Goodell says team in London is a "real possibility"

Though the league consistently has disputed rumors and reports that a Super Bowl someday will be played in London, Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledges that, in time, a franchise might be stationed there on a full-time basis.

Goodell reiterated that possibility during a Tuesday appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.

“It’s realistic to me that we would play multiple games in London, regular-season games, maybe as early as next year,” Goodell said.  “And if that continues to have the same kind of reaction, a team playing in London on a regular basis is a real possibility.”

And if that happens — if a team moves to London — the folks in London would necessarily have the ability to bid on hosting a Super Bowl.  Indeed, it’s not unreasonable to assume that, given the climate in England, a new stadium with a retractable roof (and a massive “telly” hovouring at least 30 meters from the pitch) would be necessary.  As is the custom in the U.S., the promise of a Super Bowl would then be used as the carrot to help secure partial or complete public financing of the structure.

So if a team eventually moves to London, count on a Super Bowl eventually being exported there, too.

90 responses to “Goodell says team in London is a "real possibility"

  1. The problem is, that such a stadium exists, but it’s not in London. The Millenium Stadium in Wales is supposed to be one of the best in the world. It’s superbowl ready right now, but it’s not in a major capital. Still, plenty of European finals have been played there (Rugby, for example).

  2. That is why I have been slowly releasing season tickets inventory over the past couple of seasons and will completely dump the rest of my holdings within the next 2 years.
    The NFL is pricing the fans out of the game, and is only worried about corporate cash. Not fan loyalty. Go ahead and place team(s) in Europe, take an American sport and water it down and continue to alienate the one group of people that allowed the league to thrive.
    The NFL already takes care of politicians, celebrities, and corporate fatcats at the expense of true fans when it comes to issueing Super Bowl tickets.

  3. KEEP THE GAME HERE!!! Shipping teams & equipment will only be extra expenses for the game!!! Quit being an IDIOT Goodell!!! Start another Europe leauge or what ever, but keep this NFL here!!!

  4. This is beyond a joke!
    Our TV audiences here are pathetic.
    I love the NFL and pay my hard earn cash to go out to the States to watch games, I will attend the game at Wembley but like most fans over here we wont stop following our US based teams due to the league maybe moving the Jags over here.
    I am a Packer backer to the end!
    I also think American Fans should be annoyed, we are being used to line the pockets of the league, I sincerely believe that there is no basis in this talk.
    Plus the 2011 Lockout will destroy a lot of interest over here…………I will still follow the game but most English fans will not tolerate a Lockout because its not something that happens in our sports

  5. very stupid idea. Who the hell wants to travel to London to play a football game? jet lag? screw that. i’m glad I only have one more year left and I am retiring.

  6. Incredibly lame. I feel bad for the players that play for that franchise if it happens…….all that travel time for away games. That’ll probably be the day I turn my back on the NFL for good. I already have committed to watching only Steelers games this year as I find Goodell’s tampering with the integrity of the game disgusting. I’m with guys like Rodney Harisson, Jones-Drew, and Polamalu…………..Goodell has pussified the game.

  7. @TimTheEnchanter – You mean would you have to pronounce the word correctly? Yes.
    I’ll say it again: No team in the existence of the NFL has moved without stadium issues. The Jaguars don’t have stadium issues. However, Buffalo, Minnesota, St. Louis (a team for sale…), and San Diego all do. Shockingly enough, all of those teams face black outs just like Jacksonville… but let’s move Jacksonville, right?

  8. I don’t want to sound like a jerk here, but why don’t the English actually start playing football instead of futbol and form their own professional league, rather than forcing us to export all of our talent and resources to them? As if we don’t hand out enough to other countries already.

  9. No thanks… It’s the NFL not IFL.
    So far my team hasn’t had the chore of playing over there. I’m sure they will at some point and it will suck.

  10. It’s not going to happen! I lived in England for 6 years and the Brits don’t give a rats a$$ about “American football”. Nothing will ever replace soccer over there, it’s just not going to happen. Soccer, rugby, and then followed by cricket is the pecking order. Take a look at MLS. Although it has improved in the USA, it hasn’t gotten anywhere near that of European play or spectatorship. Time zone changes, weather, money, you name it and it is against playing overseas.

  11. Whatever team heads over the pond needs to suck (Raiders?) because they would have a huge edge when it came to home field advantage.

  12. I’d like to see the London team play in Foxboro and see how the Patriots’ mascots get all worked up and see if they put a real cannonball in the cannon.

  13. This is ridiculous. So, the London based team would be at a competitive disadvantage every away game they played, and then be at a competitive advantage every home game they played. Unrealistic.
    Then again, the do-over in Dallas is acceptable, so why wouldn’t this?

  14. Goodell proves time and time again that he doesn’t give a shit about the real NFL fans. Those of us who count down the offseason and throw opening day parties are of very little concern to him and his never ending desire to shove America’s pastime down the throat of the world.

  15. its about time britain got a team hopefully its the Raiders when big al drops and i reckon they will be based in cardiff theres no where else to put them…

  16. I’m from London myself, and even i think it’s a bad idea. The game will lose it’s status as american football, plus what team will wanna move abroad and separate from their families and all that?
    although it’d be pretty cool to have a team here. like london sillynannies lol
    instead they should do international tournaments, but the US should only be allowd like high-school players or somthing haha

  17. Virgin Air has decently priced tickets from major cities to London. I don’t see travel for fans being a huge drawback.
    NFL should be proactive and set up fan packages tied in with London tourism/airline deals.
    Imagine the economy will shutter that idea for a bit.
    Team would have to do 4 game home stands and maybe 4 gamea away. Would be tough schedule to work with all the travel.
    Last year Saints and Chargers both had a bye after/before(dont care to check) the game to compensate for the travel.
    Would also need to give them a slight advantage somehow. Giving them a perennial loser would be bad.

  18. New Wembley _has_ a retractable roof.
    This is the greatest venue I have ever been to. Other new stadiums in Europe look like toys compared to Wembley.

  19. I hate Goodell. I wish someone would kick him out of office…or the good ole’ days where someone kills the emperor to become the emperor themself…however it happens, I just hope it happens.

  20. Stupid idea!!
    We already have players throwing tantrums when they get drafted by or traded to teams they don’t want to play for. For any London team that would happen weekly.

  21. This screams “bad idea” if only because of the travel costs for both the team and their opponents.
    The only way this would work would be if you had several teams over there so that they could occasionally have short hops instead of crossing the Atlantic on a regular basis.
    And if you think the whining about West Coast teams playing away games in the Eastern Time Zone are bad, just wait until the Raiders have to fly to London to play an away game. Cryptkeeper Al will pitch a huge fit if he hasn’t been buried by that point.

  22. This is a bad idea, just having the Super Bowl in another country is a bad idea. The NFL is an American tradition… Keep the sport that we love here in America!!!

  23. I think realistically, it’s a bad idea for all the reasons listed above. I honestly don’t think it would be worth the time, effort and cost to do this for a country, like Timo22 said, that doesn’t even embrace football. Keep it an American sport. It’s one of the few we have.

  24. Goodbye NFL. As they keep rating money as greater than the game, and the fans, they will keep going downhill. Goodell and the almighty dollar will kill this game. They have already done irreparable harm. Before you know it it will be a game played by corporations against other corporations, like the company softball league. The fans will watch from home, as the suits watch at the stadium, and it will suck.
    Now introducing – The Nike Vikings!

  25. You want to play a Super Bowl overseas? Fine, go for it. But forcing a London team to trek to the US 8 times a year and forcing 8 different US-based teams to travel to London once each? That’s just absurd. A flight from London to the West Coast is about 12 hours, which means a team would spend an entire day flying to and from a single game. Sorry, but that’s just stupid.

  26. Alfie,
    When you say stadium issue, the only issue the Bills have is that it’s older. And they sell games out, unlike the Jags. Season ticket totals were the 3rd highest ever in team history this year. No tarp and flex-packs here.

  27. Therre is nothing about this that makes any sense at all. The homefield advanatage/away hames disadvantage; the logistics of having to move teams acroxss the Atlantic on a weekly basis, a Super Bowl played anywhere except in the US would be the ruination of the NFL.
    As someone states earlier, Soccer is the Futbol of Europe. Sure the one game played there annually gets good attendance but that’s because of the “gimmick” factor. Take that away and the attendance drops.
    The NFL would be wise to take a look at all the empty seats at NASCAR races. They moved away from their roots, took away races that made them what they are (Rockingham), took races away from favored tracks so new tracks could have one Darlington to California) and have basically turned all their new trackcs into cookie cutter copies of Charlotte. They got away from their roots to get get a bigger fan base and it is now starting to cost them fans.
    A team in London makes no sense at all — I cannot understand why Goodell is so blind he cannot see this. How many American’s can affotrd to fly to London to watch the Superbowl. Hell, how many can afford to fly to Miami this year (actually, next year) to watch one here. Worst economic times since the great depression and Goodell wants to deflate the importance of one of the few pleasures we have to forget about the tough times. Nice going Roger

  28. More proof positive that the NFL exec’s are a bunch of bumbling idiots . London next year ? Oh yeah ! Los Angeles has been waiting since 1995 . Every year it’s the same old story , ” Not now , but pretty soon . ”
    In the meantime , the LA 10 million strong media audience is holding it’s fickle finger of fate to the NFL . London indeed , cherrio you bunch of lying no goods .

  29. Why don’t they just play the ProBowl in London? They get to see our marquee players, without giving players an unfair disadvantage during the regular season.

  30. Who is the Fanbase of NFL?
    If they were trying to focus on the fanbase, they’d be mandating that there be quotas for whites, asians, mexicans and muslims in pro football.

  31. Under NO circumstances whatsoever should the greatest AMERICAN sport be exported, exploited, watered down, and Europeanized…
    Just because the govt. & economy are moving in a European direction (one-world/UN control/ socialism), doesn’t mean our sporting culture and national sporting identity needs to do the same.
    It’s a a total shameless sell-out in the name of the almighty corporate dollar.
    Even the single, regular season games overseas are a travesty–it robs a team and its fanbase of a home game, and robs the city of all the related business, revenue, and exposure.
    I’d rather see a another strike/hold-out, contraction, ANYTHING–if it means preventing the exportation of the NFL overseas.
    Is NOTHING sacred anymore?
    Shame on you, Goodell.
    You take the greatest sport in the world–the new great American past time–and RUIN it by selling it out like a two-bit wh0re.

  32. @ firesnake ‘New Wembley _has_ a retractable roof.’
    Erm, well, glad to hear you loved New Wembley so much. I can confirm, 100%, that Wembley does not have a roof. Are you sure you weren’t lost and actually in Cardiff? As that is the only major stadium with a retractable roof….
    I live in London, and whilst I would love this, it will never happen.
    Also, bidding for a superbowl?? The superbowl kicks off at 00.30 Uk time. How the hell are they going to handle the logistics of a game played in the middle of the night. for starters there would be no public transport to and from the stadium. The whole thing is a waste of time and will never actually happen

  33. Gooddell’s legacy will be selling out to corporate interests. He will go down as the man that drove the average guy away from the NFL. This guy has had life on presented to him on a silver platter from the day he bursted out of his mother’s womb. Daddy was a Senator and I am sure he sold out his constituents for corporate interests as well. Lift the blackout rule and begin to earn some credibility back. It is easy to suspend someone for killing another human being while driving drunk. It takes a man, not a tool of big business , to do what is right for the league and its fans in this type of economy. Threatening to go to London is an other bow to corporate interests. How far will this guy go?

  34. Goodell needs to pull his head out of his dark spot. Talk about a security risk, the U.K is crawling with people who would love to wear a vest full of c4 into a stadium full of Americans. Goodell needs to be tested for illegal substances. Clearly he’s baked.

  35. Ugh, can we tone down the jingoism to like a 6? I love how Dewey Axewound is outraged as the “European Socialism” that is threatening us and the in the very next sentence decries corporate greed. I’m guessing there is a healthy dose of Fox News in the gentlemen’s diet.
    Almost all the critisms of this move assume that nothing changes. Um, yeah, England doesn’t love football now, but a winning team and a superbowl host might change that. Yes, traveling cost would go up, but if you tap into an entirely new market, you’ll overcome that in a heartbeat.
    And why would the location of the game change the nature of the game in any sense for the American fan watching on his couch in suburbia? Oh, my team is playing an away game at a stadium too far to travel to. Wait, it’s in England, well screw that, I’m not watching. Uh, no.

  36. Horrible idea. This is a clear example of greed getting in the way of common sense. I just pray they don’t put this team in the NFC East. Screw having to travel to London to play games. And how long will it last over there? Soccer rules that country. Why waste everyone’s time with a short-term gimmick. Geigh.

  37. NFL-E kept shrinking until all the teams were in Germany except one in Amsterdam and for all the longest road game was in Berlin.
    The core audience that got abandoned by the league was along the Rhine River.
    No the Rhine Wikingers would be the team to move.
    Since the current Wikingers/Vikings want to build a new stadium but the community wonders why the Wikingers/Vikings need a new stadium when the Wikingers/Vikings cannot fill the old one and a new stadium in Minneota would be built smaller.
    The Germans are used to taking on the world and Americans in competition. The older fans would like the Nordic reference of the Wikingers and there could be quite a battle to see who is the official beer sponsor of the Wikingers/Vikings.
    For the Vikings they would have a better and larger fanbase and a new stadium.
    For the league they would get their labor issues put into a different court system than the Federal Court in Minneapolis.
    As for visiting teams the travel is not an issue as they would sleep on the plane trip. The league could lease the special sleeper plane (like the old Pullman railroad car).
    Everyone wins.

  38. It’s a stupid idea that will never happen.
    There isn’t a market in London. An owner isn’t going to move a team overseas, which would alienate U.S. fans league wide. No one with the money to purchase a team is stupid enough to move said team to another country where they have an unproven fanbase for a sport only played professionally in North America. Television networks wouldn’t be too keen on tape delaying games. Players would be hesitant to sign with a team overseas. The list goes on….
    The only positive would come from a marketing standpoint for the league, but the negatives far outweigh this.

  39. alfie – tarps covering up thousands upon thousands of seats is not a “stadium issue”?
    the jaguars would be a perfect fit in london. hell, wayne weaver could even sell them to tata so they can be owned by the same indian conglomerate that now owns the jaguar car company!

  40. Stupid. It would unfair to both the UK team and others in its division as you’d basically have a stretch of 8 home games followed by 8 away games or vice versa. There is no way they could have a home game and then go travel the next week, then be at home and then travel.
    They would have to be given special considerations until we get commercial scramjet powered aircraft.

  41. Stupid. It would unfair to both the UK team and others in its division as you’d basically have a stretch of 8 home games followed by 8 away games or vice versa. There is no way they could have a home game and then go travel the next week, then be at home and then travel.
    They would have to be given special considerations until we get commercial scramjet powered aircraft.

  42. RE: The Jaguars – leave it as it is, I call them the Jagyouares. All they’d need to do is just change the logo to the car company’s one and its sorted.
    One thing that no one has mentioned is that its horrifyingly unlikely that there’s any chance of a new stadium getting any public money anywhere in the UK for the foreseeable future. Wembley Stadium is almost certainly, once you factor in the exchange rate, as expensive than the Cowboys’ new stadium. It came in at somewhere around £800m, which with an exchange rate of generally £1=$1.6 comes out at somewhere around $1.3bn.
    Then there’s the Olympics in 2012 which is expected to cost somewhere well north of £9bn (that’s in excess of $14bn by my count), including an Olympic Stadium which is set to cost £547m (as of February – it was originally quoted at somewhere shy of £300m).
    Neither the Olympic Stadium nor Wembley have a retractable roof, and the English winter (grey, damp) isn’t conducive to a Superbowl outdoors if the NFL continue to insist on dry Superbowls (I’d personally love to see a snow Superbowl!).
    So basically, either the team would have to stump up for a new stadium or significant alterations to an existing stadium (almost certainly the Olympic Stadium, which doesn’t yet have a post-2012 use, a capacity of 80,000+ and no commitment to hosting football [“soccer”] games). I can’t see any way that a Government will be able to sanction the spending of public money on a stadium for an American sport. And remember, the UK doesn’t have taxes separated by location – the tax paid by people in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Cornwall and probably the Falkland Isles all goes into the same pot.
    IMO it won’t happen. I can see a Superbowl being played in London and a franchise moving somewhere out of America and Canada in the next 10-20 years, but I can’t see a London franchise.
    Feel free to look more deeply into this Florio. Dropping an email to the office of the Mayor of London ( would probably get a reply that would be worth publishing.

  43. And what about all the restrictions on criminals and international travel? Half our teams wouldn’t even make it across the pond!

  44. The only way this would be viable long term is to have not just one team over in Europe. You would need an entire division. Then six games would be against divisional foes with no real issues with travel. (London, Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam), an additional division could be added to Canada/mexico. So each conference would have 5 divisions (North,South,East,West,International). Have a larger playoff, or remove one wildcard team.
    I am sure the NFL hopes something like this is possible. Its only a drain on the league if just one team goes to London.

  45. Timo22 made a good point!
    If it was a audience over there, then NFL Europe would still be thriving!
    Which should have been teams placed in smaller markets over here in the states!
    But back to the lecture at hand, if you want to venture out of the country I can see placing a team in mexico and canada (montreal, toronto or vancouver) where they follow american teams and sports. England just does not make sense. I can see playing a game or two over there, but anything else is just not logical

  46. The Jags DO have a stadium issue. Too many seats.
    Keep the NFL where it belongs. I think I speak for many season ticket holders that don’t want our teams playing ‘home’ games in another country.

  47. Young8 says:
    September 8, 2009 12:16 PM
    Ugh, can we tone down the jingoism to like a 6? I love how Dewey Axewound is outraged as the “European Socialism” that is threatening us and the in the very next sentence decries corporate greed. I’m guessing there is a healthy dose of Fox News in the gentlemen’s diet.
    Only an unimaginative dimwit who swallows every dollop of propaganda the popular media crams into his gaping, passive suckhole would think those two things are mutually exclusive, with divergent interests.
    And you presume wrong, jingo-hole:
    1. Not everyone who has a dissenting voice/opinion gets it from some dominant media outlet (like you). Believe it or not–there are a few of us left in the world who are actually free/independent thinkers, whose opinions are shaped by forces outside of Manhattan or Hollywood.
    2. And I’m not even close to being a goddamn “gentlemen”…
    You would carelessly tamper with 32 distinct regional/social/cultural fanbases/identities whose strength and fervor you probably barely comprehend, let alone our certain national sporting identity.
    So STFU and keep your cumbaya-singing, UN flag-waving, patchouli-reeking hands off our football league.

  48. It will be interesting to see how London reacts the to Patriots game this year. There is a real draw in having Tom Brady playing in London. He SHOULD have the same cachet as the big time soccer players (Beckham) do when they come here. But you have to wonder if that’s going to be the case. It will probably just be “another game” and the NFL should learn its lesson.

  49. Don’t worry about losing a team or the Super Bowl to London.
    The NFL can’t even get a single British TV station to pick up Monday Night Football, all this talk of a London franchise is horseshit if they can’t get the game of the week/flagship game shown on TV.

  50. The naming possibilities are almost endless…
    The most obvious are…
    “So STFU and keep your cumbaya-singing, UN flag-waving, patchouli-reeking hands off our football league.” – Dewey Axewound
    Right on brother. 🙂

  51. No way this should happen! Keep the game here! We spend the money to watch it, either going to the games or ordering Sunday Ticket and then to go the whole season supporting the NFL, they’re gonna go and take it overseas for the Super Bowl. Complete B.S. I hope the owners go against having a team in London. How many players are going to want to move to London?

  52. Not to dispute the point that much but last I checked Sunday Night Football had the better/more important games and has done for a few years. MNF is a shell of what it once was.
    Oh and Dewey, your “32 distinct regional/social/cultural/etc etc” rant would maybe be worth something if it weren’t for teams like the Ravens and Colts. Don’t think I need to explain that one to such an avid fan. Oh, and the whole teams moving in and out of LA. And 1/8th of the teams being less than 15 years old. Deep-rooted, they are, mm-hmm.
    Fan_of_Four you should be ashamed of yourself and your BS.
    Florio if you actually read this can you please just stop posting stuff about the London games? I know I know it’s news etc etc but honestly, at this point it’s complete pie in the sky and until something solid materialises all you’re going to do is rile up the more sheltered and xenophobic portions of your readers who will inevitably drown out with LOUD NOISES GOODELL SUCKS OMGWTF those who actually want to reasonably discuss the issues.

  53. As a uk nfl fan,i have been watching this great sport for nearly 20 years since it was first shown here in the uk.But some of the comments posted here regarding a UK based franchise/Superbowl are beyond belief.If i want to be pedantic,how can you americans call the NFL champs..the world series champs (baseball) etc. true world champions when you only have North American teams competing for the title ? The “Soccer” world cup allows every nation in the world to compete.You even have a half-decent “soccer” team at the moment.Get over it,let Goodell bring this marvelous game of yours to the world.

  54. Gern,
    Brit Officer: “Sir, is this your Wizzinator?”.
    Austin Powers: “That? That’s not my thing, baby”.
    British officer: “It has your name on the box”
    Austin Powers: “Really, that’s not my thing, baby”.
    British officer: “It has your picture. And a caption that reads ‘Yeah, this really IS my thing'”

  55. Gern,
    Brit Officer: “Sir, is this your Wizzinator?”.
    Austin Powers: “That? That’s not my thing, baby”.
    British officer: “It has your name on the box”
    Austin Powers: “Really, that’s not my thing, baby”.
    British officer: “It has your picture. And a caption that reads ‘Yeah, this really IS my thing'”

  56. # Free_Tramopoline says: September 8, 2009 12:59 PM
    Kinda makes my “Hawaii team” idea seem a little less stupid by comparison….”
    Nothing wrong with Hawaii, except the Pats can’t play there. Remember, the Pats players got booed there during the ’07 Pro Bowl. Christ, even the Japs don’t get booed in Hawaii anymore. And count out the Ravens too. They already cried to the league because they didn’t want to travel to Pittsburgh.

  57. Piss off Rodger Goodell. Its bad enough your taking games away from the people who live in the city of their team and its surrounding areas, but to move the idea of a Superbowl in London is Disgusting! It’s hard enough for me to see games since I’m in Canada now how can you move them to a whole different continent away from both major viewing populations of the United States and Canada..

  58. Imagine the season when the London team matches up against one of the western divisions! Road games at San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, Denver, Arizona, or San Diego would be almost impossible.
    They would be flying half way around the globe & back for a football game!!!
    what a stupid idea.
    Oh yeah and the Super Bowl could never be played there because there is too much of a time difference.

  59. @ Florio’s Lawyer:
    I do remember the Pats getting booed at the pro-bowl, but when did the Ravens whine about not wanting to travel to Pittsburgh? They play in the next state over for God’s sake! Isn’t Pittsburgh closer to Baltimore than their other division rivals in Ohio anyway?

  60. Ridiculous! Eff Goodell and Eff Every other Country when it comes to “AMERICAN” Football. I hate you Goodell and I hope you and your buddy Obama Fall off a cliff somewhere! Ridiculous!

  61. Roger Goodell should be rushed to the hospital for a COMPLETE brain scan.
    pip pip, cheerio and all that other BS can stay across the pond.
    Keep the NFL in America!

  62. “New Wembley _has_ a retractable roof.”
    Not in the way you think it does. The sections of roof at either end of the stadium slide out sideways in order to allow sunlight onto the pitch, but the pitch cannot be covered.

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