part of their salary caps stolen!!!

  50. cmon John Mara be a little more pompous and arrogant to go along with 2 portions of ignorant. we are certain you can back up this idiotic thinking with facts, like costs exact problems with stadiums and the like.
    it is clear by him saying this that it is more important to him to have a few more coins in the coffers than it is to get all scoring plays correctly and not adversely affect outcomes of gamess by getting them wrong.
    what a great day to be a fan of those lil giants

  51. NFL has assists bigger than some countries yet cant scrounge up change for stuff like this or organize funding from their non profit stasis.

  52. nyfootballgiants says:
    Mar 23, 2015 9:54 AM
    Right because tennis has 250+ lb athletes diving at the line all of the time.

    Think about this. There is a high injury risk to have these cameras posted at the goal line – since there are many plays that are run at either end of the goal line. And i am sure that cameras placed here would be damaged frequently.

    However, the further away from the goal line you put these cameras – the less accurate they would probably be – cameramen at the lines, etc.
    To this comment and the one about a camera and operator obstructing the fans’ view – they just need to install cameras like the ones FOX plants in the tracks at NASCAR races. Cameras are actually embedded in the asphault and give great views of the cars passing over them. These could be used for goal lines and end lines that would provide the necessary detail without disturbing any view.

    But it’s all a pipe dream, since expecting a $9 billion business to cough up $30 million for these cameras is SO unreasonable of us!

  53. Laughable how cheap these billionaires are. They want welfare to pay for their stadiums, tax breaks etc and are too cheap to get more cams ?

    They could add 20 cams, even very expensive small HDs cams, to every stadium and never notice the cost.

    What a lying, cheap scumbag.

  54. Perhaps the unethical, dishonest, and unprofessional Mara family could invent charges against the other members of their division and create a fine of $10 million each so that the NFL could afford the cameras.

    Oh wait – the Mara family did invent charges and assessed $35 million in penalties from two teams – where is that money? That would be enough to get some cameras that are needed.

    Oh, Mara family and the clan of collusion – fork over the cash!

  55. Not surprising. Look the old haggard refs they hire for this sport. Apparently they are teetering towards bankruptcy.

  56. wfl1987 says:

    12 cameras * 31 stadiums * ~$500 per camera = 186k 50k annual salary * 2 people per stadium to operate them = 3.1 M

    You want to replace $50,000 cameras and professional operators with $500 cameras and part time NFL personnel? Good luck on the quality of the replay. Why not have the NFL specify the location of TV network cameras and use those at no cost?

  57. Laughable, cost constraints. i have wondered why this has not happened for years. Wait until each team has to build a holo deck for practicing the QB’s.

  58. “Wait the fans and even network commentators want this? Terrible idea!”

    -NFL Owners

    This message has been approved by Roger Goodell

  59. The solution is simple…if any of the existing 31 stadiums/markets want to keep their teams, they’ll build a new stadium 100% funded by taxpayer money that can accommodate these cameras. The fans won’t like it but the owners think that’s fair.

  60. Guys guys guys. The NFL is a “non-profit” and can barely make ends meet. I mean they can barely afford to pay cheerleaders $75 per game with no benefits. They can’t afford these gold-plated elevators with emerald encrusted suites, so that’s why we public taxpayers have to give them free stadiums. We taxpayers will have to shell out more for cameras. Poor 1%ers.

  61. Raise the ticket prices and get the union to agree that the players don’t get a share of that percentage. There are several simple ways to raise the money needed.

  62. Just make the public pay additional taxes to pay for it. How about a PF&BL….Personal Food and Beverage License to allow game attendees the right to buy food and drinks. Actually forget it, send me your address NFL owners and I’ll submit a donation.

  63. pats777 says: Mar 23, 2015 9:51 AM

    Football fans, time for a Kickstarter to bail out these broke billionaires.
    I was thinking the exact same thing. I had no idea the billionaire team owners were sooooo broke. But a Kickstarter project would help them get this done. Maybe they could get Sally Struthers to do a video for it?

  64. I’d like to see the Giants miss the playoffs due to a questionable goal line call that may have been overturned if these cameras were in place.

    I’d be embarrassed if I was a Giants fan…

  65. Well it would make sense if they gave it to the owners to get cameras for their own stadiums. than the cost would not be on the league with their self-righteous self. I’m sure the owners would want to have a call that goes for their team other than against their team. I have a silly idea why don’t the nfl get their own refs and then they don’t Half to worry about so many bad calls and the rest will be concerned about their jobs so making the right call would be paramount to their future

  66. The average NFL team is worth 1.43 BILLION. Teams like the cowboys are worth 3.2 BILLION …….NOT MILLION………BILLION
    and cameras are too expensive to get the call right? What in the world is this guy smoking? Revenues where up 20% league wide last year. Come on man…

  67. Theses cameras are wayyyyy more than anyone on here has suggested. Can be $250,000. If you added 12 per team you’re over 110 mil. Never gonna happen. These owners are greedy beyond belief

  68. Mara: Playoff expansion is inevitable (b/c it makes me more money). Sideline & goal line cameras are too expensive (b/c it costs me money).

    Yeah we get it.

  69. those cameras probably costs less than what it is costing the league for the bogus deflategate investigation. just another way for the smarmy owners to try and get at us for being the best team that nobody can stop.

  70. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The problem is not camera related. The blown calls are the result of each referee having his own interpretation of the rule book. They need to have a common group of full time officials doing all reviews from New York (or wherever). Then we would have one interpretation. Take Dez Bryant’s catch. I don’t like the Cowboys and I’m not a Dez fan either. But I am a huge NFL fan and I don’t like to see mistakes like this. It gives the impression that the games are fixed. 95% of the NFL refs would have ruled it a catch, so it’s not the rule either. College football has a much better replay system than the NFL, so once again, it gives a bad impression about someone wanting to hold onto the ability to determine the outcome of the games. More cameras are not needed. I can make the right call from my living room.

  71. Everytime these idiot owners and idiot Goodell opens their pie holes to speak, it makes me 1. Think they are the dumbest people on the planet and 2. Makes me hope that the NFL goes bankrupt and 3. Makes me want to watch Zero NFL games ever again.

    What a bunch of scammers. Cameras are too expensive. Are you kidding me?

    Guess what your $215 per seat per game are too expensive and so are your PSLs

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