When it comes to doing business, the NFL always loves to have two alternatives. When it comes to potentially placing a franchise in London, the NFL may have two alternatives.
According to the Telegraph, London Mayor Boris Johnson has had discussions with multiple NFL franchises regarding the possibility of placing a team at Olympic Stadium.
“Given the ever-growing popularity of gridiron this side of the Atlantic the mayor and his team have held a number of meetings with senior executives in the last few days to explore further opportunities for NFL in London,” a Johnson spokesman said. “The talks were exploratory and we are at an early stage but the signs are encouraging.”
The Patriots and Rams were in London for a game on Sunday at Wembley Stadium, and the Jaguars were promoting their upcoming four-game series.
“Sunday’s game at Wembley, in front of more than 80,000 fans, further cements London’s reputation as the natural home of American football outside of the US,” the mayor’s spokesman said. “Only last week the mayor, in conjunction with the NFL, announced an expansion from one to two regular-season matches in London from 2013. That means in total an additional £44 million in revenue for the capital from next year.”
If the NFL ultimately can pit Wembley Stadium against Olympic Stadium when it comes to doing a deal for a team, the NFL will emerge with the best possible terms.
Of course, there’s a chance that each venue could have a team. Peter King explained on Tuesday’s The Dan Patrick Show that the long-term vision for England entails a pair of franchises.
And that makes sense. The best way to spread the NFL virus is to create a natural rivalry. Whether that comes from a cross-town clash of teams that call London home or an England-versus-Ireland scenario, it could be the key to maximizing the NFL’s foray into the land of fish and chips.