NFL lockout turns off fans: NFL fans are beginning to lose their patience and tune out as the NFL lockout continues.
The NFL is seeing the early signs of cracks in fan loyalty.
Ten weeks into the owners' lockout of the players, Commissioner Roger Goodell noted Wednesday the negative effect the labor dispute is having on pro football.
"Clearly it has had an impact on the fans," Goodell said as the owners completed their spring meetings. "We see it in various metrics. There's been a noticeable change, TV ratings were down on the draft roughly 4 million people. NFL.com traffic (is down), we see that."
Ticket sales also are down.
"Fans want certainty," Goodell added. "We can't underestimate that the fans are going through challenges just in the general economy."
That certainty isn't likely to come soon. Both sides have a date in 8th U.S. District Court on June 3 for hearings on the league's appeal to uphold the lockout. A decision probably won't come for several weeks, and while another set of mediation sessions is scheduled to start June 7, not much is expected from those discussions while the appeal is being considered.
The owners' meetings included lengthy talks about the labor dispute, but no deadlines have been set — yet — for the opening of training camps, which usually happens in late July. That drop-dead date "obviously is coming," Goodell said, barring a collective bargaining agreement.
"We've made it clear that (revenue loss) is current and will continue to accelerate and impact on the ability of ownership to make an offer (the players) find attractive," he said.