ABC News' Karen Travers reports: As the stalemate continues between the NFL and the players’ union over a new labor agreement, the mayors of Minneapolis, Miami, and Houston have sent letters to the league expressing their concerns about what a lockout would do to their cities’ economies.
(For more background on the NFL labor issue, click here)
Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a letter to NFL Commission Roger Goodell that the Texans have an estimated economic impact of $250 million for the city.
“Any decline in these revenues would hurt working families and the city as a whole, further compounding the difficulties we are facing due to the ongoing economic downturn,” Parker writes.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told Goodell in a letter that a lockout “will hurt working families” in his city.
Citing economic studies that estimated the economic impact of an NFL game, Rybak said “these dollars support a wide variety of good jobs for workers in the hospitality, hotel and service industries.”
Tomas Regalado, mayor of Miami, asked the NFL owners to “announce to the fans that they will not lock out the players.”
“It is clear that the vast popularity and financial success of football means that a lock out cannot be in the interest of anybody involved, particularly the fans, workers or businesses who support the game,” Regalado wrote.
While noting that they are not taking a position on the content of the collective bargaining negotiations, the mayors ask the league to commit to staying at the table until an agreement is reached. All three mayors write in their letters that the NFL Players’ Union has pledged that the players will not go on strike.
Representatives from the NFL and the players’ union met in Washington last week but no agreement was reached. A second day of meetings was cancelled
A spokesman for the NFL said that the league would “continue to conduct negotiations with the union in private and not engage in a point-counterpoint on the specifics of either side’s proposals or the meeting process.”
“We will work as hard as possible to reach a fair agreement by March 4,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. “We are fully focused on that goal.”