It’s no secret by now that New York Giants co-owner John Mara is not a fan of the NFL’s plan to flex late-season Thursday games to Sunday and vice-versa.
The initiative is just the latest move by the league that puts fans out. Mara was the most animated of the owners who objected to the proposal at last week’s league meetings in Arizona.
From NBC’s Peter King:
Mara was the strongest in arguing against the NFL’s proposal to make Thursday night games in weeks 14 through 17 on Amazon eligible to move to Sunday, with a corresponding trade of a more attractive game into the Thursday night slot. Mara, and others, were surprised when word about this proposal leaked to Sports Business Journal just days before the annual meeting in Phoenix. Mara’s strident complaint: It’s unfair to fans who make plans to travel to games to have them changed 15 days prior, it’s unfair to fans and teams planning on a 1 p.m. Sunday game to have the game played three days earlier on a weeknight at 8:20, and there’s no data on short-week Thursday games to suggest they can be interchangeable without consequences.
Mara has always tried to put the fans first. It’s enough that the league is pricing the little guy out and forcing games onto pay sites and streaming services such as Amazon Prime. This was a bridge too far for Mara, whose father, Wellington, always considered fans as ‘customers.’
“At some point, can we please give some consideration to the people who are coming to our games? People make plans to go to these games weeks and months in advance,” Mara said. “And 15 days ahead of time to say, ‘Sorry, folks, that game you were planning on taking your kids to Sunday at 1, now it’s on Thursday night?’ What are we thinking about?”
Whether or not his objections hold remains to be seen. After all, it’s all about money and last year Amazon drew some horrible matchups. They are one the world’s biggest companies and they are likely to have NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s ear.
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