Goodell: Steelers’ game in London already sold out

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media during a news conference for Super Bowl XLVII on Friday in New Orleans. (Getty Images)

By Alan Robinson
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013

NEW ORLEANS — The Steelers-Vikings game in London on Sept. 29 is a sellout.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced at his annual state of the league news conference Friday at the Super Bowl that both London games at Wembley Stadium next season have sold out. The Jaguars and 49ers will play there Oct. 27, as the NFL continues to explore the viability of someday putting a franchise in Europe. The Jaguars will play there each of the next four seasons, in essence becoming London's home team.

The announcement that more than 80,000 tickets have been sold for the annual overseas games does not mean Steelers fans cannot get tickets. The Steelers have yet to announce how they will distribute their allotment, and tickets always are available on secondary markets.

The Steelers haven't played a regular-season game outside of North America in their 80-year history.

In other issues raised during the 50-minute news conference, Goodell said:

• The Rooney Rule to assure that minority candidates are interviewed for head coaching jobs and key top executive positions will be reworked. Goodell said all policies were followed during the recent interviewing for eight head coaching jobs, “but the “results weren't what we wanted.” The rule is named after Steelers chairman Dan Rooney. Several former black head coaches said this week the rule is broken because minority candidates are being interviewed but not getting hired.

• He expects testing for human growth hormones to be in place before the 2013 season. The league and union agreed to the testing while negotiating the current collective bargaining agreement two years ago.

• Neurosurgeons will be on the sidelines for all games next season to help evaluate head injuries such as concussions.

• The NFLPA's concerns about the quality of team doctors, raised Thursday, was not raised during a lengthy meeting with player representatives last week.

• He remains committed to doing everything possible to assure player safety, yet an 18-game schedule remains under consideration. The question about the 18-game schedule was asked by journalist Larry Fitzgerald, father of Cardinals and former Pitt receiver Larry Fitzgerald.