Skip to content

Expansion team could be coming in London


The NFL has said it’s not interested in expanding to put a team in Los Angeles.  But the NFL could be interested in growing by one in order to put a team in London.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported during Sunday NFL Countdown that the team that eventually is placed in London could be an expansion team.

Mort also said that the base of operations for a possible developmental league that would play at a single location on the East Coast would also serve as the home away from home for the London team, when it could come to the United States for two or three road games at a time.

The possibility of an expansion team in London raises the question of whether it would be one team or two teams that would be added to the league at that point, expanding to 34 teams — and screwing up the current format of four teams and eight divisions.

Permalink 62 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Top Stories
62 Responses to “Expansion team could be coming in London”
  1. gdeli says: Oct 23, 2011 12:16 PM

    No more teams period! 32 is more than enough.

  2. caseyanthonymunoz says: Oct 23, 2011 12:16 PM

    “If I was coaching in London, I woulda had a couple of rings by now.” – Rex Ryan

  3. batyuki says: Oct 23, 2011 12:17 PM

    From a European fan : don’t do that

  4. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Oct 23, 2011 12:17 PM

    The NFL is more out of touch with its fan base than the average DC politician.

  5. dldove77 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:18 PM

    32 teams is more than enough. I’d much rather see a team move to London than see the league expand.

  6. ukdude7 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:19 PM

    Alot of discussion for a franchise in a country which gets 120,000 viewers for the top rated live (NFC) Championship game.

    Seems to me something doesn’t add up.

  7. ravensfan4life52 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:21 PM

    haters gonna hate. Wembley might not be sold out but 75,000 seats are gonna be filled. considering Tampa’s stadium can only seat a little over 65,000 that’s pretty good. the largest NFL stadium is the Jets/Giants stadium. It can seat up to 82,000. Wembley when you combine sitting and standing can fit 105,000, if you only count seats it can sit 95,000. If a team can move there and sellout every game then they are gonna make some money!

  8. wawa33 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:22 PM

    The London Fish and Chippers sponsored by Arthur Treachers.

  9. Panda Claus says: Oct 23, 2011 12:26 PM

    Terrible idea on two levels: messing up the Perfect 32 league and putting a team outside of North America. I could see maybe involving a Canadian city at some point, but not Mexico or in Europe.

    If they want to play in Europe, why not create a new league? Oh wait, that already failed because not enough people over there were interested.

  10. thenewenglandpatriots12 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:26 PM

    Don’t do it Goddell.

  11. dirtybird70 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:27 PM

    I can’t believe they’re actually even considering this.

  12. cmb79 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:28 PM

    I just don’t see how this makes any sort of logistic sense.

  13. sterilizecromartie says: Oct 23, 2011 12:30 PM

    Between the kickoff rules, the excessive penalties for defensive roughness, and now this, it is clear the NFL does not believe in the concept “don’t mess with a good thing”.

  14. purplepride1978 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:30 PM

    This is American Football, so keep it in America.

  15. turk2875 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:30 PM

    Why should London get a football team before L.A. does?? I’m European myself and the people over there don’t give a rat’s you know what about American Football. They have their Futbol. You have to think about the traveling of the teams, and who would want to get drafted by the “London IDKs” and have to move there and change their whole lives. The NFL is trying to hard to expand to other countries, how bout we start with Canada first….

  16. whatsafairway says: Oct 23, 2011 12:33 PM

    I’d rather not see a team in Europe at all.

    But it means more TV dollars and more jersey sales.

    So, are you ready for some…

    fish and chips?

  17. leftcoastnative says: Oct 23, 2011 12:35 PM

    What a DISASTEROUS idea and concept that strictly is formulated on GREED by NFL corporate and opportunities to entrench further their hands into the pockets of an unsuspecting European economy.

    It’s all about the dead presidents.

    The NFL tried to rake in some euros with NFL Europe after the World League of American Football earlier successes, but it, too, eventually flopped due to lack of interest outside of Germany and racked up over $30M in debt annually for the NFL.

    Additionally, not enough players were making the transition from NFLE to the NFL.

    Travel would be a killer and bye weeks would be necessary, but it is a pipedream at best.

  18. seanb20124 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:36 PM

    The NBA could barely get players to agree to play in Vancouver. So doubt this happening

  19. brianbowman16 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:36 PM

    Am i the only one that remembers that NFL Europe folded because the ‘fans’ in Europe could care less about more than one game a year??

  20. wet4football says: Oct 23, 2011 12:37 PM

    Funny this article came up today cuz I woke up this morning thinking the NFL should fix something that aint broke!

  21. sweetnlow44 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:37 PM

    What a stupid idea.

  22. robigd says: Oct 23, 2011 12:37 PM

    So, would it then be the IFL?

  23. gosuhgo says: Oct 23, 2011 12:38 PM

    Why? Football has never been more balanced..for 1 division to have 5 teams, and to have to fly to London every year, would just be lousy.

  24. rymexico says: Oct 23, 2011 12:38 PM


  25. yankees2009 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:40 PM

    Are you serious Goodell? Really? Get this guy out of the NFL. Now.

  26. packfaninchitown says: Oct 23, 2011 12:41 PM

    Just send the Vikings to L.A. and the Jags to London…problem solved.

  27. quizguy66 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:44 PM

    That would suck 😦 The current format for the league 8 divisions of 4 teams with the schedule rotation system they have is basically perfect. Why screw it up?


  28. phillychzstk2012 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:46 PM

    uhhh how about NO..being Canadian i would like a team in Canada before they put one in London. but seriously london before L.A.?? thats “flabbergasting”

  29. thingamajig says: Oct 23, 2011 12:47 PM

    It might be OK but only if they played all their games on the road.

  30. vincentbojackson says: Oct 23, 2011 12:48 PM

    It has been well documented how poorly west coast teams play when they travel across multiple time zones. How well would a London team do when they have that travel schedule for every road game?

    Besides, in this economy, do you really want to be shipping more jobs overseas?

  31. eaglebobby says: Oct 23, 2011 12:54 PM

    I’m a transplanted American who’s lived here in London since 1994. I have always maintained that London could support an NFL team simply because fans from throughout the continent–Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium have made the trek to see the International game every year. Plus, we do see NFL games over here on Sky and on the terretrial channel, 4–and we get a 9pm (4pm EST) game on BBC 5 Live radio.

    However, as a long term entity, I don’t think an NFL team in London is a good idea. What drives the NFL? The TV contracts. What happens when NBC and ESPN want to put them on SNF and MNF? All such games would have to on the road–hardly fair to them. All of their home games would have to be played between 6-9PM local to jive with TV programming. Logistically, it would be a nightmare. Teams coming over would have to have their bye week after coming to London–they would have to leave on Monday, arrive on their day off on Tuesday and then catch a morning flight back to the States on the Monday after the game.

    I just don’t see it working.

  32. ar1888 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:56 PM

    Im not buying it.The league is perfectly symmetrical with 32 teams They will not screw up the schedule process by adding a team or two. You know they arent going to add 8 teams.

  33. ctp603 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:57 PM

    And would the blackout rule apply to the London team? Good luck trying to sell a product in a new market when you punish them for not selling over 80,000 tickets every week.

  34. seanx40 says: Oct 23, 2011 12:58 PM

    Ok, say they put a team there. London Jaguars? London Bucs? London Vikings? London Bills?

    Who is going to play there? The much higher cost of living, and MUCH higher tax rate will deter any free agents. The large number of felons in the NFL will not be allowed in the country.

    What about the time difference? Isn’t London either six or seven hours ahead? So every home game is to be played at 7 pm? Travel time? The team will have to fly 12+ hrs for west coast games?

    This will not work. For anyone.

  35. johnnyshore says: Oct 23, 2011 1:01 PM

    Let’s say this does happen. How many Eli Manning type incidents would we see where a player drafted by the London Redcoats refuses to play there because he does not want to be relocated across the Atlantic? Having to play in London would significantly effect the “outside of football” lives of these players, as they would be away from family and friends for a large period of their lives during the season. It would almost be impossible for the London team to compete due to free agents refusing to sign there, and draft picks not wanting to play there. It’s hard enough already for an expansion team to build up a competitive franchise in this league, so I do not see this idea working out in any way.

  36. xli2006 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:03 PM

    Wow… That sounds like a terrible, terrible idea.

  37. grandpoopah says: Oct 23, 2011 1:05 PM

    Terrible, terrible idea.

  38. pastabelly says: Oct 23, 2011 1:08 PM

    The NHL thought hockey would work in Atlanta and tried it twice. Some things just don’t work. Just Say No to the Silly Nannies.

  39. macker1283 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:09 PM

    I dont get it, will they play in London or not? They are going be the London team but play on the East Coast?

  40. gbfanforever says: Oct 23, 2011 1:10 PM

    Aside all of the obvious reasons fans wouldn’t like this, it doesn’t make any sense to have a team that faces such a massive disadvantage in terms of jet lag on every road game and such an advantage over its visitors. Sure the nfl is a business but it’s not a typical biz and Goodell foolishly thinks he can run it like a typical one. It’s the mindset that if you’re not growing you’re dying. Often when a business grows, its established customers (in this case fans) suffer as the business’s resources and attention become spread more thin and quality suffers (see Toyota for example). In the case of pro-football, you have a hyper sensitive, easily put off fan base that has a lot of competition for their interest. This is just an obviously bad idea.

  41. tunescribe says: Oct 23, 2011 1:11 PM

    No, nein, nyet, non … How many languages do you want to hear this in, Roger?

  42. wozzmann1955 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:13 PM


  43. Robert says: Oct 23, 2011 1:14 PM

    Expansion is useless. It will water down the league.

    How can you expand by 1 team?

    London Jaguars

    Los Angeles Raiders(AFC)

    Los Angeles Vikings(NFC)

    It will be easy to remix the divisions with these moves.

    AFC South

    AFC North
    New England
    New York

    NFC West
    Los Angeles (Vikings)
    San Francisco

    AFC West
    Los Angeles (Raiders)
    San Diego
    Kansas City

  44. ninjapleazee says: Oct 23, 2011 1:15 PM

    London Vikings

  45. ravensfan4life52 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:16 PM

    here’s a compromise. keep the Vikings in Minnesota. Place expansion teams in L.A. and London. Then if the London team isn’t working out after 5 years, move their team to L.A. as well. there ya go. problem solved.

  46. Robert says: Oct 23, 2011 1:16 PM

    Correction: “AFC EAST”

  47. mccormam says: Oct 23, 2011 1:17 PM

    Seriously, how can this work? Unless the NFL wants to buy all the discontinued concords to get the London team across the ocean in 2-3 hours, then this will never be fair competition.

    On top of that, how do you break down 33 or 34 teams. In order to be balanced you need to be at least at 36 and that is way too watered down. Imagine who would be starting on the bottom four teams that would be added now. A quarter of the teams already have weak QBs.

  48. gberg09 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:20 PM

    With all of the ugly toothless people over there they should send the packers to london. The fan base would be nearly identical!

  49. kcrobert10 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:24 PM

    There are plenty of US cities that could use the economic lift of a new NFL franchise. 1st la, then los Vegas, san antanio, and Portland to name a few. I’m not in favor of any expansion 32 is a nice number and la can be filled by Minn, Oakland, SD are all good guesses to move. My guess la get ready for the return of the rrradiers……. London just enjoy ur one game a year but putting a NFL team there is just as insulting as the idea of putting an premiership team in ny.

  50. William Marcellino says: Oct 23, 2011 1:31 PM

    What seems strange about this is not the idea of expanding to Europe, but the idea of locating that expansion in London instead of a German city.

    London hates American Football: the London/English Monarchs were the first NFL Europa (WFL) franchise to fold, dying by 1998.

    Germans love American Football: by 2007, when NFL Europa folded, it was down to 5 German and 1 Dutch team, and ALL of the German teams had growing attendance.

    I don’t understand–if the NFL wants to expand to Europe, why not go to that part of Europe that will actually watch and support the NFL?

  51. johnnyb1976 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:38 PM

    Why not Mexico? Or Canada?

  52. oxycode30 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:47 PM

    Hey look, the sky is falling!
    It would seem that a team in London would be the end of civilization as we know it based on the silly commentary here.

  53. seaner44 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:56 PM

    What a horrible horrible idea

  54. ravensfan4life52 says: Oct 23, 2011 1:58 PM


    because mexicans are poor and couldn’t afford to go to games, and because Canadians are Canadian.

  55. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Oct 23, 2011 2:03 PM

    Foolish and a waste of time and money.

  56. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Oct 23, 2011 2:05 PM

    You cannot place a team in LA so long as current NFL teams play in older stadiums. You need LA to extort cities.

  57. discosucs2005 says: Oct 23, 2011 2:12 PM

    I think a developmental team, or even league in London would be cool. But it just seems like any London based team would just struggle due to their outrageous travel requirements. The stats all point to the same thing when it comes to teams traveling to a different coast. Going back and forth to London seems like it would be 10 times worse than that. I’m not as vermantly opposed to a team in London or expanding the league. But I do want every team to have a reasonable chance at success, or else the entire league loses meaning.

  58. etoharin78 says: Oct 23, 2011 2:17 PM

    If they’re not putting a team in LA but want one in London, and having an odd number of teams seems out of the question, does that mean one team gets contracted if the team in London is an “expansion” team? Wouldn’t that equate to a team moving?

  59. ijahru says: Oct 23, 2011 2:23 PM

    Goodell is going to try and ruin the NFL
    32 teams is perfect
    16 game regular season is perfect
    Relax the penalties on hitting. Football is a physical sport.
    I pray Roger Goodell doesn’t get his way. He needs to realize expanding just to expand is not a good thing. Look at all these banks that just kept growing and growing. Eventually they failed.

  60. cluelessdufus says: Oct 24, 2011 1:59 AM

    WOW im would be excited cause i havent really seen a team come in to the nfl except for the Texans

  61. anthonyfromstatenisland says: Oct 26, 2011 9:42 AM

    But a 34-team league would essentially force the adoption of an 18-game schedule because there is no way to preserve the neat rotation of every team playing every other team every so many years (at least once every three years for non-division opponents within the same conference, and every four years for inter-conference matchups) with 34 teams playing only 16 teams.

    If you don’t believe me, sit down one night with a pencil (don’t even dream about using a pen) and a notepad, and try it. I have.

  62. hmcssw says: Oct 23, 2012 11:14 PM

    I just can’t imagine Chris Berman “booming”:

    The Inter-national Football League”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!