NFL ponders taking conference championship games to neutral sites

NFL: JAN 19 AFC Championship - Titans at Chiefs
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For years, Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt pushed for the NFL to move conference championship games to a neutral site. Every time Hunt brought the proposal to ownership, ownership voted it down.

Now, as Hunt’s Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills stand one win each away from the first ever neutral-site conference title game, Hunt’s vision may be moving toward becoming a reality.

The premature public proclamation that Bills and Chiefs fans bought 50,000 tickets in 24 hours becomes circumstantial evidence that the league is thinking about making all conference championship games neutral-site contests. Privately, we’ve tracked down some direct evidence of the NFL’s intentions.

Within  the league office, the interest in neutral-site title games has become very real. The NFL envies the atmosphere of major college bowl games, where a 50/50 mix of fans are decked out in team colors. It’s one thing about college football that pro football does not fully replicate.

The Super Bowl, which has been played at a neutral site from its inception (the last two Super Bowl were coincidentally played in the home stadium of one of the two teams), lacks the same vibe as a major college bowl game. The crowd itself at a Super Bowl is often too neutral. Many who attend a Super Bowl do so for the experience, and because they can afford it. Also, for the fans of the teams that qualify, two weeks before kickoff is too late to score tickets — other than the limited amount made available to each franchise.

For a conference championship game at a neutral site, the tickets presumably would be handled in the same way they’ve been distributed for this year’s possible test run: half to the season-ticket holders of one team, half to the season-ticket holders of the other.

It’s one thing for some within the league’s power structure to want neutral-site conference championship games. It’s another for at least 24 owners to vote for it. But even if the Bills and Chiefs don’t make it to the next round this year, the league’s decision to tout the ticket sales becomes the foundation for the NFL to sell the possibility to owners and fans (many of whom aren’t interested in a neutral-site conference championship game) as innovative and ground-breaking and the next step in growing the game, by taking two more of its most significant events to different cites and stadiums, every year.

It doesn’t hurt that cities will jockey (and pay) for the privilege of hosting the conference championship games.

Yes, it robs the higher seed of the ability to host the game, one of the very real advantages of earning a higher spot on the playoff tree. It also impacts some of the profit generated by the home team. But not as much as a regular home game.

Although, as we understand it, the team that hosts a conference championship currently gets its expenses reimbursed (not to exceed 15 percent of the gross ticket revenue), the rest of the money goes to the league for distribution to all teams. The only real profit for hosting such games comes from parking, concessions, and some ancillary hospitality.

Fans won’t like it, in theory. If it happens this year, fans will get to witness it — and the league will get to hype it up, relentlessly. Even if that’s not enough to sway public opinion, public opinion hasn’t stopped the league from making other innovations.

Fans didn’t like the exportation of regular-season home games to Europe. And it’s been happening, and growing, for 15 years.

What will we do, not watch the conference championship games? The league knows we can’t get enough of the NFL, and our appetite will not decline by even the slightest if/when conference championships are played at a neutral site.

146 responses to “NFL ponders taking conference championship games to neutral sites

  1. Then what would be the point of having the #1 seed if you can’t have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

  2. Fans continue to believe the league, when they say they care about the fans. This tells it all.

  3. Ponder? It’s going to happen. Someone said it yesterday, they were just waiting for a situation like this. Nothing better than AFC/NFC Championship games at home fields and it’s going to be ruined. Cash is king and the NFL doesn’t care about the fans.

  4. It’s total horsecrap. Cheating the host team out of the chance to see a championship at their home stadium?

    You mention how Super Bowl crowds are “neutral”. It’s also because those that can afford the thousands for a ticket are typically the wine and cheese bunch that don’t care to make the noise that Joe the Plumber does. And Joe won’t be able to afford to travel to “neutral sites” in many cases.

    Again, it’s crap.

  5. Called it. And it’s a terrible idea. They want to auction the games off the highest bidding cities. Get ready for the AFC Championship in London and the NFC Championship in Mexico City.

  6. Even as someone who leans more right politically – THIS is one of many examples of why capitalism can ruin things as much as anything else

  7. Yes exploit the fans some more. Take away from the local economy. Who cares about the street merchant and local bartender anyway?

  8. I don’t know how season ticket holders would be on board with seemingly having a lottery if they have seats or not to a playoff game. I’d be furious personally.

  9. London and Munich would be excellent choices, for the good of the game. I’d also like to see games in Sydney and Tokyo.

  10. And when the playoffs expand to 8 teams and the 1 and 2 seeds get that opening bye, the 1 seed doesn’t matter nearly as much. I don’t like it.

  11. This is actually a windfall of cash for Ticketmaster. As a current season ticket holder, one of the benefits is that my current playoff tickets to the division and conference championship game are through the Eagles with no ticket fees or “transaction “ fees. Once they shift to a neutral site and offer the tickets strictly through Ticketmaster, the ticket price becomes dynamic and season ticket holders are now crushed with add on fees (ask the Buffalo and KC fans!) Great for Ticketmaster and NFL, bad for the home team fans.

  12. Such a terrible idea and an absolute injustice to fans – particularly those who are typically priced out of the Super Bowl.

  13. News flash! Fans and players don’t like the Europe thing either. Quit being so greedy, or our game will become lame.

  14. Don’t like it. If it happens, gotta have the champ games in the opposite conference stadium so nobody gets an accidental home field advantage. This will favor the southern and dome teams as they won’t want it in north outside cold. Just stop trying to fix something that ain’t broke.

  15. Mrs. Mccaskey holding up the Halas Trophy after the Bears beat the Saints in the 2006-07 NFC Championship Game was an all time favorite memory of mine

    It wouldn’t have looked right then if the game was in, say, Cleveland or Nashville….And it certainly wouldn’t look right today, regardless of who the owner or team is.

  16. Other coming attractions (because billionaires gotta billionize):
    18 game seasons
    More indoor stadiums and artificial turf fields
    16 team playoff fields, “hey top seeds, don’t worry about losing the home field advantage – we’ll let you host an extra Wild Card, sorry Super Wild Card, game

  17. NFL fans put up with a lot, but there will be a breaking point eventually. Look at the NBA today, don’t think a once popular sports league can’t decay into a sideshow.

  18. Makes being #1 seed unnecessary. Chiefs coulda started resting players in week 12. That’s a worse scenario for the NFL than the neutral field idea.

  19. Often the best games of the year. No more “Ice Bowls”. NFL will really lose something in making this step.

  20. Dumb, teams bust their ass all year to try and get home field advantage. It’s supposed to be an advantage.
    Take a top seeded cold weather team, playing a warm weather or dome team Now move that game to a warm weather/dome field, poof, there goes that advantage.
    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  21. “The only real profit for hosting such games comes from parking, concessions, and some ancillary hospitality.”

    Exactly. Taking money away from the low paid vendors that want the extra income. Small markets are screwed.

  22. and like the superbowl, only 6-8 cities will be able to host. having to watch all the championship games in domes is going to stink

  23. Bad for the fans, especially season ticket holders. Bad for the game because you will take the natural elements out of it. Football’s best stories are about overcoming the obstacles including weather, opposing crowds etc. Please stop pushing this.

  24. So the top seeded team would get only one home game, the divisional round? Ridiculous.

  25. If the experience at the Super Bowl isn’t desirable, why would it be any different for the Semi-Final (i.e. Conference Championship) games? Why wouldn’t fans neutral fans buy up the tickets “for the experience”. Seems to me it’s about money. If the NFL can get more money by holding Conference Championship games at neutral sites, they will. Nothing else will actually matter.

  26. Just get rid of playoff seeding then.. what’s the point? Or bring back both 1 and 2 seed byes.

  27. HATE this idea! Presumably, the neutral sites would be chosen (rather anointed) some years in advance, so when the teams that play at those “neutral” sites happen to also have teams good enough to make the championship games, just like the last two Super Bowls, we have “home” teams hosting the game. But, the ONLY way to make it fair would be to, for example, set the host of the AFC game as an NFC city, and vice versa… such as Detroit host the AFC game and Indianapolis host the NFC game. This can be worked around, I suppose. But, this would also mean that the No. 1 seed – after the bye – would get only 1 game at home, while the No. 2 seed (potentially) would have 2 games at home. So – here it comes! – now we expand the playoffs yet again to 8 teams, with NO first round bye, with just all 4 division winners playing home games. Just wait – that will go hand-in-hand with this to make up for the lost home game to the No. 1 seed. NFL needs to learn that if it ‘aint broken, it doesn’t need to be fixed.

  28. Which means it’s a done deal. Remember when they were pondering 17 games in a season and the 7th playoff seed was supposed to be for only the Covid season?

  29. Would be funny to see the NFL with some egg on its face if the games had a bunch of empty seats because season ticket holders bought tickets, but then couldn’t book or afford the travel arrangements.

  30. I’ll bet you a Canadian dollar that this change will also come with abolishing the bye for the #1 seeds. Those teams would still conceivably be able to host two playoff games. And it would also create increased playoff game inventory: Super Duper Wildcard Weekend would feature *EIGHT* games. Three slots on Saturday and Sunday, one on Monday … and you can bet a billion bucks Amazon would be all in on a Friday night game to kick things off. Cha-Ching.

  31. If it happens, fans should boycott both going to the game and watching on TV. NFL is definitely going in the wrong direction anymore.

  32. Something tells me that Hunt hasn’t been pushing this idea since Mahomes came to town.

    It’s wrong for the community that supported the team all season long to be left out in the cold when it’s time for the big playoff game their team earned. Having a team’s city along for the ride encourages their support throughout the season.

    To reduce the incentive to get the #1 seed even further, for both teams and their cities, will further dilute the game and the fan experience of it.

  33. It’s all well and good that the season ticket holders would automatically get a ticket to this other-city game, but that’s only half the story. You also have to have a place to stay, and the hotels are no dummies. They will jack up the price and ask for a 3 day minimum exactly as they do for the Super Bowl. And then there’s airfare…as soon as the teams are in, the rates from those cities will surge. So now you know who will be thanking the NFL. Not the fans.

  34. Yeah I don’t like this idea at all.. It’s ok the NFL is considering it. Just don’t make it a long term reality..

  35. “The league knows we can’t get enough of the NFL, and our appetite will not decline by even the slightest if/when conference championships are played at a neutral site.” They thought the same about boxing back in the day, horseracing used to be the “pass time”, baseball has gone the way of “I don’t care about baseball” and golf has priced itself out of most of our budgets. How do we honestly know the NFL and not the fans bought out ALL the tickets in the first five minutes they went on sale? That would be a small $$$$ to pay for the ever greedy Goo Dell and the owners to get their way. What’s next, the Super Bowl in London? By the NFL logic, that is certainly on the agenda. The NFL is the only sport now that doesn’t showcase all their games in the venues of the teams that qualified for their playoffs and championship. Everything has a life cycle. The NFL powers that be are slowly but surely choking that Golden Goose who, if you’ve been paying attention to prices by the way, has been replaced by chickens.

  36. Since there will be little advantage to being a #1 seed, they will add an 8th playoff team and all teams play the next weekend.

  37. The home team for the conference championship ALWAYS sells out, so financial gain is NOT the reason. Add to it the tickets for a typical $125 face value for the regular season is $250 or more face value for the conference game. It’s not finances people…the home team makes a TON of extra money.
    I’m not a fan of it, but the NFL is a monopoly and they could move every game to Tucson,AZ and you’re still going to watch and the know it.

  38. Who cares if the NFL sells 50,000 tickets to a potential neutral site game? Every NFC and AFC Championship game is sold out! The team with the best record deserves home field advantage. Don’t take that away from the team or their fans!

  39. Just hate this idea. As one who has attended Six AFC titles games in Pittsburgh, including 4 for seasons in the 70’s, I can attest that never have I been in more electric, noisy, passionate, and exciting times than with my Dad at those games in 3 Rivers especially. Just nuts the stadium shaking. And is really was the culmination of attending every game those years as season ticket holder. For christ’s sake we cant get rid of every tradition for the love of $$$

  40. This is nothing more than the next step by the NFL to milk more cash from well to do fans while giving all fans less. Once they move these games to neutral sites and force fans to watch on TV, they’ll limit availability to certain outlets and charge more for it. They’re basically setting up a pay-per-view situation here.

    This stinks.

  41. Don’t like this idea at all on the surface. But upon further review I think they should do it. Cut to the chase — anything that generates more interest in the NFL is a good thing.

  42. This would be a further dilution of the importance of the regular season. First they go from 16 to 17 games and from 12 to 14 playoff teams. Now they may take away the thing that top seeds fight all year for. It makes regular season less important if mediocrity gets you into the playoffs and then a couple of wins get you yo a championship game that isn’t before a hostile road crowd,

    Also, we already have teams tanking the last couple of regular season games if they are locked into the #1 seed. Will teams now tank if they enter the final week guaranteed to be a 2 seed (home divisional game) but a chance at a #1 seed if they risk injuries to starters? What would be the benefit now of being #1 over #2? the #1 seed would often be projected to host the 5 seed in divisional playoff (the top wild card team, which might be a 12-5 or 13-4 team) while the 2 seed hosts the 3rd best division winner, which might be an 11-6 or 10-7 team. Why even go all out for the 1 seed? Teams may lock up at least a 2 seed in mid December and then coast for two or three games.

  43. This is a made-up story. The tickets would be sold no matter where the game is played. The tickets would be sold no matter where it’s played. As for watching the game on tv, the crowd noise now is annoying to listen to. I can barley hear the announcers as it is.

  44. I’ve said this many times before. The NFL has become just like the federal government. Power mad and don’t care at all what we want. And, truthfully, I hate both of them.

  45. So it’s not so shocking why the NFL changed the rules this year for home field advantage, as they already had the rule in place, win percentage as the tie breaker. Use the excuse of the canceled game so they can have a trial run at this ridiculous money grab while once again screwing season ticket holders of the chance to experience THE best NFL, in stadium experience for the sake of creating two more pageants with many “fans” present that are not as emotionally invested in the teams playing. I gave up my tickets that I have had since ’77 and this confirms my decision

  46. Not many like the idea but as others have said. They can change whatever they want and as long as owners see big TV ratings that’s what’s important to them. Until we the fans get mad enough and quit watching the games nothing matters to them. TV deals is where their money’s coming from. None of these owners are using their own money.

  47. And what about the loyal season ticketholders who AREN’T in the club section or between the 40-50 yard lines? Tell me these folks have just as good a chance of winning the lottery that will have to take place just so they can spend $5k+ on travel, hotel, tickets, and $20 beers just so two of them can see the game that’s NOT the Super Bowl…and in Atlanta?!!

    And you can forget about taking your family…sorry kids, it’s Chiefs/Bills or your first year of college.

  48. Let’s face it, if there’s $$$ to be made, the NFL is all in! A neutral site with a “SPECIAL FAN EXPERIENCE” at each competing team’s city! A unique video feed with the ability to sell food, drink, and special championship items at each city. A virtual ring side seat for a nominal fee! Unlimited opportunities to fill NFL coffers….

  49. You HAVE to know this is not a realistic statement: “For a conference championship game at a neutral site, the tickets presumably would be handled in the same way they’ve been distributed for this year’s possible test run: half to the season-ticket holders of one team, half to the season-ticket holders of the other.” Probably more like 20% per team, another 30% to “ticket brokers” at a premium, and the remaining 30% for the league to distribute to sponsors, owners, and connected “fans” who didn’t get tickets through the inevitable lottery. In addition, who knows what the NFL will extract from the host city and host franchise. Easily millions of dollars. What the NFL is doing is making championship games inaccessible to the average fan. It’s not just the ticket cost, it’s travel, meals, and the insane incidentals that accompany such an event – and air travel booked 6 days before the flight is ridiculously expensive most of the time. In other words, screw Joe Fan. Again. The NFL doesn’t have a glorious history of being fan-friendly. I think it’s time for Congress to reopen the limited anti-trust exemption they granted the league.

  50. “It’s not finances people…the home team makes a TON of extra money.” Actually, playoff ticket sales go straight to the league. The home team gets a small cut IF they own the stadium. It’s been that way for at least 50 years. And yes, the league will make more money by moving to a neutral site. Tickets WILL be made more expensive, and the league will get kickbacks galore from ticket brokers, the travel industry, and a near-guaranteed tax break from the city and state.

  51. Probably wouldn’t be half to each competing team. More like 30% to each competing team and 40% to NFL execs, advertisers, corporate sponsors, team apparel companies and other poobahs.

  52. The problem with that is you still won’t get a college environment, you’ll just have a stadium full of executives in their business casual attire.

  53. Horrible, horrible idea. For season ticket holders it’s expensive enough. Now they would be expected to shell out MORE money for airfare, hotels, time off from work. Many probably wouldn’t be able to afford that.

  54. Total BS. It will of course eliminate cold-weather cities that have open-air stadiums, because the wealthy don’t want to be uncomfortable. So, every city will have to build a dome every 15 – 20 years for their owner. And regular fans will have little hope of seeing a championship game.
    The power is actually with the people. But how likely is it that fans will organize and stop buying tickets and merchandise? I only hope that one of these days it will be a bridge too far, people will have had enough, and the NFL as it is now will collapse.

  55. Better yet, just get it over with and move the playoffs to Qatar. They’ve got mild winter weather, are all set up for large field sports events, and of course they have tons of petrodollars to burn, /s

  56. “you know what’s better than one super bowl? Let’s have 3 of them! Let the cash register ring!”

    NFL Owners

  57. Does Goodell think that he gets booed at the podium on Draft Day now? He ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

  58. Change is the only permanent thing. Humans detest novelty. Without novelty we’d be stuck in one spot.

  59. If this happens, I’d guess it would mean adding an 8th playoff team in each conference and reinstating the 2 bye format.

  60. Complete garbage. The championship games are always sold out and millions watch. What is the advantage of a neutral site? What do they gain? All this does is piss fans off. They SAY they care about the fans but the actions say otherwise.

  61. No no no! This is not college! Just because one system works for one league doesn’t mean it will work for another just because it’s the same sport. They do this, they severely discount the regular season and while it may not affect ticket sales, it will affect TV ratings with games having less significance. Think about how big the MNF game between the bills & bengals was before the injury? I’m not going out of my way on a Monday night to watch that game if the seeding is largely irrelevant. This is another “everyone gets a trophy” example. This benefits the 2nd place or even a damn wild card team over the 1 seed. If the eagles & cowboys both win this weekend, in the new proposed system, the game would be at a neutral site therefore giving an edge to the team that didn’t win the division. What sense does that make?

  62. What would the advantage then be for having No 1 seed?? Without home field advantage whats the point? That just helps loser franchises get in on the glory by showcasing cities and stadiums that will otherwise never see a playoff game at the expense of winning franchises. No longer about competition to be the best but a socialist, commie system of spreading the wealth around.

  63. Check your math. If there are 8 teams and 2 have byes, you’d have 6 games and 3 teams to add to the next round which would be 5 teams. If they add a team, the bye is gone. They can’t have a bye for anyone if they add any more teams, 7 is the max for it to work mathematically

    carloswlassiter says:
    January 21, 2023 at 11:11 am
    If this happens, I’d guess it would mean adding an 8th playoff team in each conference and reinstating the 2 bye format.

  64. when mark cuban’s prophecy is realized it won’t be because of any single reason, but a collection of awful decisions such as this. expanding to 36 and then 40 teams will be another.

  65. If the Jags and Bengals are leading in the 4th quarter look for some “interesting” calls to go the other way.

  66. These owners care about the fans as much as they care about the players. Such greedy bastards.

  67. Hate this idea. You fight for the 1 seed to get homefield advantage. If they want a “college football atmosphere,” then sell the majority of Super Bowl tickets to fans of the teams. NFL makes more than enough off the game regardless.

  68. And now ppl will get it. This sport is no longer for the fans. It is to maximize income. Sell jerseys, hey lets color rush! double that. Season ticket holders with an opportunity to see their team win before the big game? too bad, we can make more in the indy dome…besides taking that income away from the “home team”.
    the home field advantage…. sure hasnt been one in Green bay in recent playoffs due to weather…. but the fan noise in Arrowhead or Seattle… would far surpass the fan noise of a neutral site. The more changes this league makes the more I am confident in my decision to partake from my living room at minimal expense.

  69. Destroys the whole reason to win #1 seed
    the Patriots knew the incredible value of a bye, and hosting throughout the playoffs.
    it was critical in several of our Super Bowl runs

    taking that goal away cheapens the whole process

  70. Dumb idea. The atmosphere for a home playoff game is 10x better than any college bowl game or the Super Bowl for sure. But if the NFL can squeeze a nickel out of it they’ll probably do it anyway. They’ve been taking their core fans for granted for decades so why stop now?

  71. I just hope the NFL doesn’t do anything fishy. The Bengals have gotten a raw deal with seeding and the fact that the game is now in Buffalo. I could see the NFL using its influence to make it more likely the Bills win the game.

  72. Believe me, if this becomes permanent, there will be no 50/50 divvying up of tickets between the two teams. It will be just like the Super Bowl, sponsors and media partners will get 75%+ of the tickets and the fans will get the remaining scraps.

    If you like you said, two weeks before the game is too late for fans of the Super Bowl teams to get tickets, how could fans of the teams that make the conference championship games, get tickets and make travel arrangements in only one week?

  73. In other words the regular season does not even matter because standings would be rendered useless other than for division purposes. What a piece work Goodell is. I would say something else but he is not worth the effort.

  74. Terrible idea. Whats the point of #1 seed? Average fans being able to afford game? Completely killing the atmosphere of teams that havent been there for a while with a rabid fan base? I might not like it when my team has to go into certain stadiums but places like KC, BUF, Sea, Den are electric (most are). Really terrible idea.

  75. And so the league will add an 8th seed to each conference removing the first round bye.

    Regular season games in every sport are becoming meaningless.

  76. If the Chiefs and Bills both win this weekend, and there are a lot of questionable calls, people are going to wonder if it’s fixed because they are pushing this agenda. And since legal sports betting is now involved with the NFL, this becomes something to be investigated.

  77. The NFL is “envious” of college bowl games? They’re envious of the Duke’s Mayo Bowl? Who cares what college does.

    I would be less concerned about neutral site conference title games and way, way more concerned about the state of officiating you currently have. Considering the state of sports betting in this country, one heinous game changing call could have people doubting the legitimacy of your product. Make the referees full time (it’s amazing they are not), and in the offseason have rigorous training for them. Improve the product on the field, not where the game is played.

  78. Fans will watch no matter what they do . Don’t be surprised when when a large portion of fans quit watching the NFL at all !

  79. If the nfl wants this atmosphere.

    Add a superbowl (every 5 or 10 years) that only has fans of the two teams. No celebs – have lotteries for all 32 teams and make the tickets non transferable.

    Give us a superbowl of only fans rooting for their team.

  80. I haven’t read any of the comments,but I’m gonna assume a few on here said if this does happen,the commissioner should be fired.The owners vote on things like this.Roger has no say in it

  81. How to spell ‘fairness’? As opinion/perspective, it varies. 1960’s, AFL Championship Games rotated between a different city yearly – no consideration records. 1966 Championship Game played 1/67 in BUF, despite KC having a better record. Today could argue BUF or KC is hurt by the BUF/CIN game not finishing. BUF wins, Championship game in BUF? Loss, game in KC or CIN possibly, depending other events.

    NFL today pursue$ parity (they spell it with a dollar sign) trying to be fair, an attempt to equalize things variously. They FAIL. Are still lesser teams as better ones, but there are no GREAT teams… isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between any of them reality. The NFL/fans want to make things fairer/help the downtrodden?

    Make the teams (say, top 4) with the best records go ON THE ROAD to play in post season to try equalizing things. Teams a better record don’t already have enough advantage, you give them even more of an edge, making their lesser opponents play in the betters home stadium?

    NFL has for decades now been destroying the credibility of the game variously, everything associated with it via rule changes/number of games example, result records team/ coaches and individual player stats becoming in reality, pointless, least in comparison days yore. Still use the same criteria records/stats to measure team, coach as player accomplishment, which is valueless, as such. Using asterisks would help, but it would be as comparing the world and football 1966, to the world and football 2023 – it can’t be done, fairly.

    People have always/always will disagree. That said will forever be the reality, a matter differing opinions, as it should be.

  82. “Then what would be the point of having the #1 seed if you can’t have homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.”

    One less game to play and home field in the divisional round.

    I think it’s a terrible idea.

  83. Every time I call it a business, you call it a game! And every time I call it a game, you call it a business!”

  84. Horrible Idea. Just plain horrible. Hard working team fans spend their hard earned money to support their teams all the way,…. and the money hungry scum in NYC headquarters want to steal that experience from the fans for the sake of extra revenue. It stinks to high heaven. It stinks worse than giving Amazon Thursday Night football,…. and you can see the rotten ratings for that horrible decision.

  85. Of course the league only cares about money. This is America. We’re a capitalist nation.

    It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the games one iota to know that the owners are greedy. I don’t rue them for their love of money. As long as the product is good & the games are exciting, I’m fine.

  86. Take away their Anti Trust exemption. Also, couldnt cities/states that pony up millions sue for lost revenue from hotels, businesses, etc., many use hotel taxes, restaurant taxes and sin tax to offset the cost of a new stadium and by not having that ‘chance’ at a championship game windfall for ‘championship game weekend’ that city loses millions and the money goes to another city.

  87. Why is the league even playing the Bengals Vs. Bills game? The fix has been in for a while now. Let’s put the Refs on blast now! Everyone watch how the Bills get handed the game tomorrow.

  88. whateverworks77 says,
    Take away their Anti Trust exemption.
    That went away 10 years ago or more,……….

  89. A solution in search of a problem. Why should the tax payers of Atlanta get the financial benefits of hosting the conference championship game when their team has nothing to do with it and why should the tax payers of KC/Buffalo who built their stadiums be robbed of those benefits? This will not go over well with the fans.

  90. Telling the fans that they can only see their team in the Conference Championship on TV is a slap in the fact to ALL season ticket holders.

  91. billsrthefuture says:
    January 21, 2023 at 12:35 pm
    Of course the league only cares about money. This is America. We’re a capitalist nation.

    It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the games one iota to know that the owners are greedy. I don’t rue them for their love of money. As long as the product is good & the games are exciting, I’m fine.


    Too many naive fans like you are why Goodell exists. You’re the problem. The product STINKS.

    There were 6 teams in the postseason this year that weren’t representative of a playoff team. One of them was sub .500.

    Wake up.

  92. We’re all entitled to call our shot, but there’s no evidence that this is happening. It’s mostly mike stirring the pot.

    He might ultimately be right, but the NFL has a *long* way to go before there’s actual official movement towards neutral site conference championship games.

  93. This would literally be the last straw for me. The gambling thing pretty much finished the NFL for me, and when my team inevitably goes back to average I won’t have a single reason to watch anymore.

  94. It’s funny. Some team owners might then want to get the 2 seed rather than the 1 seed because they wld get 2 home games if everything goes right instead of 1 if this plan goes into effect. This really hasn’t been thought through. Teams fight all yr long for that coveted #1 seed and if that’s taken away it takes away some incentive. You get the week off, but that’s it. Teams might play as hard to get it on that final week.

  95. The only way this could be at all fair to all teams is if the NFL builds it’s own stadium that has the ability to be open air or dome and this venue would host both championship games as well as the Super Bowl. It would need to be positioned in the middle of the country so that travel would be as equal as possible for all teams, and of course it would have to have a grass field.

  96. That’s a big middle finger to all the fans.. if I wait 30 years for Dallas to get there and I want to go to the game.. I better not have to buy a plane ticket

  97. If you choose a site during the season you would want to avoid the possibility of that team being a participant in that game. Would you use an NFC site for the AFC game and an AFC site for the NFC game? Would you wait and identify the neutral sites at the beginning of the playoffs from teams that were not in the playoffs?

    As indicated in other comments the real economic impact would be on the community and associated industries and employees, restaurants, hotels, concession and ushering employees etc. Owners, teams, and the NFL will be fine no matter what.

  98. The games last weekend were fantastic, and this weekend’s slate are all intruguing. It’s hardly “naive” to just enjoy that.

    People are really nitpicking this. Billionaires like to make more money…who knew?

  99. I get the rational for doing it this year. But as an annual game I am totally opposed to it. Why would a team work to get the top seed when it won’t mean anything? In the long run it will weaken the league.

  100. Welcome to coverage of the 2038 NFC championship, broadcast live from the newly built Elon Musk Stadium here on Mars

  101. I once pondered trying to beat an oncoming train. I quickly thought the better of it. My first real memory of the NFL was my uncle taking me to the Eagles-Cowboys NFC Championship game. The crowds are different in these games. Louder. More intense. I’ve spent an insane amount of money on the NFL since then and that’s where it started. That’s the business argument. Any team that votes for this is an idiot. That home game is fought for and earned. The Linc is I’ll be rocking tonight. If the Eagles win it will be rocking even more next Sunday. There is no fair reason that the Eagles, if they win tonight, should share half a stadium in say Indianapolis with Cowboys or 49ers fans next week. And fair reason to impose that expense on the Eagles fans that go. None. Anyway Go Birds!

  102. The owners will do it if it makes them more money. They don’t care what the fans want. They will tell you what you want. The fans will not stop watching because they are addicted. Thursday night football is a terrible product. There have been a lot of terrible games all season yet people keep watching. Get ready for the NFL Final 4 because it’s coming whether you like it or not.

  103. Excellent idea. Makes both games more competitive. Closer point spreads. Not one good reason not to like.

  104. Actually I can get enough of the NFL, and I have. Unless the Browns are playing, I don’t watch. It’s as simple as that. I used to watch as much as I could but not anymore. The NFL won’t stop, but that doesn’t mean I can’t.

  105. Teams are going to sit their starters earlier than normal later in the season if they’ve already clinched a playoff spot. No one is going to bother playing to win to get better seeding.

    Please note that this is not the worst aspect of his idea, but it needs to be pointed out.

  106. I hate the idea, and am certain it will only lessen real fan’s genuine love of their teams, and create fairweather fans, which in time will weaken the league’s product and hold on the future… maybe more people will start watching more college football now that the athletes are staying in school longer, declaring for the nfl draft in fewer numbers each year, and finding ways of being paid for their service…

  107. You just wait within 2 years this will happen. Also get ready for Thursday Night Wild Card only on Amazon

  108. Not one (1) single fan on here likes this idea.
    That means the NFL will certainly proceed with it.

  109. If the NFL brass can make Stacks of cash doing the aforementioned…than look forward to cities fighting over the right to host…just like the Super Bowls.

  110. NFL the only sports league that is actively trying to make their game meaningless. This extra week of football, half the teams were trying to tank, rest guys for the playoffs. Now you make the number one seed meaningless, I guess when all you see is $ signs this is the kind of stuff you think up.

  111. What terrible idea wouldn’t the NFL do if it meant they’d make yet another large chunk of cash?

  112. That’s EXACTLY what I do. I don’t go to games, I don’t even watch games. And I don’t buy merch. I still love football and I follow it (here) but I’d feel like a hypocrite if I gave the NFL eyeballs or money.

  113. This is a terrible idea, especially if the plan is to go the way of the SuperBowl and eliminate all open air cold weather cities from having the game. Bottom line is the SuperBowl should rotate to every NFL city and the conference championship games should be left alone. The NFL will be shooting themselves in the foot if they go this route. Next thing you know all games will be played at Neutral sites.

  114. I guess most of you are too young to remember that home fields haven’t always been based on seedings; they used to be rotated among the divisions. For example, the year the Dolphins went undefeated, they still had to travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers in the AFC Championship game in 1972 because that year the AFC Central had priority.

  115. This is a really greedy move all around & such a slap in the face to fans! Not only would this be an NFL “rich man move”…but think of the airlines, the hotels, car rental business…All of these entities, not counting eateries..blah blah…need I say more, that would become filthy rich…off of this one day that ANY TEAMS FANS.. live for!! Wow please don’t do this, so unfair, even to the players..nothing like hearing the roar of a home team crowd & playing of familiar turf!!

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