Mayor angling for an NFL franchise and a Super Bowl in London

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The NFL is continuing to push for a presence in London, and the mayor is only too happy to have America’s most popular sport.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Talksport that he’s eager to see the NFL expand its presence in his city, and he believes there could be a franchise based in London full-time, and a Super Bowl in London.

“I’ve been saying since the first day I became Mayor my ambition is to have more American football games in London and ultimately for there to be a franchise there and, dare I say it, even the Super Bowl,” Khan said. “I met recently one of the owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Shahid Khan. I’ve met the NFL commissioner on a number of occasions, most recently at the game at Twickenham this year and my team is working very closely with the NFL.”

The NFL appears to be a long way off from figuring out the logistics for a team in London, and a Super Bowl in London is probably even a longer way off. But the league is serious about making London a major football town, so the NFL will surely welcome the mayor’s comments.

77 responses to “Mayor angling for an NFL franchise and a Super Bowl in London

  1. Yeah, that’ll work considering that NFL Europe was an abject failure.

    NFL Football belongs in Europe as much as major rugby & cricket leagues belong in the U.S.

  2. Not even the Brits want this. I don’t know anybody who wants a franchise here. Regular season games, sure (though I know Americans hate that, too), but we know we’d never get behind a full time London team.

  3. As a brit i think its working well at the moment. Having some games in the UK is great. Dont agree with a franchise and 100% not a Superbowl. There would be uproar in the UK if the ‘soccer’ FA Cup was in America.

    If the UK had a team, the second it goes 4-12 attendances would be right down, keep it how it is at the moment, working well

  4. NFL Football belongs in Europe as much as major rugby & cricket leagues belong in the U.S.

    Do you really think so? Same thing was said about soccer 35 years ago. More recently the women’s professional hockey leagues. One is now firmly established and plays internationally already. The other is just starting out and a potential merger of the two leagues looks like it could happen. All sports are becoming global events and some already have World Championships. Baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey………….why do you believe football should be insulated?

  5. I live in Europe and I don’t think I would go to more NFL games over here than I did in the states which wasn’t many. Games are way too expensive and the experience you get in your house is better than the game. You might get an autograph at the game but that’s a long shot even.

  6. Actually, the World League of American Football was popular here in the UK and in Europe. It was a failure in the States, just like the USFL was because Americans weren’t read for year round football at that time. The NFL Europe died because the owners didn’t want to pour money into it. Now? Now you got year round football-maybe not games, but you have OTAs from April-June, training camp from Jul-Sept, the regular season from Sept-Dec/Jan, the playoffs and SB in January and Feb, the combine in February, Free Agency in March, and the draft in April. Back in 1991 you didn’t have the NFL Network and some of these other football shows. And to you people who think “the Brits don’t want a team here” you don’t know the power of television. Through Sky and Gamepass, we get EVERYTHING the States get game wise. Thousands of people attend the NFL carnival in Regent St before the Jags play. Fans from Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands (three countries that were staunchly behind NFL Europe by the way)come over here to watch these games. I went to a sold out Twickenham this year to watch the Browns and Vikings play. For you Americans, football is being globalized just like basketball–Sixers and Celtics played here in London this year–last year it was the Raptors; the NHL has played here and next year, MLB will feature the Yankees and Red Sox in a 2 game set in June of 2019. Because of the networks, these are no longer just “American games”.

  7. One other thing–if the Super Bowl were played here it would take it back to the way it was in the beginning–it wouldn’t be a prime time affair–it would be an afternoon game in the States.

  8. A Super Bowl in London? That’s like having the British Open in Los Angeles…

    So the Super Bowl would be over, and it would be noon on the US west coast. That better not happen. Ever.

  9. Screw that man, you’re gonna force 8 teams to fly halfway across the world for 1 away game then fly back and at the same time make this hypothetical London franchise do the same for every away game? Season is long and stressful enough without making fans and players have to be up for a game at 6am pst – 9am est in the morning.

  10. bk617 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:16 am
    There’s not going to be a Super Bowl five time zones east of New York.

    ———————-
    Actually the time of day that means for me would be awesome.

  11. Relax folks, this is free advertising for the NFL. The NFL is not relocating a team to London. And for the the “there goes the Jaguars” crowd, more read second sentence.

  12. The more the greedy NFL wants what most fans don’t want, the less interest I have in the NFL!

  13. Why is there talk about a team in London and not Mexico? Are the powers that be silent on Mexico because their reasons wouldn’t be politically correct?

  14. The regular season games always sell out so there is a demand for NFL football on this side of the pond. The question is whether there is enough people to support one team over a regular season when most already have their favourite franchises. The only team I could see it working for is the Jags because of their continued support of the London games. The fact they look like being contenders for a while also helps. As for the Superbowl apart from the multitude of other reasons, it kicks off at around 11.20pm UK time and it’s not exactly warm or dry over here in February.

  15. It’s tough enough going West coast to East coast. Try to get a direct flight from Green Bay, Nashville or Indianapolis or Kansas City to Heathrow? The schedule would need to be worked to help with the travel.

  16. As a browns fan I would hate to see a team like Jacksonville move when they are on the cusp of a championship. It hurts like hell to see your former team win a championship just a few years after moving them to another city..

  17. bk617 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:16 am
    There’s not going to be a Super Bowl five time zones east of New York.
    araidersfan says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:29 am
    Yeah, that’ll work considering that NFL Europe was an abject failure.
    Dam0wned says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:40 am
    Not even the Brits want this. I don’t know anybody who wants a franchise here.
    ——————————————
    1) There easily could be a London SB – 8pm there would be 3pm in NY and noon in LA.
    2) The WLAF was a big success in London, but that lead the league to hive it off as NFL Europe, a lesser child with different teams and less interesting because the US teams were missing.
    3) Nonsense – I’ve spent half my life in the UK and have many British relatives, every NFL fan I’ve met there WANTS a London team – they just doubt how practical it would be, is all.

  18. The Bills are gone in 2020 when their lease option comes up.

    Nothing of value will be lost, that’s for sure.

  19. Uh boy, this is the same mayor who proclaimed that Brits would just have to get used to living with terrorism. Yeah, let that quote get out there for consumption and see how many players want to play there, or even play a Super Bowl there.

    In other words, it’s not happening any time soon, if at all.

  20. A team in London will be an object failure. Instead of that the NFL needs to worry about the point shaving scandal that will start the minute the Raiders start playing in Vegas. Look at Montreal. The Expos played in an outdated stadium with the worst turf in all of MLB, they weren’t getting a new stadium. Players were paid in American dollars but the team was making Canadian Dollars which we were weak- they were losing money. Plus The team in London will face a logistical nightmare.

  21. I had this pegged years ago. All about parity and international expansion for greed.

    It’s why they league had colluded to try to weaken the Pats.

  22. araidersfan says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:29 am
    Yeah, that’ll work considering that NFL Europe was an abject failure.

    NFL Football belongs in Europe as much as major rugby & cricket leagues belong in the U.S.

    110 12 Rate This
    ————————-

    It doesn’t matter. It’s all about fantasy football and tv screens as much as it is gate money and beers at games.

    If you can’t get any market share away from English League Soccer, it’s a win, even if it may fail long term.

    And, we haven’t even discussed logistics or culture shock from NCAA prospects either.

  23. There is zero interest this side of the Atlantic for a full time franchise here in the UK. The culture here is such that we simply don’t switch allegencies hardly ever. Our teams are set and have been for years. Even the regular season games are of limited interest unless your actual team is playing. The games are still something of a novelty, hyped to hell by the UK Media. Especially Sky Sports. The reality is very different, there is absolutely no chance that 8 Home games would sell out. The transport issues, cost and time difference makes travelling to games none viable to the vast majority of the country. The fan base for any franchise would need to come from a 50 mile radius of London. The current games are ok. They sell out but lots of fans of all clubs treat them as a chance to meet with other fans around the country. Sadiq Khan is full of hot steaming garbage. He has very little credibility and will be out of his job within a couple of years once there’s a new election.

    The hype is fake.

  24. Imagine the jet lag going from London to Seattle..Why do we need a team in London? It’s just stupid. Does the NFL really need the money? Keep your soccer.. we’ll keep our NFL. We’ll give you a game a year ( which I think is stupid)..

  25. There is zero interest this side of the Atlantic for a full time franchise here in the UK. The culture here is such that we simply don’t switch allegencies hardly ever. Our teams are set and have been for years. Even the regular season games are of limited interest unless your actual team is playing. The games are still something of a novelty, hyped to hell by the UK Media. Especially Sky Sports. The reality is very different, there is absolutely no chance that 8 Home games would sell out. The transport issues, cost and time difference makes travelling to games none viable to the vast majority of the country. The fan base for any franchise would need to come from a 50 mile radius of London. The current games are ok. They sell out but lots of fans of all clubs treat them as a chance to meet with other fans around the country. Sadiq Khan is full of hot steaming garbage. He has very little credibility and will be out of his job within a couple of years once there’s a new election.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    you had me believing you were a brit until you used miles instead of kms. your american is showing 😉

  26. you had me believing you were a brit until you used miles instead of kms. your american is showing 😉
    _________________________

    Miles are generally used for measuring distances here, hence we use MPH in our cars too. Most things are metric but annoyingly that isn’t

  27. The whole “international expansion” theory only makes sense due to one reason: money grab.

    On every other level, it is asinine. Cultrually, logistics-wise, player health and safety wise…then there are all the legal ramifications to iron out when expanding to a new currency standard and jurisdiction. Just a nightmare to even think about.

    But the NFL has endless resources I’m terms of qualified people, info/data, etc. to accompany their insatiable greed. So it will happen soon enough…

  28. kevjamm says:
    March 27, 2018 at 7:45 am

    Relax folks, this is free advertising for the NFL. The NFL is not relocating a team to London. And for the the “there goes the Jaguars” crowd, more read second sentence.

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷

    “London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Talksport that he’s eager to see the NFL expand its presence in his city, and he believes there could be a franchise based in London full-time, and a Super Bowl in London.”

    This is the second sentence. Where does it say it wouldn’t move the Jaguars? It says the Mayor is eager to expand the presence of the NFL in London. That does not mean the same thing as expanding the league by another team. The Jaguars would be the team to relocate to London if London ever got a team. Doesn’t Khan, the owner of the Jags, already own a big-time London-based soccer team?

  29. I was at the Vikings/Browns game at Twickenham in October and the locals i talked to said they love going to NFL games 3-4 times a year but that they were not interested in a full time team. If a team on the coast complains about flying cross country at 5 hrs how about from LA to London at 11-12 hrs.

  30. So Roger led you to believe a SB is coming to London?? I have some used firewood to sell you.

  31. The big issue: No American free agent will ever consider London due to their higher taxes. When athletes choose to play in NY or California, it’s because they are the 2 biggest media markets, which brings more exposure and more money in advertisements, offsetting the tax increase. In London/Europe, the NFL isn’t a big deal and the ability to make big money will be significantly reduced. Soccer/futbol is king over there and that won’t change anytime soon.

  32. I guess you never know with the NFL but I can’t imagine having a Superbowl in a country where The NFL is no more than a Side Show in a Circus Act. People in England Go to watch NFL Games because it’s different not because they grew up with it and love it. Their real love is for Soccer, it’s not like they sit around all day Sunday Watching NFL Games like the real junkies do.Also, If you’re an NFL Player do really want to play for a London Based team or a Mexico based team? I guess you could practice in the U.S. and fly to Mexico city for the games but that would never cut it in London.

  33. “Lunchbox says:
    March 27, 2018 at 5:13 am
    It’s happening Jacksonville, nothing can stop it”

    Yes. Clearly, that is why Khan is spending hundreds of millions of his own money to renovate the Jaguars stadium and the area around the stadium.

  34. I don’t understand why Jacksonville is the default choice for a London move. The Jaguars finished 21st in attendance this year out of the 32 franchises and will likely move up a peg or three over the next 2-3 years. Why not look at perennial attendance laggards Cincinnati and Tampa Bay?

    And let me add that if they, or anybody, moves to London then that will do it for me and my company’s 12 season tickets…it will be goodbye NFL, enjoy London. We are already on the verge of doing this b/c of what was done to the long time San Diego and Oakland fanbases.

  35. edukator4 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

    you had me believing you were a brit until you used miles instead of kms. your american is showing
    ________________________________________

    Someone isn’t terribly well traveled. Heck, they post speeds in mph in the UK.

  36. The average Londoner would hear “NFL” and be unable to place what it stands for. Until that isn’t the case there’s no team going there.

  37. You guys all make it sounds like it’s impossible to do this logistically. The team/s will have chartered flights, they won’t fly commercial, so there’s literally no issue with travel, well except for any fans of the US team that wants to go watch the game, and we all know how the NFL actually feels about how they treat the fans…they could care less if the fans are inconvenienced, it’s all about the $$$.

  38. “I don’t understand why Jacksonville is the default choice for a London move. The Jaguars finished 21st in attendance this year out of the 32 franchises and will likely move up a peg or three over the next 2-3 years. Why not look at perennial attendance laggards Cincinnati and Tampa Bay?”
    _________________

    The fact that Khan owns a soccer team in London is the ONLY reason. But your point just drives home how no team is moving to London. It’d be unthinkable for the Bengals to move yet a team drawing far better than them might? Of course that’s not going to happen but people like to talk.

  39. edukator4 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

    “you had me believing you were a brit until you used miles instead of kms. your american is showing.”

    Your American is showing – never been there have you? They do drive on the other side but the distance and speed is in miles and miles per hour.

  40. I’d say the NFL should worry about saving what fans it has in the U.S. instead of trying to Gin more up over seas. Whatever team they decide to send over seas will alienate more fans in the city that they take it from than it will create English fans who could care less unless their favorite Soccer team is playing.

  41. Well, Goodell, et al, want to grow the NFL to a $25 billion business by 2025. How else are they going to do it other than going international? The most logical places are, of course, Canada & Mexico, but we’ve heard talk of the UK & China.

    Sure – all sorts of logistical issues to overcome – but when you want to wring every penny you can out of the world economy, you’ve got to cross some borders. I’m not saying it’s a good idea, I’m just saying that this is what they (the owners) want.

  42. I’m way more optimistic about this than most people, but wouldn’t it make more sense to expand to Mexico and Canada first, if international expansion is the goal? I’d love to see new franchises in Mexico City and maybe Toronto over the next few years.

  43. I’m sure the NFLPA would be thrilled to sign off on having a team play where half the games played by the home team (and one game each for 18 visiting teams if we only include pre- and regular season) subject the players’ salaries to a 45% income tax. Also good luck recruiting free agents. “Umm, almost half my salary is going to tax? Almost none of my games will be telecast back home when people are awake? And I get to travel 10+ hours each way for half the games? I need a new agent!”

  44. I’ve been in the London area during the NFL games for the past 3 years. I was initially surprised by how many people are actually into the game, and the depth of their knowledge. I’m not sure a franchise would be a long term success though. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few games played in Germany. They seem to be bigger fans than the Brits, in my experience.

  45. People in England Go to watch NFL Games because it’s different not because they grew up with it and love it. Their real love is for Soccer, it’s not like they sit around all day Sunday Watching NFL Games like the real junkies do.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    You really have no idea what you are talking about. How patronising! There are plenty of NFL fans here in the UK. Sure most still watch soccer, but there are plenty of us who watch football like real junkies. Except here it’s even more difficult and needs much more dedication than a fan in the US.

    Sunday games run from 6pm until around 4/5am MNF and Thursday games are from 2am until 6am. Whilst our local broadcaster has improved in the last couple of years, most go to great lengths and cost to get proper US content. NBC, ESPN, FOX and CBS are all offering shows we can’t get here without VPN’s and some sneaky streaming tech. Personally all my radio listening is US content. I never miss shows from certain commentators and personalities. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that some of us are better informed and know the game as well if not better than the majority of US NFL fans.

  46. How many players would want to be on a team based in London? Some may be stuck there, but as for free agent signings?

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