Patriots owner Robert Kraft may have no interest in owning an English soccer club, but he definitely wants to see someone own an English NFL franchise.
According to Neil Reynolds of Sky Sports, Kraft has said during a speaking engagement in England he believes the NFL should have a team in London.
“I personally think we should have a franchise in London and that is something I am going to push for,” Kraft said. “I think I said that the last time we were over here in 2009 and before this next decade is out, I hope we have a team here. I think that would be right for the NFL and this fan base has proven they deserve it.”
And by rewarding the fan base in England, the NFL will be rewarding itself.
“I think we’re starting to tap out in the United States,” Kraft said. “If you look at the last Super Bowl we were in this past season, we had over 180 million people watching — that’s almost two thirds of America. So for us to grow the game, we have to expand globally. Having seen the kind of support we have received here in London, it is the intention of the NFL owners to get two games here, starting next year.”
Of course, when it comes to moving an existing team, Kraft isn’t willing to put his money machine where his mouth is.
“The only bad part of putting a franchise in London is that I can assure you it won’t be the Patriots who are moving here,” Kraft said.
So who will it be? At a time when many believe the Rams are destined to finagle their way out of a lease in St. Louis, it’s presumed they’ll return to Los Angeles. But with the Rams throwing their hands in the air with Horshackian zeal to play three homes games in London over the next three years, they’re at the top of the short list of potential candidates to make the move.
The possibility of sending the Rams or any other team to London comes with plenty of question marks. But there’s an exclamation point to be realized if/when more of the people who don’t live in the United States develop a true passion for the NFL. What is a billion-dollar business could become, sooner rather than later, a trillion-dollar endeavor.
No successful enterprise is content to tread water. For the NFL, the possibility exists for exponential growth, once the sport officially begins crossing the various bodies of water that surround our borders via the permanent placement of teams on the other side.