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NFL Just Can't Face the Music

March 10, 2004|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

Had Janet Jackson kept her top on during her Super Bowl halftime show, the NFL might have returned to Los Angeles this season.

Well, sort of.

L.A. was one of the cities the league was considering to play host to a concert to coincide with a Thursday night opener, which would be played in another city. Similar events took place at Times Square in 2002 and on the National Mall in Washington last year.

For a year, at least, the NFL has scrubbed its concert plans.

Greg Aiello, an NFL vice president, said the league was undergoing a "reevaluation of our use of musical entertainment associated with our games."

The notion of scrapping this year's concert was discussed by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and team owners during a February meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Music can still play an important part in helping to make the NFL and the start of our season more broadly appealing to our casual audiences," John Collins, the league's senior vice president of marketing and sales, told Sports Business Daily.

"The use of music is something we want to take a look at, as well as the way that we book and manage the talent," Collins said.

There are plans to have ancillary entertainment associated with the opener and league executives are considering several options.

One of those options reportedly is a televised NFL banquet that would take place the night before the opener.

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