Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill (left), NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (center) and cornerback Patrick Peterson talk with season-ticket holders during an event at University of Phoenix Stadium Monday.
Eventually, the Cardinals will host another Super Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. That’s been expected, and the NFL commissioner is certain of it.
During an event Monday in which team president Michael Bidwill spoke to club season ticket holders, Roger Goodell joined to take questions from some of the fans in attendance (cornerback Patrick Peterson also made a brief pre-practice appearance.)
After Bidwill noted that Phase I of a $28 million renovation and expansion of the stadium’s club level was complete following previous upgrades to Wi-Fi, the sound system and the scoreboards – “The stadium has been a cornerstone of our success,” Bidwill said – Goodell was asked about the Super Bowl returning to Arizona.
“Some our great (Super Bowls) have been here,” Goodell said. “This stadium is a terrific stadium and this community wraps their arms around the event and makes it really special. There is no question in my mind we’re
coming back. It’s a question of when.
“I’d be shocked if we’re not back here soon.”
Among the other subjects Goodell touched upon:
-- A fan asked if there was “anything we can do about” players sitting for the national anthem, after the Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch did so Saturday in the building: “We have to understand there are people that have different viewpoints,” Goodell said. “The national anthem is a special moment to me. It’s a point of pride. That is a really important moment.
“But we also have to understand the other side. People do have rights, and we want to respect those. … We all have to recognize people want to see change. Let’s go out and try and make that change happen in a peaceful and important way.”
-- On the move to creating 21 full-time officiating jobs: “I don’t think it’s going to solve all our problems,” Goodell said. “These guys are human. They are going to make mistakes. But I do think it will be a benefit. Where I see the benefit, these 21 officials will be able to rotate throughout the league, throughout the crews. One of the things we want is consistency throughout the crews.
“There’s no silver bullet with officiating because it is human and it is a fast game, but I do think we are making changes to make it more consistent.”
-- On the concussion issue and youth football: “The most important thing is to get the right facts, and we put all our facts out there,” Goodell said. “We want a greater awareness. When I was playing high school sports, the only
concussion I had was actually in baseball. This affects all sports.
“I don’t think there’s been a better time to play football, a safer time to play football.”
-- Goodell talked about the new helmets and the rules changes to make the game safer. Bidwill noted that parents should make sure a coach is certified through the “Heads Up” program, which teaches coaches the proper way to tackle through USA Football, and also use locally the “Brain Book,” online developed by the Barrow Neurological Institute.
-- Goodell reiterated the possibility of shaving the preseason to three games, saying the level of preseason game play did not live up to the NFL standard of the regular season. He added he did think teams would have more joint training camp practices if that were to happen.
“I just asked (Bruce Arians), ‘Could we still prepare our teams at the same level for the season, develop our players, evaluate our players and get ready for the season with three preseason games?’ ” Goodell said. “He thinks so.”
-- Peterson got to ask a question as well, about why the NFL was willing to ease up on its on-field celebration policy.
“This was driven, at least for me, by the players,” Goodell said, noting at Peterson was one of the 80 to 100 players the NFL consulted with in the spring.
“The players understand the platform they have … The players, from my standpoint, don’t just give you good ideas from the football side. They care about the game. They actually have given me a lot of great ideas over the years.”