Filed Under:  U.S. & World

With a Lockout Looming, Giants Owner Mara Attends Mediation

Contributed by on March 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

For the first time since negotiations between NFL players and owners began last week in Washington, DC, an NFL team owner has stepped in to participate.  John Mara, the New York Giants owner, joined talks with members of the NFL players union.

Other team luminaries that made an appearance at the talks included Bruce Allen, the general manager of the Redskins, and Rich McKay, the president of the Falcons.

However, in spite of the stepped-up participation by team management and ownership, the situation surrounding the lockout remains unclear since not much progress was made in last week’s first round of mediation talks.  The talks ended last week with both sides still having significant differences with respect to core labor issues.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires on Thursday and the likelihood is that NFL owners will lock players out.

Much is at stake for both owners and players as the popularity of the NFL is at an all-time high with revenues in excess of $9 billion per year.  The concern is that if no agreement can be reached at the regular season will be delayed or even possibly canceled in 2011.

The primary issue revolves around how to divide the revenues earned by the league each year.  The owners are seeking to double the nearly $1 billion they receive each year from the total revenue earned while players are focused on a number of other issues including retirement benefits, a change in the wage scale for rookie players in a dispute over the decision by owners to lengthen the regular season from 16 to 18 games.