It was generally a light-hearted session that lasted a little more than a half hour, with Goodell admitting that one of his 14-year-old twin daughters is a Vikings fan, but more because of the color purple than anything else.
The session came about four hours prior to the Vikings hosting the Green Bay Packers in their temporary home at TCF Bank Stadium a few miles down the road.
“The Vikings are hot, the Packers aren’t so hot, but things change quickly. We love that in the NFL,” Goodell said.
“I’m rooting for a close game and our officials not to make any mistakes.”
One fan asked if Goodell would consider moving the Packers to Los Angeles as the league considers proposals from three other NFL teams to move to the long-vacated media market.
But with U.S. Bank Stadium 80 percent complete and the roof closed to allow interior construction continue throughout the winter – scoreboard installation has started as well as significant progress on suites – Goodell admitted that he enjoys outdoor elements but stadiums are primarily community projects and keeping them available year-round is a priority in cold-weather climates.
U.S. Bank Stadium will already host the NCAA Final Four and a Super Bowl, but Goodell said Minnesota is a possibility for hosting a future NFL draft.
“If Minnesota is interested, we’d be interest also,” Goodell said.
Last year, the NFL draft moved to Chicago and the plan is to continue offering that event for other communities.
Goodell also addressed a turbulent offseason for the NFL when it comes to player discipline. After the fan forum, he addressed the Adrian Peterson case, saying there were probably issues the NFL could have handled different but pointed to the revised personal conduct policy as the league’s response to enhanced player discipline for off-the-field indiscretions.
“That’s why we redid our personal conduct policy. That’s why we spent so much time evaluating how we do that,” Goodell said. “And a lot of attention goes on the discipline, but what we’ve really spent most of our time on – what kind of services can we provide? What kind of education can we provide to prevent these things, and to make sure that our players, our coaches, our executives, every one of us upholds the standards but also understands how to make better decisions?”
Goodell said he hasn’t talked with Peterson recently, but complimented the way the star running back responded after the incident.
“I haven’t seen him yet this year, but he’s an extraordinary player and a wonderful young man. I was very impressed with all my meetings with Adrian,” Goodell said. “He’s an individual that took it seriously and said, ‘I want to be better.’ I think he’s taking great advantage of that opportunity.”
Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen moderated the fan portion of the event, and Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf was also part of the forum, receiving praise from several fans about how the Wilfs have invested in the team over their 10 years of ownership.
“What we love about the team is really that we’ve got the right combination for long-term success,” Wilf said. “… I think we’re building through the draft for the stable long-term future.”
Goodell contributed to the Wilf praise.
“It starts with commitment and a vision and that’s what they have,” the commissioner said.