Goodell wants to play keep-away with scalpers

Farmer is a Times staff writer.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he’s tired of Super Bowl interceptions.

Interceptions by ticket scalpers, that is.

Goodell said Tuesday that the league was looking into the best ways to get its lowest-priced postseason tickets into the hands of actual fans, and not into those of secondary ticket brokers who send prices skyrocketing.

“It’s difficult and it’s time consuming, but it may be the next step that we need to take is where you actually say, ‘You come to the stadium with your identification, and you’ll get your two tickets after you’re inside the gate,’ ” Goodell told a small group of reporters in Los Angeles.

Along with its recent announcement that the most expensive Super Bowl XLIII tickets will have a $1,000 face value, the league said it is setting aside 1,000 tickets priced at $500. While those prices might sound outlandish, Super Bowl tickets on the secondary market typically go for $3,500 and up.


“The reality is that Super Bowl tickets are trading at four to five times face value,” Goodell said. “One of the big issues that we had in reducing those lower-priced tickets is, do they fall into the wrong hands? Do the scalpers go and take them, and they get the reduced price?

“All they do is get a better margin, which we’re not interested in. . . . We’re trying to figure out how to get the tickets to the fans.”

Even so, everyday fans shouldn’t get excited. The odds of getting a chance to buy tickets through the league -- probably by way of lottery -- are very slim.

L.A. Super Bowl?

Goodell, who was in town to tour the Culver City joint headquarters of the NFL Network and, confirmed the league has taken a preliminary look at possibly playing the 50th Super Bowl in L.A. in 2016, whether or not there is a franchise here by then.

This month, The Times reported L.A. businessmen Casey Wasserman and Tim Leiweke were angling to bring the game back to L.A. -- either at the Rose Bowl or Coliseum, where Super Bowl I was played.

“We’ve had discussions with people here that believe it would be good for this community,” he said. “I think there’s interest within the NFL in doing more here in Los Angeles, and the 50th Super Bowl is an intriguing year for us.”


As to whether L.A. could play host to a game without a team of its own, Goodell said: “I think you need to look at the unique circumstances. . . . We have a great deal of interest in being in this marketplace. It may initiate some momentum and some greater interest in having a franchise here, which is something we ultimately would like to achieve.”

Leiweke, AEG’s president and chief executive, said last spring that he planned to make a pitch to bring the NFL draft to Nokia Theatre. Whereas next spring’s draft will again take place at Radio City Music Hall, according to a Sports Business Journal report, Goodell says Los Angeles remains a possibility for future drafts.

“We made some changes to the draft last year that were more in tune with speeding it up and making it more entertaining and more attractive for the fans -- and I think they were received very well,” Goodell said. “As a result of making it more entertaining, there’s been more interest in taking it to different locations.”