National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell will reduce his annual salary to $1 if the U.S. sports league suffers a work stoppage next season, the NFL Network said on Wednesday.
In a letter to the league's 32 owners obtained by the NFL Network, Goodell also said Jeff Pash, the league's chief negotiator with the NFL players' union, also will reduce his annual pay to $1 if next season is not played. The NFL also would hold back bonuses for league officials until April.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, Goodell received a $2.9 million base salary and a total pay package, including bonuses and deferred compensation, of $9.76 million, according to Street & Smith's SportsBusinessJournal.
NFL officials declined to comment or make a copy of the letter available.
The labor agreement between the owners and players expires on March 4, and the players are preparing for a lockout by the owners. The NFL is nearing the end of its current season, with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers set face off in Super Bowl XLV on February 6.
At risk is the NFL's $9 billion of annual revenue, in addition to the possible disruption of the lives of millions of fans who plan their weekends around games and intensify their interest with wagering and fantasy football leagues.
This week, research firm IBISWorld estimated NFL revenue could grow to $9.8 billion next year if a work stoppage can be avoided.
While a collective bargaining disagreement still threatens the league, the popularity of the NFL is soaring at its highest point ever, IBISWorld analyst Dmitry Kopylovsky said in a statement. Without a lockout, the league can expect another very strong year in 2011.
At $9 billion of annual revenue, the NFL would rank somewhere around No. 260 on the Fortune 500 list of America's largest companies, ahead of such well-known names as online marketplace eBay and upscale department store operator Nordstrom.
The league is coming off perhaps its strongest year ever.
Regular season games reached almost 208 million unique U.S. viewers, the highest total ever, and NFL games for the first time ever were the most-watched program each week during the season, the league previously said, citing Nielsen data.