The NFL is one cheap date. According to the Wall Street Journal, the football league is eyeing Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Coldplay as potential starring acts for next February's Super Bowl — but it will cost the performers a pretty penny if they accept.
WSJ reports that the NFL reached out to the three acts, and asked at least one of them "if they would be willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution, in exchange for the halftime gig."
While big stars such as Beyonce (who played the 2013 Super Bowl) and Madonna (who had the gig the year prior) have always played the big game for free, the NFL asking for artists to pay for the opportunity is a controversial new move.
Unsurprisingly, the idea was not well-received, according to WSJ.
The reported reasoning behind the NFL's request is the success that artists see after playing on the massively popular national stage. In addition to Beyonce and Madonna, other past Super Bowl performers include Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Britney Spears.
There has been little comment from the NFL and zero acknowledgement of the report from Perry, Rihanna, or Coldplay. However, Perry, 29, tweeted without context in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Aug. 20, "Negotiating 101: You always win if you have nothing to lose!"
While there is no confirmation whether she is actually in the running or not, Rihanna may be a risky choice for the NFL with the sexual nature of her songs and her at-times X-rated public persona.
After Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson's famous wardrobe malfunction incident in 2004, those behind the Super Bowl have been more careful about finding family-friendly performers. In 2012, M.I.A. showed her middle finger during a performance with Nicki Minaj and Madonna, prompting the NFL to sue her for $16.6 million.