NFL keeps hinting at franchise relocating to London

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When it comes to the possibility of moving a team to London, the NFL is like the dad who threatens to turn this car around right now. It keeps saying it, and it will never do it.

Maybe not never. Maybe if supersonic passenger flight returns (or some other technology that allows people to get from one side of an ocean to the other quickly), the NFL will move a team there. Until then, that’s not happening. (Even then, it still may not happen.)

Via The Guardian, NFL executive V.P. Mark Waller said during Thursday’s announcement of the 2018 slate of London games that a team could be moving to London in the early years of the next decade.

“You could say it’s been an 11-year tease, but various strands would seem to be coming together,” Waller said. He was referring to the labor deal, which expires in early 2021, and the broadcast contracts, which expire in 2021 (Monday night) and 2022 (the rest of them).

It’s definitely been a tease, a tease aimed at getting people in London sufficiently fascinated about the possibility of getting a team of their own that they keep coughing up pounds and shillings of their own for the smattering of games they currently are getting.

That tease is going to continue, just like it has for the past decade. In 2009, Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has “tremendous interest” in placing a team in London. (He’d tap the brakes a few days later.) Two years later, someone leaked to ESPN in connection with one of the annual England games that an expansion team could be coming in London.

This “NFL may bring a team to London” always comes up in connection with some event tied to the NFL’s visits to London, whether it’s an announcement of a London game to be played or the playing of the London game or anything else tied to London. It never comes up out of the blue or otherwise organically.

So it’s not an accident. It’s part of the selling of the NFL’s annual variety pack. And it likely will stay that way, at least until the folks in London finally say, “Rubbish.”

41 responses to “NFL keeps hinting at franchise relocating to London

  1. I don’t think there’s any way the league expands beyond the current 32 teams. IF a team goes to London it will be a team struggling in its own market (LA Chargers, for example).

  2. 1) Wouldn’t that team be at a disadvantage with many trans atlantic flights, especially when traveling to the West Coast?

    2) How many die hard NFL fans are in the UK? Will they attend games if the team si doing poorly? What if a perennial 6-10 team is located in the UK, will it end in financial ruin? or will it rely on TV revenue (i.e. be subsidized by the other teams)?

    3) When a few concussions and ACL tears occur, plus some off field incidents, will this sour the publics percep[tion of the game in the UK?

  3. El Paso makes the most sense if the NFL is so obsessed with a team outside of the US. El Paso/ciudad juarez are the largest international border towns in the world. Just call them the ciudad juarez jaguars of El Paso and get the obsession over with

  4. It’s Shad Khan. He wants to move his Jaguars over there. He already owns a European soccer team. Goodell probably promised him he could eventually move the team over there, hence the yearly fake promises. He should ask Jerry or Bob Kraft about a Goodell promise’s worth. I think eventually one team will move there, probably will have to redo the divisions to move said team to an AFC/NFC east team.

  5. “coughing up pounds and shillings”

    Haha. Shillings haven’t been a thing for almost 30 years.

  6. Yeah, the London Browns has a nice ring to it. That oughta cure the Brits of any fascination with the NFL.

  7. “dnicemoney1 says:
    January 12, 2018 at 8:37 am
    It’s Shad Khan. He wants to move his Jaguars over there. He already owns a European soccer team. Goodell probably promised him he could eventually move the team over there, hence the yearly fake promises. He should ask Jerry or Bob Kraft about a Goodell promise’s worth. I think eventually one team will move there, probably will have to redo the divisions to move said team to an AFC/NFC east team.”

    Yeah, that makes sense. That must be why he’s spending tens of millions of his own money on stadium upgrades and he’s developing the land around the stadium.

    So he can move the team.

  8. This year should prove to be stressful on the teams playing in London with most coming from the west coast.

  9. As a lifelong Jets fan when this London crap started I always thought this would be a fitting end to their time in NY

  10. “What team would even make sense? Though I would love it if the Jets got out of our stadium and went over there.”

    Arrogant Giants’ fan. BTW, the Jets own half of “your” stadium.

  11. Another in a long line of dumb ideas from the league more interested in money than actual football – givng Goodell a new contract; Al Riveron supervising instant reply; Goodell having unlimited disciplinary power; poorly thought out franchise relocation, having a “concussion protocol” that no one follow, etc., etc. . .

  12. dnicemoney1 says:
    January 12, 2018 at 8:37 am
    It’s Shad Khan. He wants to move his Jaguars over there. He already owns a European soccer team. Goodell probably promised him he could eventually move the team over there, hence the yearly fake promises. He should ask Jerry or Bob Kraft about a Goodell promise’s worth. I think eventually one team will move there, probably will have to redo the divisions to move said team to an AFC/NFC east team.

    10 22 Rate This

    ————————-

    Already a done deal.

    Kahn knows he can’t build a new stadium in Jax, as it would financial suicide. This has been obvious for a while. Keep an eye on funny business in the officiating wolrd on Sunday vs Pitt. Steelers best be ready for it.

    The owners would love nothing more than to try to propel Jax to a SB to settle the nerves of the London investors, partnerng with Kahn over there.

  13. joetoronto says:
    January 12, 2018 at 8:01 am
    The Bills lease has an out in 2020

    Good bye Bills.

    19 35 Rate This

    ———————-

    Bills are headed to Beijing.

    There are many dead giveaways, but one reason why NE was not scheduled to play Jax in London next year, is because they don’t want the Pats to blow the doors of them in London, which will be their new home.

    Plus, it guarantees a sell out at Everbank Field in Jax.

    Buffalo will be moving to Beijing unless Pegula can whip up a billion dollars really quick, which is obviously unlikely. The state legislature ie VERY unlikely to divert money to Buffalo, even for new infrastructure.

  14. This is nothing more than looking for a new market to leverage with municipalities. Think about it – what markets are truly leveragable? San Antonio? Maybe. Birmingham? Salt Lake City? Portland? Toronto? St. Louis?

    This is nothing more than the NFL trying to create demand, which should tell everyone just how little leverage the league and team owners now have with regard to stadiums.

  15. bleedredwhiteandblue66 says:
    January 12, 2018 at 10:01 am
    Toronto doesn’t give a rats behind about NFL football.

    Bills fans
    ****************************************************
    No, Toronto doesn’t give a damn about the Bills. This was a colossal assumption by the NFL, that Toronto fans were Bills fans.

    Toronto is a big time NFL city, but Toronto can’t stand the Bills.

  16. If the NFL is stupid enough to put a team in Europe put it in Germany they love American football. But the NFL already tried football in Europe and it failed so this whole subject is moot. There will never be a team in Europe and if there ever do make it the Browns so we can get back at Europe for all the smack they say about us.

  17. Of course they are. As long as there are teams out there that want new stadiums the league will be hinting at franchises locating to any city without a team. Can’t use LA as a threat any more, so hello London.

  18. This would be a good move for the Kneeling Football league, this way they get at least 8 weeks of protests against our great country on foreign soil. Who knows, maybe they get some playoff home field protest games!

  19. waldoampere says:
    January 12, 2018 at 9:52 am
    “What team would even make sense? Though I would love it if the Jets got out of our stadium and went over there.”

    Arrogant Giants’ fan. BTW, the Jets own half of “your” stadium.
    ———–

    It was, is, and forever will be GIANTS STADIUM.

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