Posted by Will Brinson
The NFL has long foregone a Labor Day weekend kickoff, for various reasons (people are traveling so ticket sales and ratings hurt a little, etc., etc.) but the likelihood of an 18-game season could open up Labor Day as a possible football date.
CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported on Sunday there's another reason why the NFL might happen that weekend -- a group of 'cold-weather owners' want to keep their fans out of the cold. Literally.
"Remember, there would be a bye on Labor Day, and the season would begin the week after Labor Day," Casserly said when James Brown inquired about the 18-game schedule. "However, I've learned there's a group of northern owners, cold-weather owners, that want to start the season on Labor Day to have one less game in January.
"The reason? It's hard to sell tickets in January, and you're going to have no-shows with people that have already bought tickets."
The idea of losing ticket sales to "vacationers" takes less of a hit when suddenly, that Sunday kickoff weekend becomes a "vacation" of it's own -- fans would be able to attend NFL games with their friends and families without worrying about keeping kids out late or being, ahem, tired after hanging out in a football stadium all day Sunday.
Additionally, the NFL would get monster ratings during the Sunday time frame, as it's a pretty typical date for cookouts and gatherings of friends and family around the country.
That being said, though, there's probably nothing good about a division of opinion amongst one of the sides in an already contentious debate -- if the owners can't agree on how to handle an 18-game schedule that most players don't prefer ever to see, negotiations could get even uglier than they already are.
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