The Patriots are in London this weekend to play the Rams in the NFL’s annual game at Wembley Stadium, and New England owner Robert Kraft says he believes the U.K. is ready for eight games a year in London.
Appearing at an NFL fan event that drew thousands to Trafalgar Square, Kraft said he believes the time has come for a London-based NFL team.
“You’re already hosting the Premier League, and we believe we’re the premier sport in the world,” Kraft said, via Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com. “I think London has shown, with the way they’ve handled the Olympics and every other major sporting event, that it’s time for you to have your own NFL franchise, based in London.”
The NFL insists that it can make things work in London, and starting next year the league will have two games a year across the pond. But filling Wembley Stadium for a game or two a year is still a long ways away from filling Wembley Stadium for eight games a year, year after year, in a country where American football is still viewed as a curiosity, not a passion.
So the NFL still has work to do before a franchise in London is viable. But Kraft thinks it’s close.