Multiple members of PFT Planet residing on the other side of the Pond tell us that NFL UK Managing Director Alistair Kirkwood said today that the league definitely will be exporting two 2010 regular-season games to England.
The comments apparently came during a BBC Radio 5 live appearance by Kirkwood at halftime of the broadcast of the Redskins-Raiders game.
We’re specifically told that Kirkwood said two teams already have agreed to give up home games next year. The candidates, in our view, would be teams having trouble selling out their stadiums in 2009; the Jags, Lions, Raiders, Bengals, and Cardinals would be at the top of that list. Two other teams that have struggled at times to sell tickets — the Buccaneers and Dolphins — already have played home games in London. The Chargers, who regularly need extensions to sell all non-premium tickets, have played in England as a visiting team.
Amid this new report, however, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says no decision has been made regarding the possibility of expanding the English portion of the schedule.
“We’ve been saying for quite some time that we are considering playing two games in London next season,” Aiello said via e-mail, “but nothing has been scheduled yet.”
Aiello also said it would be “premature” to discuss whether any teams have offered to sacrifice a home game in exchange for the revenue that comes from playing before a packed house in England.
Still, we’d be shocked if it doesn’t happen. And we think that, given Jacksonville’s inability to fill its stadium for big games, it’s high time for the world to meet the “London Shaguars.”