Goodell talking big ahead of Super Bowl

Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:14pm EST
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With gridiron's biggest game being staged on America's biggest stage, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell used the spotlight on Friday to ponder some big plans.

From the possibility of more games around the world to expanding the number of playoff teams and adding franchises, to courting more women and Hispanic fans, a relaxed Goodell laid out his blueprint for NFL's expansion during his annual pre-Super Bowl state of the league address.

The Denver Broncos will take on the Seattle Seahawks in the first cold weather Super Bowl on Sunday at MetLife Stadium and Goodell joked that even the NFL could not control the weather as fluffy fake snow fell on the stage.

But if nothing else, Mother Nature appears to be a Super Bowl fan with fears of a winter blizzard disrupting the NFL's showcase giving way to a promising forecast of chilly but clear conditions.

"We are doing something innovative and unprecedented," said Goodell. "Something consistent with the essence of football and the Super Bowl.

"This is the number one market and a great stage for this Super Bowl matchup, and the world will be watching."

The world is watching with increasing interest.

Next year the NFL will play three regular season games in London and according to NFL figures, Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast will be available in 198 countries and territories in 25 languages.   Continued...

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl, in New York January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri