City leaders who wanted to use a telecast of the Charlotte Panthers' playoff game Saturday to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation learned that their plans were strictly prohibited.
The National Football League barred the city from showing the game at an event to honor 12-year-old Hope Stout, who died Jan. 4 of a rare bone cancer. Her dying wish to the foundation, which grants wishes to critically ill children, was that the wishes of the 155 other children on the local group's list be granted.
Downtown leaders announced the event Tuesday, even though they had never received formal clearance from the NFL to air the game between the Carolina Panthers and the St. Louis Rams, which the Panthers won 29-23 in double overtime.
No one planning the telecast ever contacted the league, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Saturday. The league prohibits such broadcasts to protect its television ratings and its copyright, he said.
Event organizer Tim Newman said there had been discussions with the league that led the city to believe the telecast would be allowed. The city never had a final deal to air the game, he said.
Make-A-Wish estimates it will need $1 million to grant Hope's wish. It has raised $656,000 since December.
It is the NFL's legal right though they come across as grinchy. The organizers get some blame for not clearing it first.