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NFL could play eight games with different teams in London, won’t expand

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So what’s the long-term goal for the NFL in London?  Commissioner Roger Goodell said Saturday that he wants to put a team in both London and Los Angeles.

If that happens, it won’t entail expansion of the league.  The NFL, we’re told, has no plan to grow beyond 32 teams.

And that would be a wise move.  Based on the reality that there aren’t enough healthy and competent quarterbacks to go around for 32 teams, it would be a mistake to add one or two more franchises.

Thus, if/when teams move to London and/or Los Angeles, the league will be relocating existing teams.

As to London, it’s also possible that no one will move.  Peter King of reported during Football Night in America that the league could play a full slate of eight games in England, with different teams playing in each game.  Every team would play in London at least once every three years.

We floated the possibility of the cereal variety pack approach earlier this month, without actually knowing that it could be a possibility.  According to King, it is.

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65 Responses to “NFL could play eight games with different teams in London, won’t expand”
  1. mackcarrington says: Oct 27, 2013 7:49 PM

    Oh. OK. Well, that makes it better then.

  2. logicalvoiceseys says: Oct 27, 2013 7:50 PM

    Jags to London

    Raiders, Rams, or Chargers to LA

    Bills to Toronto

    Get it done Goodell

    Oh and change the Redskins name.

  3. thetooloftools says: Oct 27, 2013 7:50 PM

    Stop trying to shove this LONDON crap down their throats. They don’t get it. Give up. Didn’t we see this before and it failed. NFL in Europe is soccer in the USA. We don’t get it.They don’t get it. Get over it.

  4. bucrightoff says: Oct 27, 2013 7:51 PM

    Just keep putting winless teams there, that’ll grow the game

  5. nyyjetsknicks says: Oct 27, 2013 7:51 PM

    Let me help out the NFL.

    America = Football

    London = Futbol

  6. chocopoppy says: Oct 27, 2013 7:51 PM

    Would that really generate more revenue than just putting a team there?

  7. 8man says: Oct 27, 2013 7:53 PM

    So eight games is sixteen teams. Given a fair rotation, that means every team plays in London every other year. And every four years loses a home game in their home city.

    So let me get this straight. The NFL is going to make you pay full price for two meaningless pre-season games and then take one that means something from you every four years?

    That tells me that TV, cable and satellite revenue is far greater than actual ticket sales and more important to the front office.

    Season tickets? Yeah. No thanks.

  8. marcinhouston says: Oct 27, 2013 7:54 PM

    Falcons to London.

  9. 49er60 says: Oct 27, 2013 7:56 PM

    screw london

    screw thurs nite football

    screw goodall

  10. steelersaregodsteam says: Oct 27, 2013 7:57 PM

    The National International Football League.


  11. fancyleague says: Oct 27, 2013 7:58 PM

    Win Britain, lose America. Good strategy, NFL.

  12. scandiman says: Oct 27, 2013 7:58 PM

    …In other news, the NFL is changing it’s name to IFL since NFL is no longer relevant.

  13. xemper0rx says: Oct 27, 2013 7:59 PM

    How does the NFL playing more games in London benefit the fans in the US?

    If I was a season ticket holder and one of my team’s home games got moved to London I would be pissed.

  14. swortybounce says: Oct 27, 2013 7:59 PM

    This is really silly. I know money is attached, but at some point you have to do what’s right and makes sense, not dollars.

    Where does it end? A team in Australia?

    It sounds like they may end up forcing teams to play in London and lose a home game for their loyal fan base. This on the heels of announcing they will force teams to appears on HBO Hard Knocks if they have to.

  15. steelersaregodsteam says: Oct 27, 2013 8:01 PM

    Say no to the International Football League!

  16. dlbpatsfan says: Oct 27, 2013 8:01 PM

    Time to move to Canada and start watching the CFL.

  17. sellout1983 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:01 PM

    Goodell, if you love London so much just move their and stop ruining the NFL.

  18. sellout1983 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:02 PM


  19. statusqoh says: Oct 27, 2013 8:05 PM

    if they want to ship more games over seas dont make it some rotation thing. Either send the 4th place x division vs 4th place x division games over or…. Lets finally make pro-bowl mean something. Loser of probowl is responsible for hosting london games. Like AFC loses probowl so its AFC teams that lose a home game to host overseas. Just some thoughts…. tho honestly I would rather just let them have the probowl only and keep rest of games over here.

  20. nflfan1326 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:09 PM

    When did Goodell say he wanted teams in LA and London? I didn’t hear that. No link?

  21. melikefootball says: Oct 27, 2013 8:11 PM

    Come on Gödel you can do it, further your quest to turn more and more fans away from the NFL.

  22. tfbuckfutter says: Oct 27, 2013 8:13 PM

    Just once I want to see a schedule where a team has an away game in London on MNF and then a Thursday game in Los Angeles.

    That is the only reason I want a team in London, or continued Thursday games. Just to see that happen once.

  23. trojanrabbit2 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:15 PM

    That is the most idiotic idea yet. Let’s take a home game away from every city while still forcing season ticket holders to purchase preseason games.

    At the same time let’s put a mishmash of games in London so that they have the NFL but don’t have an individual team and players to rally around. This way we make sure that we try to build fans by making sure they don’t really have a rooting interest.

    Another brilliant suggestion by your commissioner.

  24. savsr says: Oct 27, 2013 8:16 PM

    Having attended tonight I think it’s fair to say most people probably do get it. It is a relatively knowledgeable and expanding fan base.

    Additionally, over 80000 people shelled out to watch the Jaguars (with the cheapest tickets starting at £65/$100). Do they even crack 40000 at home? So therefore, using logic, these games are probably good for ticket sales on the whole.

    Will say this though, I severely doubt there’s demand for 8 different home teams each year. You’d need a franchise for locals to rally behind a and support. Different teams would feel a bit like the owners trying to have their cake and eat it. (Please not the Jags though – that was abject)

    There’s also no way flagship teams like the Steelers, Giant, Cowboys etc give up home games on a rotational basis. Its one thing to piss off a fanbase that doesn’t turn up to home games, quite another to do it to fans that do in big markets.

    One final point, if they are trying to make the Jags a sort of team for Brits to support, maybe don’t send over one of the best supported teams in the UK as the oppo. It’s not a good way to foster support.

    Other than that, bloody good show, chaps.

  25. ndnut says: Oct 27, 2013 8:16 PM

    17 game season. One neutral site game for every team. Make it a true international SERIES with eastern and central time zones playing in Europe (London, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Oslo) or Eastern Canada (Toronto, Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Montreal) and mountain/pacific time zones going to Asia (Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne), Hawaii, Alaska (maybe), Mexico (Tijuana, Mexico City) and Western Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton). Winnipeg could host central or mountain as well. TRULY grow the game internationally and gain market share on the Barclays Premier League. The NFL is more than a domestic league now, just like the EPL.

  26. crewdawg says: Oct 27, 2013 8:22 PM

    Owners need to do what’s right and put an end to this guy. The game is PERFECT. Not too many playoff teams not not enough. Just the right amount of regular season games so there’s enough to watch but not too many that it makes the regular season meaniless. If the league expands ANYWHERE outside the US canada should be the 1st destination. Toronto or Vancouver citizens would go nuts for a team. Raptors are awful and always sell out and generate a lot of buzz even during hockey season.

  27. crewdawg says: Oct 27, 2013 8:24 PM

    Not to mention he shouldn’t be encouraging teams to move. The goal should be to keep all teams in their current cities.

  28. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 27, 2013 8:26 PM

    This is the NFL’s solution to the decline of the NFL due to the Browning of America and the educated parents-children’s football/brain injury dilemma.

    It’s a poor attempt at buying a smaller competitor to gain greater market share and prevent soccer’s growth.

    The problem is American football isn’t fish and chips and Soccer in England isn’t RC Cola.

  29. footballer4ever says: Oct 27, 2013 8:27 PM


    You got it all wrong and don’t get it too:

    England/World- Football=Futbol=Futebo=/Fussball=fotball/etc

    USA- Eggball

  30. kivory82 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:27 PM

    Once again, the jags are not moving!! The owner has already put millions of his own money into the city & the stadium

  31. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 27, 2013 8:35 PM

    I have a better idea.

    Why don’t we let the English watch soccer, eat fish/chips, drink tea, and go to their pubs.

  32. herkulease says: Oct 27, 2013 8:44 PM

    8man says: Oct 27, 2013 7:53 PM

    That tells me that TV, cable and satellite revenue is far greater than actual ticket sales and more important to the front office.

    Season tickets? Yeah. No thanks.

    Did you just realize that now?

    ESPN pays the NFL about 1.9 BILLION per year for MNF. It likely involves more rights than just game broadcast but that works out to ~112 million per game(they broadcast 17 games)

    NBC pays ~ 1 Billion for SNF.

    The Packers made from local revenue(gates, local deals etc) only ~130 million for the entire season.

    Broadcast rights are the bread and butter of the NFL and pro sports in general.

  33. blueberrymuffin11 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:52 PM

    The London games are so ridiculous- it’s just another example of a greedy multi- million dollar corporation wanting to make every place in the world look like a strip mall. Leave the Brits alone and concentrate on making American fans happy, you greedy, arrogant idiots.

  34. peed1 says: Oct 27, 2013 8:55 PM

    This stupid. What so great about London.

  35. 12brichandfamous says: Oct 27, 2013 8:55 PM

    Since this move is for profit, the league obviously does not need its non-profit status. pressure your congressman to remove this exemption and start taxing the league appropriately.

    this is the same threat strategy the NFL applies to every team looking for a new stadium.

    OBTW, if I am forced to publicly fun a stadium, that is not being used for eight home games of tax revenue generation, I am pushing for a lawsuit for lost revenue.

  36. drtharrison says: Oct 27, 2013 8:56 PM

    I have long been an advocate for this idea:

    8 games in London annually.

    8 games in LA annually.

    That means there are 16 games for all 32 teams, and all of them should be via the inter-conference play games.

    I lived in LA/Hollywood 92-98, and saw both teams move. LA fans, (especially transplants like I was) like football, and don’t support the local team unless tickets are reasonable. Regardless of their record. They also didn’t like the Coliseum because of the poor part of town it is (was) in and that is old as time. People in LA don’t seem like to go to Orange County and vice versa. I think it is a TERRIBLE idea for one team to be based there.

    Have 8 games in each place and your problem is solved.

  37. doctorrustbelt says: Oct 27, 2013 9:00 PM

    The tax exemption needs to go.

  38. stuartscottslazyeyeball says: Oct 27, 2013 9:02 PM


    Goodell needs to be removed from football. Send him to Mexico.

  39. kenny2neworleans says: Oct 27, 2013 9:07 PM

    So let’s see… Goodell wants to go from 16 to 18 regular season games. Also have games on Thursday nights, giving guys who need the rest from the physicality of an NFL game they just played on Sunday three less days to rest. And now he wants to basically send every team to London, also taking away good rehab time for players to use for travel days. Yeah, player safety my you know what!!!

  40. ninthwardfriend says: Oct 27, 2013 9:13 PM

    in order to see your beloved squad play a London based you must keep a current passport? The hell with Goodell….

  41. pastabelly says: Oct 27, 2013 9:26 PM

    Having eight games in London makes sense IF they can get a national television contract in England and expand revenue for the league. LA should get its own franchise. It’s almost impossible to believe that the NFL would fail in LA with one team.

  42. blueberrymuffin11 says: Oct 27, 2013 9:44 PM

    Having eight games in London makes sense IF they can get a national television contract in England and expand revenue for the league. LA should get its own franchise. It’s almost impossible to believe that the NFL would fail in LA with one team.

    Really? They already did fail in LA. Twice. Remember the LA Rams and the LA Raiders?

  43. urbusted2 says: Oct 27, 2013 9:44 PM

    London is a stupid money making idea. Why not control costs now. What’s next, expanding to the moon? Enough! How much money is actually made after relocation of teams and fuel cost. LA is a worse idea than London. They have yet to keep a team.

  44. 1rockyracoon says: Oct 27, 2013 9:51 PM

    I find it funny when people keep saying Godell is ruining the league and how the NFL will fall apart. The league will be stronger ($$$) with a team in London instead of Jacksonville. When you are at the top you want to be better at everything. Each pro league wants to tap into a foreign market (NFL- England, MLB-Japan, NBA-China, NHL doesn’t count) and the NFL wants to be first.

  45. blancodiablo says: Oct 27, 2013 10:24 PM

    Hey Rocky, do you work for the commish?

    From what I can tell the league is making money hand over fist. Instead of worrying about the increased $$$ of a London team, why don’t you focus on how weak the NFL game has become under Goody Goodell (ie…kick offs out of the end zone, tackling restrictions, QBs treated like school girls by Refs, etc).

    Keep watering down the game and see what happens to your profits. I’m not interested in your marketing.

  46. njskinsfan says: Oct 27, 2013 10:35 PM

    I wonder if “Redskins” is an offensive name in London…

  47. blancodiablo says: Oct 27, 2013 10:49 PM

    Florio: And that would be a wise move. Based on the reality that there aren’t enough healthy and competent quarterbacks to go around for 32 teams, it would be a mistake to add one or two more franchises.

    Says who? Is 32 a magical number that was created based on the thorough research of sports journalists on competent players? Who is riding a bench that could be starting? Lets ask Tom Brady. Who is bagging groceries because they didn’t get a chance. Lets ask Kurt Warner.

    Are you actually saying there isn’t 106 football players in this country that could fill out two rosters????

    Florio is just expressing the corporate line. Additional teams would result in a smaller share of profits for present NFL owners. Of course Goodell doesn’t want that. But don’t say its because of lack of quality players.

    The game is getting watered down due to the constant tweaking of the rules and the non stop marketing push of Goodell, which is carried out by his hand maidens, otherwise known as sports reporters. Either expand the league or quit threatening established NFL cities.

  48. footballer4ever says: Oct 27, 2013 10:58 PM

    lol, 1 game a year, then 2, why not 3…..Let’s give London an expansion, no wait, let’s not expand to the land who loves football, just not our football, because we’ll fail…….let’s just keep it a novelty and bring 8 games , take their money and run. Wait, why not go to the olympics as well and who knows, we can take our game to China and then the moon. Grow some round balls, take your funny “football” and crash and burn. 🙂

  49. jeffesky says: Oct 27, 2013 11:24 PM

    Does anyone at the NFL head office remember NFL europe at the disaster it was? Such a dumb idea and yet ever since good ole Goodell showed up he’s had a crush on London. I say there be some hanky panky going on Roger. How bout a spring league in the US dude.

  50. vstar1us says: Oct 27, 2013 11:41 PM

    Maybe we should let the CIA bug The NFL Comish phone, and tell him screw London! We had to kick the Brits ass a long time ago and now we want to send money over there.
    Got a ideal, put a team in Montana, it like going to London long boring plane ride, the population has bad teeth and likes farm animals. Just kidding , Montana has class

  51. scoot439 says: Oct 27, 2013 11:44 PM

    Has it escaped anyone that the St.Louis Rams have been left in the NFC West for a reason?

  52. patsfansknowitall says: Oct 28, 2013 12:17 AM

    I wonder if the referees will award the patriots the same BS calls as in the US?

  53. pigskinaholic says: Oct 28, 2013 1:00 AM

    I would love to see a team in Toronto.

    Not the Bills. We could be rivals.. cmon.. pleeeeease

    I would line up on day one to buy seasons tickets.

  54. MyTeamsAllStink says: Oct 28, 2013 1:39 AM

    Roger Goodell wants players in flags and skirts by 2016

  55. seattlenative57 says: Oct 28, 2013 1:56 AM

    Requiring teams to play in England is stupid.

  56. rams1999 says: Oct 28, 2013 2:45 AM

    Los Angeles Rams
    London Jaguars.

  57. NJ49er says: Oct 28, 2013 4:34 AM

    Is there some International Loophole related to concussions perhaps?

    Sorry Player-X
    You sustained a concussion on foreign soil.
    Your current CBA doesn’t allow for coverage there.

    Enjoy your flight.

  58. coachbeck says: Oct 28, 2013 5:19 AM

    Move the Jags to London. Browns to LA.

    All settled

  59. wolfmanpatriot says: Oct 28, 2013 8:59 AM

    doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 27, 2013 8:26 PM
    This is the NFL’s solution to the decline of the NFL due to the Browning of America and the educated parents-children’s football/brain injury dilemma.
    Interesting post, rust doc. Foreign games and such is a good topic and this is the first post I have read from you where you give a non troll, actual opinion.
    So, I thought I would give you a sincere reply.

    First, you said “browning of America”. I wasnt sure what you meant, so I googled those words and my guess was correct.
    I am not sure if that has anything to do with the owners (through Goodell) but, we see each others names here enough, you can exlain on another thread. (I wont be back here and dont know if you will seen this)

    The other point you mentioned.
    Yes. And let me add on, express my opiniin.
    The NFL owners want more.
    Women. There was a time that women pretended to like football to look more attractive to guys.
    Now, women have become a target market.
    Make the game safer and pander to women with breast cancer awareness not only endears female fans, but encourages them to allow their son’s to play. What is this breast camcer awareness accomplishing anyway? We are all aware of it, this mission does nothing to cure it. Big scam.
    Canada. There is good interest. Thing is, Canadians are wiser in spending on entertainment than are we.
    Mexico. Decades ago, they played preseason games in Mexico city. The locals enjoyed it. However, Mexico is very poor and the Nfl is clearly not a charity sport.

    London. Educated people with lots of cash and a giant stadium.
    The owners and Goodell would love spending more time there. Would surprize me if they wanted to move headquarters there for some financial reason. One commenter here said to punish the loseing conference of the pro bowl by making them hosts of the London games.
    Players could care less.
    Fans would be hurt.
    But, owners? I bet they make way more hosting a game th here than at home.
    I could write a short book about this, but tried to be breif as possible.

  60. mogogo1 says: Oct 28, 2013 11:24 AM

    It’s fun to make fun of the Jags and some of the other losing teams, but no way would relocating them to London improve things in either attendance or TV ratings. From a financial standpoint, that’s a total loser of an idea unless the NFL either paid incentives directly or somehow talked London into doing so.

    And the problem would always be how do you keep the owner from moving the team right back to the U.S. as soon as it becomes clear they’re not going to make it England? No sane owner would enter into a long-term deal that risky and I’d give it two years at max before attendance started to tank and it became apparent that no players were re-signing and good free agents were avoiding the team like the plague.

  61. drakejason says: Oct 28, 2013 1:42 PM

    Hate-filled poster wrote: “it’s just another example of a greedy multi- million dollar corporation wanting to make every place in the world look like a strip mall.”

    Corporations spread proven ideas because local consumers want them. Neither you nor anyone else is required to attend games or shop at malls.

    Haters like you would deny city dwellers the convenience of fast food, refuse department stores to preserve the downtown, and once upon a time were railing against the spread of electrical power to rural areas, all in the name of preserving your selfish concepts of regional look and feel.

  62. bobsnygiants says: Oct 28, 2013 8:52 PM

    can they keep the commissioner there for good . he sucks

  63. caw9898 says: Oct 29, 2013 12:59 AM

    Roger goodell…. He’ll be Forever remembered as the greedy, self centered billionare that destroyed the NFL

  64. tiffanyallen2013 says: Nov 10, 2013 7:46 PM

    For those of us who are active duty stationed in Europe having a NFL game in London is amazing. We don’t get to view the games over here most of the time due to the time difference. As an American over in Europe we are thankful that the NFL comes here!

  65. monkeesfan says: Nov 28, 2013 9:58 PM

    The NFL may say it has no plans for expansion, but let’s not kid ourselves – down the road it’s coming. Contrary to the myth of insufficient talent, the talent for two – or even four – more teams in the next fifteen years can be created – because team talent is NOT finite.

    The reason it’s coming is simple – apart from creating more revenue for the game, it will be the ONLY way to get a team in London and LA; no city currently hosting a franchise should or will give it up; the days of team relocation were bad for the game and I cannot see any scenario where a city ever gives up an NFL team.

    If Goodell really cannot be talked out of having a team in LA and London, then expansion within fifteen years is inevitable.

    My guess is the NFC gets London (East) and LA (West) with Portland and Oklahoma City or Birmingham getting AFC franchises (not buying a team is placed in Canada).

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