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London calling for the Vikings

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The good news for Minnesotans is that the Vikings will be staying put for the long haul.  The bad news for Minnesotans is that, with the team soon to be playing home games at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota, the Vikings have become a candidate to play one home game per year in London.

Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Vikings are the “top candidate” to host games in Wembley Stadium over the next four seasons.

“We’ve expressed an interest, and there’s a process the league is following,” team V.P. of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley said.  “We’ll see how it shakes out.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Murphy that the league “hope[s] to announce something soon,” but wouldn’t comment on any specific teams.

The Vikings reportedly will spend up to two years playing at TCF Bank Stadium, as the construction of their new home makes it impossible to continue to use the Metrodome.

It’s unclear how many times the Vikings would go to London before the new venue opens.  The league has discussed sending the same team multiple teams in order to help that team build a fan base in London.  If, however, the NFL wants to move a team to London (as Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently confirmed), it makes sense for a team that potentially would move to be the team to build the fan base.

Last week, the Rams scuttled plans to host one game per year for three years in London.  They’ll instead only play there later this year, against the Patriots.

For Vikings fans who went to bat aggressively for the team to get its long-coveted new stadium, the fact that one or two home games could be lost in the coming seasons may not be the kind of reward they were expecting.

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50 Responses to “London calling for the Vikings”
  1. robigd says: Aug 18, 2012 12:02 PM

    I never understood how the NFL intends to build a fanbase by sending the same team there once a year. It isn’t going to happen.

  2. filipinoviking says: Aug 18, 2012 12:05 PM

    No controversy here. Think it’ll be neat to see the Vikings represent in London.

  3. mattolikesthevikes says: Aug 18, 2012 12:05 PM

    What a good way to sell season tickets for the new stadium. By eliminating one home game per year to play overseas were they have football called soccer. This is so dumb. This is America’s sport not England’s. Keep it in this country.

  4. cletusvandam says: Aug 18, 2012 12:06 PM

    So they got the public to pay for their new stadium, now they are going to send home games overseas. Seems fair.

  5. kattykathy says: Aug 18, 2012 12:07 PM

    Make the Patriots be the “home” team. Oh thats right, Goodell and Greedy Bobby Kraft are in bed together.

  6. filipinoviking says: Aug 18, 2012 12:21 PM

    The Vikings are paying to bring TCF stadium up to NFL standards (like heat, there is no heating system in the entire stadium or field) Then they’ll be paying rent to the U of M to have those games which seat less people. Then the self-riteous will complain about the public being cheated a game, yet the team took the 90% blackout threshold because that same public jumped off the bandwagon.

  7. j0esixpack says: Aug 18, 2012 12:31 PM

    Relocating the Vikings to England makes perfect sense – I’m sure everyone in Great Britain has fond ancestral memories of the Viking invasions.

    No better way to commemorate that with an NFL team.

  8. jvibottomline says: Aug 18, 2012 12:35 PM

    Heaven forbid a permanent team is put there and they win enough to host a playoff game at 7am

  9. granadafan says: Aug 18, 2012 12:35 PM

    If Roger has a real interest in gaining a large fanbase in England, then he should stop sending crappy teams like the Bucs, Rams, and Vikings overseas. Send the top teams. When the English Premier League does their American tour, they send the popular ones like Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City and United. They don’t send the bottom feeders who are always on the cusp of being relegated to the lesser league.

  10. purpleguy says: Aug 18, 2012 12:41 PM

    The travel makes it a competitive disadvantage for the Vikes, but since they’ll likely be playing in another temporary spot at the TCF Stadium (which is much smaller) for those years, I’m not sure the fan base will get all that worked up about it. Make it the Vikes-Pack game and see how many cheesers go to that game since it will be thousands of miles rather than 75 miles from the motherland.

  11. pastabelly says: Aug 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    More whining about the Patriots. Yawn.

  12. gbbvan says: Aug 18, 2012 12:46 PM

    As long as it’s not a Packer game!

  13. youngs79 says: Aug 18, 2012 12:55 PM

    There is no way in hell they will give up a home game after the new stadium is built, not after the decade long battle to build it.

  14. blackqbwhiterb says: Aug 18, 2012 12:58 PM

    The NFL had a league set up and playing there for years, and it folded because it didn’t make any money…..Why send teams there??

  15. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 18, 2012 12:59 PM

    Good for them. I think they stand a better chance of selling out over there. And the commute from New Jersey is about the same for Zygi.

  16. scottb23 says: Aug 18, 2012 1:03 PM

    Get serious Florio. As a Vikings fan, and all the stress we went through wondering whether or not we would even keep our team, do you really think we give a crap if one of our home games is in London?

  17. mnmark says: Aug 18, 2012 1:10 PM

    NFL=Not For London

  18. lbpackfan says: Aug 18, 2012 1:12 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Aug 18, 2012 12:41 PM
    The travel makes it a competitive disadvantage for the Vikes, but since they’ll likely be playing in another temporary spot at the TCF Stadium (which is much smaller) for those years, I’m not sure the fan base will get all that worked up about it. Make it the Vikes-Pack game and see how many cheesers go to that game since it will be thousands of miles rather than 75 miles from the motherland.

    ——————————————-

    Packer fans don’t travel well…you’re right. (That’s like saying Michael Jordan wasn’t good in the clutch)

  19. bornsteel62 says: Aug 18, 2012 1:14 PM

    Locating a team permanently to London is a ridiculously stupid idea. The next in a long line of stupid ideas put forth by King Roger, like the 18-game season and starting this year with 3rd tier replacement refs.
    Thanx Roger, for doing your best to ruin the greatest game.

  20. electionconfidential says: Aug 18, 2012 1:21 PM

    I think it would be perfect to have the Patriots as the British “home team”. Not only would it get them out of our country, but the Brits could actually cheer for a team named after the men that shot their great-granddaddys. Of course another Viking invasion should be fun for them too…

    Has anyone considered the jet lag that will take place around these games?? There’s an 8 hour time difference between London and America’s west coast. Anyone that’s done international travel knows that that’s not something conducive to good football. You need a week to adjust, but then at the end of that week the team has to take the same trip in the opposite direction. A team based in London would never be able to handle the travel. And can you imagine flying seven hours to Denver only to lose 7 hours in jet lag and pick up a mile in altitude? The whole team would spend a week throwing up.

  21. myhornispurple says: Aug 18, 2012 1:36 PM

    All about $revenue$ for the NFL. They wont get as much while MN plays at TCF. That soccer staduim will hold more redcoats then any NFL Joint would. Money, Money, Money!

  22. chrisdacommish says: Aug 18, 2012 1:41 PM

    Completely over hearing about London hosting NFL games – no matter who the team is. And thats all I have to say about that.

  23. giantssb42champs says: Aug 18, 2012 1:51 PM

    A poster made a good point about jet lad and SHEDULING if a team were to move there. The travel would kill those players and all games would have to be played at night local time I assume for US TV purposes. Logistically would never work.

  24. phinfan says: Aug 18, 2012 1:58 PM

    Gosh when was the last time the Vikings fought in London? hmmmm

  25. taintedsaints2009 says: Aug 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    why in the world would it count as a home game? that’s the stupidest idea goodell has had yet.

    if they want to play the game in london (which i think is incredibly stupid) fine, but count it as an away game like they already do.

    home game? give me a break, goodell. that’s such BS.

  26. guvsta says: Aug 18, 2012 2:08 PM

    They should send the Dolphins- they can’t sell out their stadium and they’re still very popular over here in London because they were a top team in the 80s when we first had televised NFL.

  27. pack13queens0 says: Aug 18, 2012 2:09 PM

    They should move there permanantly, did anyone watch their game last night? Most of the seats were empty. What a sorry excuse for a fanbase.

  28. hrmlss says: Aug 18, 2012 2:15 PM

    Isn’t that a Clash Song?

  29. mnskolvikes says: Aug 18, 2012 2:16 PM

    What is this garbage?!?! F that! We need all the home field advantage we can get in this division. How about one of our road games each year in London. Prorate my season ticks you shabby ass front office. And suck a big D, Bagley.

  30. briang123 says: Aug 18, 2012 2:17 PM

    For you-know-what and giggles, I want the NFL to try and take a home game from the Eagles, Packers, Steelers, Jets, or Giants to see how that goes over.

  31. rbirving says: Aug 18, 2012 2:23 PM

    If you can’t see the fabulous irony in having the Patriots become the home team in London, you’re too lost in self gratification.

    The founding fathers would be dancing in their graves and old King George can bite the big one, those hooligans will love the NFL once they have a dog in the race,

  32. mnskolvikes says: Aug 18, 2012 2:35 PM

    Packer fans in MN can’t even tell you their starters other than Rodgers. Can’t stand the morons who say they’re packer fans and are from MN. Which ever team is hot I guess.

  33. EJ says: Aug 18, 2012 2:36 PM

    It will never pan out, here is why: First, the Brits already have a sport called football. Second, the Jet Lag would absolutely make the game unfair and lopsided. Third, they will find it real hard to keep good players playing on the London based team. A lot of players in the NFL have big families, businesses in the states and wouldn’t want to live in the UK. So Free Agents would most likely choose an American team before the London one. There would be a ton of holdouts, because the players that do play officially in London would expect a pay raise, who could blame them? London is not New York, Atlanta, Green Bay or Pittsburgh, It costs much more to live there and is nothing like home. Why don’t we try putting a team full time in Canada or Mexico before going all the way with London? The Bills play in Canada once a year and so far it hasn’t worked out at all, and there is plenty of Buffalo Bills fans from Canada that come to Ralph Wilson Stadium every season. Canada is hockey, not football. the UK and Mexico play a different kind of football. So how about it Rodger? Can we save all the drama and keep this sport in America?

  34. londonbengal says: Aug 18, 2012 2:45 PM

    Well, if you name your franchise after a band of 9th Century European warriors; (the Vikings); you better be ready to play some games in Europe

  35. matthewcarlson1 says: Aug 18, 2012 3:26 PM

    Enough with this London crap.. the only one who likes this idea is Goodell.

  36. stavreafavre says: Aug 18, 2012 4:29 PM

    Can’t think of a better way to make sure American football never creates a fanbase in England than by sending Mini over there year after year.

  37. johnkoehnen says: Aug 18, 2012 4:34 PM

    As a native Minnesotan and lifelong Vikings fan, I say…

    GOOD! The Vikings need more fans!!!

  38. threedeep1998 says: Aug 18, 2012 4:36 PM

    I was in London for bears vs bucs last year. So cool to see many NFL jerseys being represented. I would fly from Minneapolis to see my Vikes in London. One of the best places in the world.

  39. henryvee says: Aug 18, 2012 4:41 PM

    I’m a Scottish Vikings fan. While I’m excited about the chance of seeing them live, I completely agree with the comments others have made about the nonsense of creating an NFL franchise in London.

    As far as I see it there are 2 huge barriers. 1st of all there is the time gap that quite a few of you have said. There is also the question about support from outside of London. For example I am happy to support a team thousands of miles away but eh…support a team from London? I uh don’t think so.

  40. obama8mydog says: Aug 18, 2012 4:42 PM

    Why not send a team with a poor fan base like Jacksonville?

  41. footballer4ever says: Aug 18, 2012 7:14 PM

    “London calling for the Vikings”?????????

    A more appropiate title should be:
    “NFL pushing Vikings to London!!!!!!”

    I will go the opposite stand most people are taking against the idea of a NFL team in London. I say “go for it” so when it crashes and burns, as it will, then any absurd ideas about making American throwball an international thing will cease once and for all. Allow “LeGod” , err, Goddell, have it his way and become the opposite of “Pete Rozelle”.

    Conquer London and you’ll conquer the football world is what “LeGod” might be dreaming about. ROTFLOL….

  42. pack13queens0 says: Aug 18, 2012 7:28 PM

    obama8mydog says:Aug 18, 2012 4:42 PM

    Why not send a team with a poor fan base like Jacksonville?
    __________________________________
    Trust me, Jacksonville’s fan base can not be as bad as Minnesota’s.

  43. millerhour says: Aug 18, 2012 7:32 PM

    taintedsaints2009 says: Aug 18, 2012 2:07 PM

    why in the world would it count as a home game? that’s the stupidest idea goodell has had yet.

    if they want to play the game in london (which i think is incredibly stupid) fine, but count it as an away game like they already do.

    home game? give me a break, goodell. that’s such BS.

    ——————————————————

    Um, it has to be a home game for somebody.

    And TCF does have a heating system, up in the suites, they have space heaters ;)

  44. jayquintana says: Aug 18, 2012 7:46 PM

    The only way the NFL can succeed in Europe is if they dramatically change the rules regarding the clock.

    Non-Americans just don’t understand why the game has so many stoppages.

    They should do away with huddles and have two 45 minute halves.

  45. contra74 says: Aug 18, 2012 8:28 PM

    pack13queens0 says:
    Aug 18, 2012 7:28 PM
    obama8mydog says:Aug 18, 2012 4:42 PM

    Why not send a team with a poor fan base like Jacksonville?
    __________________________________
    Trust me, Jacksonville’s fan base can not be as bad as Minnesota’s.
    —–
    Bet you can’t find Jacksonville on a map. Wait, packer fan huh… I will triple my bet.

  46. gdeli says: Aug 18, 2012 9:13 PM

    The brit would quit football after seeing them and they should just stick with the olympics. They do not want to play in england! ha

  47. rubberinnertube says: Aug 18, 2012 9:16 PM

    It all comes down to $$$.
    No player will want to play consistently in the UK, especially if a team relocated there.
    Great Britain taxes foreign nationals based on the proportion of events they partake in while there (unless special exemptions are made, i.e the Olympics).

    Players on the English “home” team would get taxed significantly more than any players in the states.

    Ask Usain Bolt why he doesn’t partake in non-olympic events in England. Just by running there a time or two, the British government is entitled to a percentage of his ENTIRE income (including endorsement deals).

    Taxes here are probably going up, players careers are short and unpredictable…there’s no way I’d give another significant cut of money to those fog-breathers.

  48. gavhen says: Aug 20, 2012 5:53 PM

    Well I’m a Vikings fan and I live in London, nothing would make me happier to see the Vikes play a game regularly over here, but don’t move the team. I can also see why home supporters would be annoyed though by losing a home game for a few seasons when the season is so short anyway.

    The whole thing about having a team based in London permanently doesn’t work on various reasons already mentioned on here, such as timezone/travel issues, especially when it’s a team moved over from the states. If you do it at all you’d have to create a whole new division in Europe – NFC Extremely East Division anyone?!

    The biggest reason though is that most NFL fans who go to the International Series already have a team, and we’re a loyal bunch. I wouldn’t swap my Vikings allegiance for another team that moved over here.

  49. Frazier28/7 says: Aug 20, 2012 10:20 PM

    That would be hilarious if it were the Packer, however there probably still would be more of them at our ‘home’ game in London. Doubtful they’d move a divisional game oversea’s thou.

    But, it’ll probably be some pointless game they’ll have trouble selling at the dome like vs Cardinals or Browns or some other low rating team.

    After 2015 though, NO Minnesota Viking home games in London once the new Minnesota People’s Viking Stadium opens.

    Last two years at the dome, and a year and half at TCF. Fine. Whatever, but NOT after that new stadium opens with just under 500+ million in public contribution.

  50. vikesryerdaddy says: Aug 24, 2012 6:25 PM

    jvibottomline says:
    Aug 18, 2012 12:35 PM
    Heaven forbid a permanent team is put there and they win enough to host a playoff game at 7am

     
    Why? Do you think the NFL would want to start the game at 2am EST? They could start games at 6pm and they would be on at 1pm EST…that doesn’t sound so bad.

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