(NewsNation Now) — Like all 55 NFL title games ever played, this year’s Super Bowl will take place on a Sunday.
Super Bowl Sunday has long been known as a day for social gatherings in front of the TV either to watch the game or critique the commercials.
Now, 18-year-old high school senior Frank Ruggeri from Palm Bay, Florida, wants to convince the NFL to move the Super Bowl from Sunday to Saturday — and his online petition is gaining steam.
“It’s really, really important to me … because 17.2 million people miss work,” Ruggeri said during an appearance on “Morning in America.” “That’s 44 billion dollars less of productivity.”
The NFL initially held all of its games on Sundays because of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 in order to avoid direct competition with other sports, like college football. But now the NFL is free to move the game to any day of the week.
“A lot of reasons come into play with it,” Ruggeri said of the logic behind his petition. “Restaurants get more money, you know.”
Most teenagers aren’t thinking about such large-scale economic problems, especially those impacted by the day the Super Bowl is being played.
But it has now been two years since Ruggeri started the campaign on change.org and his petition has gotten more than 80,000 signatures.
“I was debating over spaghetti dinner at my house in New York, when I first started this petition,” Ruggeri said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that the potential TV audience is larger on Sundays and he also considers the financial impacts for the cities that host the Super Bowl, saying that they get a lot of money from tourists by having it on Sundays.
In response, Ruggeri said, “Commissioner Goodell, there would be more viewership. The people will be watching. Bigger party. And I think the economic impact would be easier to have it on a Saturday.”
Watch the full interview with Frank Ruggeri in the video player at the top of the page.