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Letter to Mr. Roger Goodell and Mr. DeMaurice Smith, Commission Executive Director

All eleven members of the Indiana Congressional delegation today sent the following letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith urging them to work together to avoid a lockout during the upcoming NFL season. Indianapolis will host Super Bowl XLVI.

In the letter, the members state, "As the home of the Indianapolis Colts and the host of Super Bowl XLVI, Hoosiers have a large stake in seeing owners and players reach an agreement...We urge you to work together to resolve these issues and prevent what would be a devastating impact on fans nationwide and particularly the Hoosier businesses and communities relying on the upcoming season."

The full text of the letter follows:

February 24, 2011

Mr. Roger Goodell Mr. DeMaurice Smith
Commissioner Executive Director
National Football League NFL Players Association
280 Park Avenue 1133 20th Street, NW
New York, NY 10017 Washington, DC 20036

Dear Mr. Goodell and Mr. Smith:

As members of the Indiana congressional delegation, we want to offer our congratulations on another successful season and exciting Super Bowl. We are, however, growing concerned over the status of the negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. We are especially troubled that a failure to complete a new agreement could lead to a work stoppage affecting the upcoming 2011 NFL season and Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

The NFL has achieved spectacular success in recent years and enjoys a well-deserved position as America's most popular professional sports league. But as you well know, a failure to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement endangers all of this success.

An extended labor dispute would have a devastating economic impact on the thousands of businesses and individuals that rely directly and indirectly on the NFL for their livelihood. Each regular season game brings millions of dollars in economic benefit to NFL cities such as Indianapolis, impacting not just players and coaches, but stadium employees, restaurants, hotels, retailers and others.

As the home of the Indianapolis Colts and the host of Super Bowl XLVI, Hoosiers have a large stake in seeing owners and players reach an agreement. The Bureau of Business Research at Ball State University has estimated that hosting the Super Bowl will provide our state with a $365 million increase in economic activity over the coming year, while the game's cancellation could result in a net loss of as much as $200 million. As our state continues to recover from the recent economic crisis, it is critically important that the 2011 NFL season proceed unimpeded.

We understand there are a number of complicated issues involved in the negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement. We urge you to work together to resolve these issues and prevent what would be a devastating impact on fans nationwide and particularly the Hoosier businesses and communities relying on the upcoming season. We are looking forward to what we know will be an exciting season and hosting the league for Super Bowl XLVI.

Sincerely,

Dan Coats
United States Senator

Richard Lugar
United States Senator

Dan Burton
Member of Congress

Pete Visclosky
Member of Congress

Mike Pence
Member of Congress

Joe Donnelly
Member of Congress

André Carson
Member of Congress

Larry Bucshon
Member of Congress

Todd Rokita
Member of Congress

Todd Young
Member of Congress

Marlin Stutzman
Member of Congress


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