Tuesday, December 9, 2008. (AP) — The NFL pays its players billions of dollars a year and fans pack its stadiums every week. But even the deep-pocketed league is shedding jobs.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday that the league is cutting more than 10 percent of its staff in response to the downturn in the nation's economy that could put a dent in ticket sales for next season.
Goodell announced the cuts in a memo to league employees. The NFL is eliminating about 150 of its staff of 1,100 in New York, NFL Films in New Jersey and television and Internet production facilities in Los Angeles.
"These are difficult and painful steps," he wrote in the memo. "But they are necessary in the current economic environment. I would like to be able to report that we are immune to the troubles around us, but we are not. Properly managed, I am confident the NFL will emerge stronger, more efficient and poised to pursue long-term growth opportunities."
The cuts will take place over the next 60 days, running past the Super Bowl, which will be played Feb. 1 in Tampa. Employees who volunteer to leave will be offered what was termed "a voluntary separation program."
The layoffs are separate from the cuts in front-office and other personnel being made by the 32 individual teams.