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Commissioner Tagliabue Opens Meeting With Annual Review

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  • Commissioner Tagliabue Opens Meeting With Annual Review

    Monday, March 18, 2002

    Commissioner Paul Tagliabue opened the 2002 NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, today with a 30-minute review of overall league affairs to a group of approximately 300 owners club presidents, head coaches, front-office employees, and league officials.

    Excerpts from the Commissioner’s review include:

    * “The quality of competition we presented to the fans in 2001 was unmatched in sports – super athletes engaged in super competition with lots of excitement and surprise.”

    * “There were great team performances. For the fourth straight year, five of six division champions were new. Five teams won at least 12 games for only the third time in history. Individual excellence also marked the season, including superstar performances by players such as Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Brett Favre, and Rich Gannon on offense, and Michael Strahan, Ty Law, Brian Urlacher, and Aeneas Williams on defense, to name a few. And the season was filled with memorable games, typified by Week 5 when 10 of 13 Sunday games were decided by 7 points or less. The winning score came on the final play in five of those games.”

    * “The past year included many other significant accomplishments. September 11 was a call to leadership – to standing united and putting the greater good of our communities ahead of all other priorities. The challenges were unforeseen, unprecedented, and extremely complex – revising our playing schedule including the Super Bowl, assisting relief efforts, investing in security, affirming patriotism, modifying our game presentation, recognizing heroes and those who were lost. The leaguewide response to these challenges was appropriate and well received, especially the work of our players.”

    * “Realignment reached a conclusion last May with your decision to realign the divisions for the first time in more than three decades. The decision followed a step-by-step approach that includes an attractive new scheduling formula and expanded revenue sharing…There is a great deal that is new about the NFL this year. In many ways, there is a new face to the NFL and our job is to translate this new energy into tangible results.”

    * “On the labor front, you approved another extension of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Players Association – the fourth extension of the original 1993 agreement. It will give us almost two decades of labor peace, through at least the 2007 season.”

    * “On the business side, clubs continued to make progress on stadium development. New stadiums opened in Denver and Pittsburgh. You approved G-3 stadium financing loans for stadiums in Green Bay and Arizona, bringing our G-3 commitments so far to nearly $650 million for eight projects to assist our communities in stadium construction…In the past decade, 26 NFL stadiums have been built or are on-line to open by 2004. And there are more stadium projects to be developed so that all teams enjoy the benefits of first-rate facilities.”

    * “Now our challenge is to move forward, to challenge ourselves as individuals and as a league to rise to next level. In order to keep our eye on the big picture, we have developed a focus around three broad areas that tie together many issues and priorities. The first involves continuing the momentum that came out of last season and adding new excitement. There is a great deal that is new about the NFL this year, and our job is to translate that new energy and new interest in tangible results for the upcoming season and beyond. The second key focus is on fan service in many different dimensions, starting with the security of our stadiums and events. And the third area of focus is on young fans – the next generation of lifelong fans – in a wide variety of endeavors, including participation in youth football.”

Related Topics


  • DJRamFan
    The commish in until '07
    by DJRamFan
    Associated Press
    NEW YORK -- Paul Tagliabue will remain as NFL commissioner through the end of the 2007 season.

    Tagliabue has officially agreed to the new deal, announced last March, to extend his current contract that would have expired after next season, league officials said Monday.

    Tagliabue will be 67 when the contract expires -- he would have retired at 65 had he stuck to his current deal. The new one is expected to pay him around $8 million a year, putting him on a level with NBA commissioner David Stern as the highest paid chief executives in professional sports.

    The deal has been approved unanimously by the NFL's 32 owners.

    It was first conceived during spring meetings in Palm Beach, Fla., last March in order to keep Tagliabue on through the upcoming television and labor negotiations.

    "He's taken the league to a new level," Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney has said of Tagliabue. "The television situation is phenomenal, the relationship with the players union is great. We're entering an important period and we want him to continue to lead us through it. It's obvious what we think of him."

    Tagliabue, who had been the NFL's chief outside lawyer, took over after Pete Rozelle stepped down in March of 1989.

    At the time, he was the candidate of newer owners after a committee of the "old-guard" appointed by Rozelle recommended Jim Finks, the New Orleans Saints general manager.

    But Tagliabue's ability to generate television revenues and get cities to build or renovate stadiums, has made him popular with everyone _ in the 15 years he's been commissioner, 21 of the 32 teams either have built new facilities or renovated older ones and the $17.6 billion television contract that expires after next season is the biggest in sports history.

    "He's been the right man for the right time," said 87-year-old Wellington Mara of the New York Giants, an early Finks supporter who helped orchestrate the compromise that led to Tagliabue's selection. "Pete was right for his time and it turns out that Paul has been right for his."
    -07-20-2004, 08:49 AM
  • Rambos
    Tagliabue to retire in July
    by Rambos
    Updated: March 20, 2006, 1:56 PM ET
    NFL commissioner Tagliabue to retire in news services

    NEW YORK -- Paul Tagliabue is retiring as NFL commissioner in July after more than 16 years on the job.

    The 65-year-old commissioner has led the league since 1989, when he succeeded Pete Rozelle, and had recently signed a two-year contract extension to complete the television and labor deals.

    He finally got that done 12 days ago, finishing the most arduous labor negotiations since the league and union agreed on a free agency-salary cap deal in 1992.

    "I believe that now is a positive time to make the transition to a new commissioner," Tagliabue said in a statement.

    "We have a collective bargaining extension in place, long-term television contracts, and have undertaken many other strong elements in league and club operations," Tagliabue said. "I am honored to have been commissioner since late 1989 and to have been heavily involved with the league, its owners, clubs, coaches, players, fans and media since 1969."

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported on March 9 that Tagliabue was expected to exercise a clause in his contract with league owners in which he becomes a "senior executive" consultant with a significant compensation package. Tagliabue and the NFL did not comment at the time.

    Tagliabue will be available to serve in a senior executive/advisory role through May 31, 2008 once a new commissioner is selected.

    Roger Goodell, the NFL's chief operating officer, and Atlanta general manager Rich McKay are the two leading candidates to succeed Tagliabue. Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass is considered a dark horse.

    Goodell has worked side by side with Tagliabue on numerous issues, ranging from franchise stability, new stadium construction, TV contract negotiations and the most recent collective bargaining agreement, in which he was an active participant.

    Tagliabue has said he wants to avoid the kind of seven-month deadlock that occurred between him and the late Jim Finks after Rozelle stepped down in March 1989.

    Tagliabue called Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney, the NFL's senior owner, early Monday to tell him of the decision.

    "We've got the best labor deal in sports. We've got the best league. He's been our leader. The whole way he's done this has been wonderful," Rooney told The Associated Press.

    The announcement was made officially in an e-mail to the other owners at noon ET.

    Tagliabue will stay on with the NFL as a senior executive and a consultant through 2008, part of the contract extension he signed last July.

    Tagliabue's term will be remembered most for labor peace following strikes in 1982 and 1987. His close relationship with Gene Upshaw, the union's executive...
    -03-20-2006, 12:51 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Tagliabue confident owners will OK Arena game in May
    by DJRamFan
    By David Elfin

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Paul Tagliabue remains a firm believer in his powers of persuasion.
    In his news conference wrapping up the NFL's spring meetings, and one day after league owners opted not to exercise their option to purchase between 25 and 49.9 percent of Arena Football, Tagliabue said he believed they would vote in favor of the idea at the May meeting in Houston.
    The commissioner also said that he thinks the opposition of Fox and CBS to the league's proposal giving ABC greater scheduling flexibility for the final four weeks of "Monday Night Football" can be overcome. And Tagliabue is convinced that Los Angeles is still prime NFL territory more than seven years after the Rams and Raiders left the nation's second-largest market to little fan disappointment.
    "There are quite a few people in support of taking the 25 percent equity investment position and others who have reservations about how it fits into the NFL," Tagliabue said. "But everyone sees NBC's contract with the Arena League as a positive."
    That's also how Tagliabue sees the possible late-season television switches in light of the unpredictable nature of the league that turns supposed cellar-dwellers into contenders each season, making some scheduled national games duds.
    "We don't see why there's not a more intelligent way of doing things that serves the fans," Tagliabue said. "I've found that a lot of people come to discussions close-minded and become open-minded when it's a win-win and especially when it's part and parcel of schedule flexibility for the Sunday networks."
    In response to a question about fan interest in Los Angeles, Tagliabue cited the city's long pro and college football history and snapped, "At a certain point in life, you don't need evidence of the sun and the moon to know that they're there."
    Tagliabue, while still promoting his idea of Super Bowls in New York and Washington, said that the NFL has promised Arizona another Super Bowl if the Cardinals ever get a new stadium built and added that Miami, New Orleans, Seattle, Houston, Detroit and Jacksonville are all interested in playing host to the game.
    New York Giants owner Bob Tisch, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and Redskins owner Dan Snyder have all asked to make presentations on behalf of their cities at an upcoming NFL meeting. However, the owners might not award the next available games — 2007 and 2008 — until next spring in Arizona.
    With the league back to an even number of teams after four years with 31, Tagliabue said there won't be any byes during the first two weeks or during the last seven. The NFL also named Michael Haynes, a Hall of Fame cornerback with New England and the Los Angeles Raiders, as its vice president of player and employee development. Haynes' main task...
    -03-25-2002, 04:06 PM
  • RamsFan16
    Rams added to NFL's revenue-sharing committee
    by RamsFan16

    Rams one of five teams added to revenue-sharing committee
    By John Wawrow

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue added five teams to a committee that will help determine how a new revenue-sharing plan -- important to small-market franchises' economic stability -- will work under the league's new labor deal.

    Tagliabue appointed Houston, Green Bay, Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis to the committee in a memo issued around the NFL on Monday, league spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday. Aiello said two more teams, representing the league's lower-revenue franchises, will be added soon to complete the eight-member committee.

    Buffalo was the first team appointed last week after Bills owner Ralph Wilson complained the new collective bargaining agreement reached last month, which added a new revenue sharing model, threatens the financial viability of his and other small-market teams.

    Wilson's concerns Sen. Charles Schumer (D, N.Y.) to meet last week with Tagliabue, who expressed reassurances that the new labor deal would not hurt or force small-market teams to relocate.

    Schumer was pleased with the additional teams selected to the committee.

    "It appears that the overall makeup of the committee will be sympathetic to small markets," Schumer said in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press. "This is another big step in our crusade to keep the Bills in Buffalo."

    The committee will be split evenly among the league's higher- and lower-revenue teams. Houston, Green Bay, Cleveland and Detroit each had revenue above the league average over the last few seasons. Buffalo and St. Louis represent the bottom fourth revenue-generating franchises.

    The committee will recommend how supplemental revenue-sharing money will be distributed. The recommendations must be passed by at least 24 of the league's 32 owners. If not approved by owners, the commissioner has the authority to make the final determination.
    -04-25-2006, 06:59 PM
  • Milan
    NFL no plan to move north
    by Milan
    DETROIT (CP) - A year after suggesting Toronto was a future candidate for NFL expansion, commissioner Paul Tagliabue slammed the door on the subject Friday.

    Tagliabue told reporters at his annual state-of-the-union address Friday that the league has no plans to expand into Canada and the NFL's priority remains putting a team back into Los Angeles.

    "I could not see, at least now, a decision that would involve a two-team expansion," Tagliabue said. "If there is expansion, I would think it would leave us with an odd number of teams for some period of time, which we have had in the past.

    "I don't see expansion to Canada as being related to what we might do in Los Angeles."

    The long-standing belief has been that if, or when, the NFL returns to Los Angeles it will add a second expansion team to keep its two conferences balanced.

    Click Here

    The NFL currently has 32 teams, 16 per conference. Los Angeles would make for 33. However, Tagliabue said the league is willing to go with an odd number of teams for several years, thus delivering a blow to Canada's chances of landing a club.

    At last year's Super Bowl, Tagliabue said both Mexico and Toronto were future candidates for NFL expansion. The league opened the 2005 season in Mexico, with a record 103,467 fans cramming into Azteca Stadium to watch the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco ***** 31-14.

    The NFL has only staged exhibition games in Canada, in both Toronto and Vancouver.

    CFL commissioner Tom Wright, who attended Friday's news conference, said Tagliabue is very aware of the impact an NFL team in Canada would have on CFL teams.

    "Clearly the commissioner understood what our goals were and understood the importance of a partnership," Wright said afterwards. "He understands that a strong CFL is ultimately going to be good for football and what's good for football in Canada is going to help the NFL.

    "We are now finishing almost a decade of a formal relationship with the NFL and I have every hope it will be another decade of a good relationship."

    The CFL and NFL entered into a working agreement following the 1996 season, a deal that continues to allow players in the Canadian league entering the option year of their deals a six-week window to sign deals south of the border. The NFL-CFL deal runs through April 2007.

    "Clearly he also knows the CFL wouldn't have had the chance to renew itself following the U.S. expansion had the NFL not stepped forward and supported us," Wright said. "They've seen what happens when there's a strong organization that is focused on growing the game in Canada and what it results in is a healthier football climate for both of our leagues."

    Toronto has long lobbied for an NFL expansion franchise and in the past Tagliabue...
    -02-03-2006, 05:51 PM