Commish Goodell speaks of possible London NFL franchise

[b]"Our point is just to keep growing the game. ... We are seriously contemplating as early as 2013 playing two NFL games next season (in Europe), and I think we'll do that. It's a response to the tremendous fan reaction and the growth of the game. If we can continue to grow the game there and have the fan reaction that we have, there very well may be a franchise in London."[/b]
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Makes sense to me if they could manage to get a team in London. Now when Buffalo plays in London, do you think anyone will know where Buffalo is? 8)

Do you think Goddell is just trying to keep the NFL in the news because of the Olympics???

Oh for sure keeping it in the news. But you also have to know there is legitimacy here when speaking of a huge city like London. You know the NFL would love to have a team in a prestigious city like London which is being showcased now with the Olympics and seems to have money galore for stadiums. Sure beats the heck out of say a city like Buffalo or Jacksonville prestige-wise.

I wonder if the NFL's arrogance isn't being showcased with that statement. It's all well and fine to pack a stadium for one game a year, but is there enough interest in London to do it for ten games a year? Is the American expat population in London big enough to develop a solid core of fans?

London has sports fans...they would show up..logistic wise it wouldnt make sense. traveling would be a pain and expensive

Europeans and London included do not like football.
The previous games played also involved cheap tickets and freebies.
The NFL Europe failed miserably.

The NFL belongs in the USA.

The problem football faces in Europe is that they already have football, just a different form while basketball is basketball and hockey is hockey.

true Earl, although the NFL brand of football seems popular among the British/London sect for some reason.
go figure.

I wonder if there are more American fans of the CFL than there are actual British (not expatriate American) fans of the NFL.

In the UK the dominant sports audience is for the English Premiere League and all of football as its known outside of North America or Australia.

There are numerous fans also of rugby union, rugby league, cricket, tennis, golf, Formula One and much of motorsport.

The collective NFL interest is behind all those too I figure.

I would not put that past Goodell.

Otherwise Goodell and the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars now are just trying to improve the team's positioning whether it stays in Jacksonville or ends up being moved to LA along with another team.

Two teams will move to LA. See the NFL to LA progress thread too if you have not already.

The NFL in London has attracted in the neighborhood of 90-100,000 fans per game it has hosted the past few years although it may just be a marketing curio for most, and not necessarily a true interest in the sport itself.

I have a difficult time believing the NFL can compete with the EPL, and get 70,000 plus to watch a NFL franchise 8 times a season every year. Europe isn't that mad about American Football, I was in Italy during the Superbowl there wasn't anything mentioned in the papers, nothing on TV, I had to go on the internet to find out the score. I am sure in England they posted reports about the Super Bowl, but I'd bet the Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United matches were front page news over America's game.

That's exactly as correct now as it was in the 1990s the last time I was in Italy for that matter.

EPL even makes the headlines during the summer break when teams are travelling for overseas exhibitions and promotions. I know this from the ads whilst some CFL games are broadcast via ESPN Live as is out of the UK.

The average Briton could care less about American football, Canadian football, or Aussie rules.

Rugby for both union and league even beats all three for ratings and in fact, you might find more who will watch Brazilian soccer/football during the summer than you would who will watch any gridiron in the fall or Aussie rules in the spring.

Paolo, that's really not the point though if London can manage to pack or closely pack a stadium with good corporate presence. That's something to build on and meanwhile would get the NFL into a city that is much more prestigious than many current NFL cities. Rome wasn't built in a day as they say.

"If you build it they will come" is far from foolproof.

I don't see the NFL emerging to the mainstream in the UK any time in the next 20 years (strip out the expatriate Americans and visitors), but if they want to keep throwing all the money they have down that way, well there is nothing to stop them of course.

To me it's an example when any given successful empire goes beyond its core focus and capabilities and often is just a sign of worse and not better to come. This happened ten years ago for example with Disney and ESPN in the US and their many failed "entertainment" ventures. What's left now after billions were lost is a better core focus.

Remember the NFL has a massive growing lawsuit with which to deal first at home before they go forward with any of these brash expansion plans and so forth. All this talk of London is public relations BS and hot air.

Ok, I can see your point there.

Here's a bit more insight on the EPL from just this weekend.

Two sports networks here in the US, as well as I believe TSN up there, show live EPL matches weekly now. This trend began for a few games in the season only last year I believe.

ESPN shows a match live on Saturday morning, and Fox Sports Network shows a match live on Saturday afternoon.

In the spring, Fox Sports via the main channel is likely to be showing on Sunday morning the major matches as well.

The bottom line is that the EPL will continue to gain fans in the US and in Canada even faster than would the NFL in the UK.

Whilst it was in vicious debate only a few years, the EPL has indeed now, without delusional objection, the best overall football in the world. Sure Real Madrid and Barcelona and Bayern Munich make their runs almost every year, but the play in those overall leagues is not at the level of the EPL for as many games steadily on any given weekend.

There is absolutely nothing to stop this trend of growth for the EPL no matter how much money and rhetoric the NFL should throw into the UK right now.

Just like any foreign league that would come into the States ......

But i do have to say that companies like ESPN and Disney having failed attempts is no big deal because there is no glory if you don't try .. they didn't fail at everything and the risks taken made them what they are today ..maybe not so much ESPN