Goodell drops strongest hint yet that London will get an NFL team

As the NFL prepares for its third regular-season game at Wembley Stadium (this one is a possible snooze-a-rama between one of the best teams in the league and one of the very worst), many NFL fans want to know where this is all headed.

By next year, the league might play two games in London.  By 2012, the number could move to four.

So what’s the end game?  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that the league has “tremendous interest” in placing a team in London.

As a commenter recently suggested in response to one of our stories regarding the NFL’s possible English beat, why would the league put a team in Wembley Stadium when some of the venues in the U.S.A. aren’t selling out?

But, frankly, that might be the best case for moving a team to another country.  If the league has reached the saturation point in its home country, it makes sense to grow the pie beyond our borders.  And if teams like the Jaguars and the Bucs will consistently be drawing only 40,000 fans and change to home games, why not move one of them to Los Angeles and the other to London?

Another commenter several weeks back pointed out that the best candidate for relocation to Wembley Stadium would be the franchise that currently resides in Jacksonville, if for not other reason than the team name would, with slight modification, be perfect for its new home.

The London Shaguars.

55 responses to “Goodell drops strongest hint yet that London will get an NFL team

  1. Legal question:
    Can the NFL relocate a franchise overseas, and force the players to move with it? There are probably 40 guys on the roster that would move because having job security is important to them, but what happens when you have a player who has leverage, and is not prepared to move? Could the league legitimately force said player to move, or would he be able to force his release?
    I do think though, that some of the bigger personalities in the league, such as Chad Johncinco would be interested in broadening their horizons and, more importantly, promoting themselves on a whole new continent.

  2. From a revenue standpoint, the world is an untapped resource. If one team is put in London, it will be completely popular to anyone in the near vicinity.
    I am sure many will not recieve it well, but I can almost guarantee it would sell out every game if it were the only team there.
    I am just not too keen on the idea of the 11 hour flights for some teams to get there, and the time differences and really expanding the NFL outside of the US. I feel that this sport is truly ours, and once it hits the world stage it changes completely.

  3. I think St. Louis and Cleveland and maybe Oakland should get a team before London, I forgot they already have a teams.

  4. This may be the worst idea the league’s had in years. Between this and the possible 2011 lockout, I’m getting really pissed at the people down on Park Avenue.

  5. How would the season even work?
    So let’s assume they can get 53 decent players together – and I’m not talking Texans 2002 style – and be competitive. All very well, but how do you logistically plan the season? Basing the team outside of Europe for long periods will no doubt disenchant fans and players alike, whilst doing a normal weekly schedule would put unnecessary strain on the players bodies, something that say, Seattle, already suffer from. A middle ground might be to have a two week road schedule, but another consideration: Teams playing on the road would need to do so before a bye week (If they don’t, it’s an unfair advantage to the teams that do), but unless they spread bye weeks out over the entire season, it won’t work. You could say they could have bye weeks from weeks 4-12, but that would involve 8-9 straight home games, which again, is unfair to everyone involved. It would also involve playing 4/5 straight road games.
    The only way around it would be to say they would play a ‘normal’ schedule, and the league lay on a hell of a lot of special flights and try to somehow minimise the disruption to the players. I still don’t think that would be fair to anyone involved, and it would be to the league’s detriment to promote the game at the expense of it’s integrity.

  6. Hmmmm….. national football league. England. Wouldn’t that be the WORLD Football League?
    Congressional Anti-trust laws. Enforceable in the United States of America. Congressional Anti-trust laws, NOT enforcable in Europe.
    Hey, congress, this requires a MAJOR investigation by congress. I personally will never watch a game again if they decide to put a team outside the continental United States before putting teams in cities that wants one. Hey Goodall, your plan to line your pockets with money won’t fly.

  7. Great, send more Americam jobs overseas, just what we need in this economy. Goofdell is a F***ing jackass if he does this. I would botcott the NFL if they do this. Too many peope I know are out of work here . How about hiring all the people beck the you laid off Roger Goofdell!

  8. ” If the league has reached the saturation point in its home country, it makes sense to grow the pie beyond our borders. ”
    What planet are you living on, Florio?
    The difficulty selling out games has nothing to do with reaching a saturation point in America. It has a little bit to do with THE DEPRESSION WE’RE IN.
    Do you realize that millions of people are out of work? Not just the official unemployment number either, but millions of others who have either run out of benefits or just gave up trying to find a job in this depression.
    Americans LOVE NFL football. In view of the economic crisis the league should be waiving the blackout rules as an act of goodwill toward its fans and slashing ticket prices, too. But the owners are part of the financial elite who are still under the illusion that they’re going to “recover” and preserve the economic system that made them rich.
    They’re not. The monetary system needs to end. A Glass-Steagall type reorganization of the entire banking system needs to be implemented. And a credit system that values physical economy instead of phantom numbers on ephemeral paper and binary electronic impulses needs to be established as quickly as possible.
    It may already be too late. The clowns in Washington don’t seem to see the real problem or show any inclination to address it at its roots.
    Long story short, it isn’t the fans fault that teams can’t sell out easily anymore.

  9. “Why you hating on Jax so much?”
    Jax fans are hating on Jax by not showing up. Why shouldn’t the rest of us have some fun with it?
    As for moving a team to London, thats a joke, right? Can I have the punchline now please? InterNational Football League?! Bullshit. Pure bullshit. 11 hour flight there, play the game, fly back in another 11 hours and play another game on a short week. Then we’ll see how much of a good idea it is. They’d have to expand the bye weeks beyond week 10 to give the teams who play there beyond that a chance to rest.
    Personally, I don’t think LA deserves another team, but I’d much rather have them get one than to take one overseas. Hell, give on to Mexico. It wouldn’t be anywhere near as taxing on the teams.

  10. This is another great revenue stream for the NFL because its all about M O N E Y. When they turn their backs on the average fans – we should turn our back on them.
    There isnt much I like about what the NFL has done since Goodell took over.

  11. This is a horrible, horrible idea. If I recall correctly, the only NFL Europe teams that were successful were located in Germany. The worst part about this idea is that the NFC East will most likely absorb any new London team. This is a horrible disadvantage to any team that will have to travel to play in London. I can see a MNF game in London and then the Giants having to turn around on a short week and play on Sunday. The NFL is tough enough on players as it is, adding in overseas travel is an untenable situation. What a joke. The NFL is American and should stay that way. Why tarnish the value by sending a team to London and possibly having it fail? We already have enough teams here that are failing. This move seems similar to the NHL moving their Canadian teams to the Southern US…we all can see how that is working out.

  12. Hockey, basketball and baseball are all international sports nowadays. Goodell is just trying to keep up with the Jones’s. Sometimes, more than enough is just not enough.

  13. “Can the NFL relocate a franchise overseas, and force the players to move with it?”
    This is theoretical and not legal advice.
    If a team moved to London, could players argue that moving to a foreign country is a material change in their contract, and that their contract is no longer enforceable? If that is the case, would the entire team’s roster become free agents?

  14. Stop with this London nonsense. England can have an NFL team when America gets a Premiership team.

  15. Players for a “London franchise” would HATE living there. I hate going there and it’s only a few hours away from me.
    There’s no ESPN, very little media interest etc.
    You would essentially be telling 50ish NFL players that their career is insignificant.
    Players would avoid it even more than a mythical Al Davis/Rush Limbaugh ownership combo in Oakland…

  16. The jetlag factor alone will cause such a disadvantage for the teams that go to London to play, and vice-versa. The NFC and AFC West teams are going to be hating life.

  17. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Goodell sucks at his job. If you want to expand to Canada and maybe Mexico, fine. But forcing a team to fly back and forth across the Atlantic 8 times a year is ridiculous.

  18. Yuck! I thought on the shield it said NFL as in “N” for national, not international. For a lot of people we are proud because it is ours! Many times when our nation was in crisis football was a release for “our” nation! Please keep the intamacy of our league and keep it ours. I find it hard to imagine the NFL can’t maintain itself with the crazy amount of cashflow it currently has. No IFL for me! What next, the Super Bowl over the pond as well? Godell has done a great job to this point, don’t yuck it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Goodell wants to put his stamp on the league and be known for something other than being the hardass he is towards discipline.
    I’d rather see a team move to Mexico City than London but I guess that country is too poor

  20. The NFL is really showing its incompetence this year, isn’t it? Like so many large businesses, it continues to chase the dollar as its primary concern, when it SHOULD be concentrating on its product. This is just stupid.
    Making teams jet across the pond to play, then jet back and play again the next week is silly. This will produce the largest home field advantage in history. Would you want to jet across the pond, play, jet back, and play again th next week? There is no way to avoid that.

  21. “# FloriosPhillyFan says: October 25, 2009 7:43 AM
    This may be the worst idea the league’s had in years. Between this and the possible 2011 lockout, I’m getting really pissed at the people down on Park Avenue.”

  22. Having a team in London is unworkable from a logistics point. It doesn’t make any sense. There should be no issue giving London more games. It works well with teams getting bye weeks after the game and this game sold out in less than an hour.
    As for Jacksonville, it is still beyond belief that it has a team and LA does not.

  23. I think ‘Jaguars’ would be good enough. That’s like a Euro soccer team already called the Mustangs relocating to Detroit. One commenter already pointed it out, but this would throw a massive wrench in all the little slappie NFL deals that happen throughout the week. ie – does every journeyman prepare themselves for life abroad when they sign a weeklong contract?
    Also, what about past turds that our country has forgiven, but the UK might not? I could see where they would refuse to allow a Jamal Lewis or Donte Stallworth type to profit from a visit to their country. How about the USA allowing guys under some form of investigation to skip the country?
    As long as the myriad labor issues are worked out, it could be smashing. Any of these proposed teams would need to add some serious firepower to make it an attractive package to British NOOBs. I can’t exactly see David Garrard putting butts in the seats….. and then do they have to re-align the divisions? or is Jax still AFC South? bc really at that point, Miami should be AFC South and London AFC East….. then we would get motherland vs. Patriots, and now my head is spinning.

  24. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that the league has “tremendous interest” in placing a team in London.
    They have had a tremendous interest in placing a team in LA since he took over as Commish too. Clean up your back yard before working on your neighbors Rog.

  25. If the league wants to expand internationally they should start in Mexico. Drug dealers have a huge pile of disposable income.

  26. There are some dum@$$ NFL fans posting on here.
    Placing a team in London is a GREAT idea. The logistics will be challenging, but its a great idea.
    Football is the greatest sport there is, but it won’t be as great as it could be as long as its just an American game, an abnormality / outlier.
    All other major sports have started to spread worldwide.
    Having a team across the pond can be the beginning of football rising to world dominance.
    And it won’t be that tough to do. If you added another bye-week when they expand the season, you can have teams that travel to england have their bye week afterwards. Travel would be toughest on the England team itself, but its do-able.
    Football is a great game. Taking it to the world only makes sense. And there is a lot of money in it also.

  27. Another terrible idea from Goodell which is, unfortunately, what we have come to expect from the incompetent @ss. Every road trip that a London team takes will be longer than an East Coast to West Coast road trip for teams currently in the league. So they would be doing that at least 8 weeks of the season. Fortunately for that London team, with that schedule they would never make the playoffs, so at least they would not have to worry about playoff trips.
    If Goodell wants to make his first good decision since becoming Commissioner, he should hand in his resignation.

  28. Where would the new London team be ? AFC or NFC East, obviously. I’ll bet Dallas is thinking about that move to the NFC south. They would have to travel the farthest of all.

  29. Cleric John Preston, your logic is flawed. Yes, other major sports are spread world wide. But there are no world wide leagues. This would be like Liverpool or Man U moving to Dubai, or the LA Clippers relocating to China and staying in the NBA.
    If American football was popular enough, other counties would start thier own leagues and we could do a World Cup/World Baseball Classic type of tournament every few years. But it’s just not as accessable or popular as basketball, baseball, or soccer, no matter what us Americans think.

  30. Hey Cleric, it is not stupid fans but passion for what is ours! I hear a lot of “ifs” in your comment. Make your point but don’t crap on others about their passion for something! Should we change our NATIONAL anthem as well. Why not if it makes a few bucks? It only makes sense, right?

  31. They should move the eagirls to London. Same type of drunken, oafish “fans” with rotten teeth there as in Philthy so they’d be right at home. Have another cheesesteak, fat sweaty idiots.

  32. Cleric John Preston says: October 25, 2009 10:11 AM
    And it won’t be that tough to do. If you added another bye-week when they expand the season, you can have teams that travel to england have their bye week afterwards. Travel would be toughest on the England team itself, but its doable
    Mate, the league isn’t about to expand it’s potential revenue to incorporate 17 games for each franchise, then give 8 of those teams an extra bye week.
    That was my point earlier. If say, a team plays the London franchise before a bye week in week 4, but the team playing in week 16 in London have their bye week in week 17, I would say that put the second team at a disadvantage, personally. If you don’t give the team a bye week after travelling to the UK, you end up putting them at a disadvantage.
    Like I say, it’s the league’s integrity that is at stake. It’s a lot like the Cowboys scoreboard issue – at what point does all this ‘extra revenue’ turn the league into something that, at it’s substance, has compromised the foundations of the league to build an ivory tower.

  33. No English, Italian, or Spanish soccer team will entertain the idea of establishing a team here. Its ludicrous at best and delusional at worst. Goodell i hope you are not serious.

  34. Is this a joke? A team overseas?
    It’s the NFL not the IFL…. it’s americas game. Let them have soccer or whatever it is they like.

  35. Cleric John Preston says it’d be be great because there is alot of money in it, Hmmm…..for the owners, yes. And this is where RG is coming from. It would remove the owners of any foreign teams from the proposed goverment treasury department plan to have control over the pays of all executives that are regulated by the government and the “pay czar”! Is it possible that the owners are now worried that their executives will lose MAJOR salaires and have decided that the foreign option, where the feds can’t touch them look very attractive? Anti-trust laws would allow it to happen! Hmmm…..interesting timing there Roger, you no-good assine bum.

  36. Bad idea.
    This is just going to water down the NFL talent, and the travel will be brutal on the players.

  37. “Football is a great game. Taking it to the world only makes sense. And there is a lot of money in it also.”
    You obviously subscribe to the idiotic Goodell logic of ‘money first’, which is what all of us ‘dumb-ass NFL fans’ are up in arms about.
    When money is the sole proponent, a huge amount of integrity is lost. Going to a game is expensive enough. Buying jerseys and other NFL items is also expensive enough. The NFL doesn’t need any more money. They have a loyal, rock-solid, nationwide fanbase here in this country who have kept the league afloat for decades by spending their hard earned money. The NFL is not hurting in the slightest, at least not financially.

  38. doubtful pust. jones is already doing the “cha-ching” thing over all this.
    i think this is a bad idea. plus, an old saying was “america ceased to be good when it started to be great”.
    a man, and a league, has to know its own limits.
    stay out of europe. stay on this damn continent.
    and… while america is coming to resemble the @#$%hole mexico is, we dont have to let them in either.
    consider expanding to canada or merging with the cfl. that’s about as far as i would go.

  39. The NFL is in it for the money?!?!? OH MY GOD!!!! I HAD NO IDEA!!!! I thought they were totally in it JUST to please the fans!!
    Get real people. Anyone who doesn’t know that ANY sport isn’t about the money is a damn fool. The players themselves make millions of dollars a year, what do you think the league is out to do? The same damn thing.

  40. Regarding players forced to move – No one would be forced to move permanently to England. Off season work would continue to be done at a stateside facility, not in London. Players would share in-season living quarters much like they do at training camp. Teams would remain in the states when playing consecutive road games. It would not represent that much of a hardship or even change to routines. Eight games in the states, eight in London. The only thing is, why move a bad team to LA, a town that is notoriously indifferent to professional football product. LA loves their baseball teams and college football. Two teams have already moved AWAY FROM LA. The NFL money types covet large top ten market TV ratings, but what sucker will you get to lay out big for season tickets, PSLs, and gear for the priviledge of seeing the likes of the Jags or Bucs play anywhere regardless of whether it is the States or London? Dollars signs in the eyes seem to block clear thinking on the part of Goodell and others.

  41. The problem is this world has come down to profits and greed. All we see is companies going global to satisfy profits and big bonuses. Can we keep something American and expand teams in the good Ol USA! American Football is Amercian, stop this corporate greed and all this globalization. We are propping up countries that are against us in so many other ways. Next it will be China because it is a buck to be made instead of looking at reality about a government that wants nothing more than to topple us as a Superpower! Wake up America! This is no different than Wall Street corruption, it is all about Greed!

  42. The comments on this forum exemplify why 95% of people are horrible businessmen, and 49 out of 50 of you would be a failure if you tried to run a business. There’s a reason why Goodell is one of the most respected men in the eyes of some of the richest, most intelligent and most successful men in this country, and why he’s the commissioner of the most successful league in the world, and why he makes 1000x more money than most of you can ever dream of.
    The NFL is a *BUSINESS*. Can you little peasants comprehend that? Right now, the Jaguars, the Bills, and many other teams are failing miserably at what they were meant to do. They aren’t selling out, they’re losing money, they’re not making decent revenue off of ticket sales, stadium deals, etc. It’s not even a question that an owner of one of those teams would drop his pants and do an Irish jig to be able to put his team in London, one of the biggest, most populated cities, where his franchise would make literally 10 times, at a minimum, the amount of money they’re making now in Jacksonville or Buffalo or St. Louis, or most other places in this country. London is untouched, and has limitless opportunities to be exploited by football.
    Those of you arguing logistics are also just as stupid. Most of their home games would start at 6pm, which would be 1pm EST. Look around the league – how many teams start all 8 of their home games at 1pm? Many of them do, especially the ones who don’t get prime time games. It’d be practical and normal for them to start their games at 6pm local time, the same way the Chiefs or Titans or Rams start all their home games at 1pm EST (12pm their local time). The flight from the west coast to the east cost is 5-7 hours depending on the cities, which virtually isn’t any different than the flight across the pond, which I take regularly. From a logistical standpoint, there’s not a single issue other than primetime or Monday night games at home for the London team, which obviously wouldn’t be possible (and many teams don’t ever even have home primetime games in the U.S. now). If there WERE logistical problems with this, why would they continue to play games there and anticipate playing multiple games per season there? It’s the NFL’s way of showing that there aren’t any logistical problems, as anyone with a brain can see.
    From a financial standpoint, this is a brilliant idea. More than half the owners in the league would streak across their field naked during a home game if given the opportunity to move their franchise in London, where they and their franchise would become filthy rich. The NFL is a business, and this is a brilliant business move that would appeal to a base of 60 million people in England. Anyone with a business mind can see the potential in this. (I’m specifically referring to a current franchise moving there, not a new team being created there). I wouldn’t expect the rest of you to see that though.

  43. I am not a fan of the NFL or football in general, but the commissioner knows why only 40,000 or so people go to the games in these cities. Who can afford to go ? With the prices of tickets for even the nosebleed seats that are sky high, to the gouging you get for parking your car, and $4 or more for bottled water, it’s all about greed. I’m glad I live in a state (New York) where the football teams play in New Jersey. Let those suckers pay for the stadium in taxes. And most of the taxpayers can’t afford to get in because of more gouging in the corporate created PSL’s. Another F.U. to the fans.
    It’s not that the “NFL” market is saturated, it’s the fans in lower populated areas that have had enough. They are all tapped out and cannot afford more taxes for an 8 times used a year stadium and sick of the threat of a team moving if they don’t get a new stadium every 10 years. Los Angeles is doing it right. They don’t want to get stuck with a bill for a stadium, or team, that won’t bring them 1 extra dollar of revenue. All the owners want tax free deals and then run when they find something else.

  44. @Cleric John Preston …
    Interesting post for a “cleric.” You begin by casting stones–calling everyone with whom you disagree “dumb.” Then you proceed to argue in favor of world domination, greed, and forcing hardship on others (the players required to leave their home nation, culture, and extended families, then commute from London 8 times in 17 weeks to play a brutally physical sport).

  45. The NFL should be less concerned about reaching a saturation point–which won’t happen as long as the American population keeps growing–than destroying the product. The commissioner should read The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg.
    The NFL can export the game via lucrative television contracts and merchandising. Another option is to revive the European league. As others have posted, it created a farm system for the U.S. league without diluting the base product.
    I lived in the UK and they’re DEVOTED to soccer. They also have rugby and local variations (like Gaelic Football in Ireland). They consider American football a novelty, but most don’t understand the game. They don’t have the Pop Warner, jr. high, high school, and college system to develop home-grown talent. They’ll have to rely on importing talent from America. These players will be isolated in their franchise cities. They’ll have to leave their homes, cultures, extended families, put their kids in foreign schools. That’s a lot to expect of guys thrown into the situation by luck of the draft. Then toss in the pressure of commuting to the U.S. and other countries eight times in a 17-game season.
    Yeah, you can work out time differences for playing on Sundays. But when we’re kicking off Sunday night at 8:15 p.m., it’s 1:15 a.m. in London. Those fans won’t be watching Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night games.
    Doing this will be a cultural and logistical nightmare.
    Read up on that goose, Roger. (You, too, Mike.) Aesop was a wise man.

  46. Joe80..
    You must be one of the greedy, careless, self centered, egotistical, A**holes that only look at the almighty dollar. What are you, a bottom dwelling scum sucking CEO of some large corporation? It is not all about money Stupid! Let me know how much money you get to take with you when you die like the rest of us you jerk!
    I hope you read this you piece of cr**.

  47. @bwwalk & Joe80 …
    No, bwwalk, Joe80 is just a sad little guy who likes to pretend he’s a bottom-dwelling scum-sucking CEO–superior to the rest of the “little peasants” on this site who can’t possibly comprehend his brilliance. Unfortunately, his post proves he knows nothing about the UK or the actual market for American football in Europe. (Not to rain on your self-aggrandizement, Joe80, but real business tycoons rely on market studies rather than wild speculation to make those determinations. You wouldn’t have those numbers at hand, would you? Didn’t think so.)
    But, Joe80, do call me when the owners start streaking naked across their fields at the prospect of going to Europe so they can make money on their franchises. I’d love to see poor, poverty-stricken guys like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder rejoicing at their deliverance.

  48. This is the dumbest idea the league has had since moving the Pro Bowl from Hawaii to Miami and holding it before the Super Bowl!!! Way to guarantee that the players from the two best teams won’t participate. Maybe we can fill the roster spots with players from the London Whatevers….

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