More NFL games heading to the U.K.

AP

NFL owners voted today to continue playing regular-season games in the United Kingdom for at least five more years, and to explore the possibility of a permanent “home” team that plays in London every year.

Today’s vote of the NFL owners confirms that the NFL will have at least one regular-season game in the U.K. every year through 2016, and the resolution passed by the owners today allows teams to volunteer to play at least one regular-season game a year as a home team in the U.K.

The most likely candidate to be that home team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who played a home game in London in 2009 and will play another home game in London this season. The Glazer family, owners of the Buccaneers, also owns English soccer club Manchester United, and the Glazers would love to see the Bucs gain some traction as a popular team in the U.K.

However, there are questions about just how popular American football really is in the U.K. The NFL has acknowledged that ticket sales are slow for the upcoming Bears-Buccaneers game, which makes one wonder whether the NFL is trying to force its sport on an overseas audience that doesn’t want it.

But make no mistake, the NFL isn’t giving up on the U.K. market any time soon. In fact, the resolution passed today allows the league office to schedule more than one game a year in the U.K., if there’s enough interest and enough teams willing to sacrifice a home game to do it. The NFL is committed to expanding American football outside America.

30 responses to “More NFL games heading to the U.K.

  1. Worse still would be a Paris team. At least the Lions might have some competition at 0-16 with a french team. The only thing the french are good at is surrendering.

  2. It’s Piccadilly Circus, not Circle, and it’s literally a square. It’d be like renaming the one of the New York teams “Times Square Giants/Jets”.

    And yes, I realise they’re actually based in New Jersey. But Piccadilly Circus is nowhere near Wembley either.

    Seriously, if you want to insult the UK, at least make sure you’re doing it correctly. It’s not hard to search something on Google, ya know?

  3. Actually, as a massive English NFL fan, I can tell you it isn’t as much the interest, it’s probably the cost.

    Tickets start at £60 ($120) odd, which when you add in the travel cost, accommodation for a night and any drinks/food in the stadium can bring the cost of the night up to about £120 or so for that one night.

    That’s a lot to pay if you’re not a huge fan of either team. I’d love to go but I’m not into the Bucs or Bears, so I don’t bother.

    Blame Wembley Stadium and the economy, not the NFL.

  4. STUPID! IS THE NFL RUN BY THE SAME PEOPLE AS NASCAR?!?

    I will NOT watch nfl games played outside the U.S. and I will NOT support it.

    If you want the NFL to start dying the slow death that nascar has been doing for the last 10yrs then go ahead and play in europe and china.

  5. Maybe we can head to the middle east next.. Im sure there are a few good spots with cheap land..

    And hey maybe Israeli Old Testament vs Gods Team Dallas Cowboys…

  6. So many untapped U.S. markets… L.A., Birmingham, San Antonio, Orlando and even Las Vegas.

    Why London?????

  7. csdl says:
    Oct 11, 2011 4:36 PM
    Actually, as a massive English NFL fan, I can tell you it isn’t as much the interest, it’s probably the cost.

    Tickets start at £60 ($120) odd, which when you add in the travel cost, accommodation for a night and any drinks/food in the stadium can bring the cost of the night up to about £120 or so for that one night.

    That’s a lot to pay if you’re not a huge fan of either team. I’d love to go but I’m not into the Bucs or Bears, so I don’t bother.

    Blame Wembley Stadium and the economy, not the NFL.

    ——————-
    Don’t you have to blame the NFL a little bit? I mean they chose to play this stinker of a game in the U.K.

  8. childressrulz says: Oct 11, 2011 4:33 PM

    How many superbowls is a future London team going to win? Sad right? Keep football in America.
    ————————–
    Either that or stop calling them world champions.

  9. marvsleezy says:
    Oct 11, 2011 4:46 PM
    Why not start with the obvious? Canada and Mexico.

    So much this. You’ve got two markets right here that wouldn’t blow your travel schedule all to hell.

  10. I say swap a team on the verge of moving with the Aussies for an Aussie Rules team.

    Of course, we’d have to build a stadium that can hold it, since the field is so massive, but for those who haven’t seen it….damn fine game!

    If you think road trips from one coast to another are brutal, imagine a 16 hour flight to another hemisphere where a 1 pm eastern kickoff takes place at 4 AM.

  11. It’s not going to be long before the Eagles start acting like the 2010 French World Cup team.

  12. cletusvandam says:
    Oct 11, 2011 5:14 PM

    Don’t you have to blame the NFL a little bit? I mean they chose to play this stinker of a game in the U.K.

    – – –

    Well, yeah, but you can see why they chose the teams. Glazers make loads of money from Man Utd, think they make more off UK fans with TB. Bears have been a big team over here since the 80s… still plenty of fan base.

    What I mean is that it’s not the NFL’s fault that Wembley charge absurd prices and sold most of the seats off for corporate use.

    There are plenty of fans who’d fill out the stadium, it’s just the massive expenses it takes to do the whole weekend that causes it to fall short of expectation.

  13. The owners are going to do this, at Roger’s urging, no matter what we say.

    Never mind that a London-based team would have to be populated by American players. Never mind that it would have to travel to the U.S. for eight games a year. Never mind that games airing here on Monday and Thursday night would have to be played there at 3:30 in the afternoon. Wonder how many working people would be in the stadium? And I’m sure London fans will stay up until 5 a.m. to watch live coverage of each week’s Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night games.

    And playoffs … playoffs??? Well, gee whiz, if the London team makes the playoffs and actually earns home field advantage, U.S. fans won’t mind crossing an ocean to support their franchise. Nah.

    Yeah, the World League of American Football–with franchises throughout Europe–failed. But having ONE franchise in London is a swell idea. 🙄

  14. Stan Kroenke owns a good portion of Arsenal shares who just gave the Rams to his wife so he could move into their business. And, Randy Lerner, owner of the Browns owns the majority of shares for Aston Villa. Why would the Bucs be the most obvious team here?

  15. The smart move would be to by a bottom feeder CFL team and use it to develop players. Sell the rights to the players you can’t use.

  16. I live in the UK, and rest assured NFL, if you try this, you will fail.

    American Football remains a minority sport in the UK. I’m travelling to London from Northern Ireland to watch the game next weekend, and with tickets at around $100 plus flights plus at least 2 nights expensive hotel accommodation, do you really think I’m going to do this 8 times a year?

    Someone needs to tell Goodell to get a grip. We aren’t all going to suddenly become Bucs fans just because the franchise moves to London. If ever there was a stupid idea, this is it.

  17. I totally agree, i am a huge NFL fan from the UK and a franchise over here would be stupid. But overall the problem lies with the distance and time zoneezzzz.

    One way of creating a UK based league would to increase the many college and university teams out in the uk and ramp up support and build them stadiums. this would take a long time but in the end they will have established fans and the sport in grass roots around the country. ( london worriers are #1 in the uk and have 250,000 fans)

    And then create a proper international playoff with 4 teams from the US and UK and start from their. then franchise into germany and the netherlands, auzzyland and japan. then add them to the ‘international league’ or a world cup kinda
    thing.

    That will pretty be the only way to keep the sweet americans happy and to let us enjoy the sport to without being very tired in the morning…

    peace out

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