John York: London Super Bowl and NFL team both "likely to happen"

A contingent of 49ers has spent time in London over the last few days, raising publicity for the team’s upcoming “home game” against the Broncos on Halloween.

“I was excited about coming here,” owner John York told Matt Maiocco of Comcast Bay Area. “I think we will
have a good home-field advantage here
in the UK. I was here for the [New England-Tampa Bay] game last year and there were a lot of 49er fans

The 49ers may be somewhat popular overseas, but we can’t imagine the crowd making much of a difference.  The Patriots are far more popular than the Bucs and the crowd in that game was lively, but hardly rowdy in favor of the Patriots.  It’s like a U.S. soccer crowd: no one knows when to cheer.

We doubt York’s assessment of the homefield advantage, but he’s the chair of the league’s international committee, so his words regarding the future of London’s role in the NFL is telling.

“There is easily enough of a fan base over here to stage two games a
season. I think eventually there will be a Super Bowl outside the U.S. I
couldn’t tell you when that would be. I can see it both ways. I’m not
sure what will be first, a Super Bowl over here or an NFL team, but they
both seem likely to happen.”

85 responses to “John York: London Super Bowl and NFL team both "likely to happen"

  1. I don’t think U.S. fans will appreciate a London Super Bowl. The NFL needs to remember where the fans are.

  2. So he says there is easily enough interest for two games a year. How much interest will there be for potentially 9 games a year?

  3. “I think eventually there will be a Super Bowl outside the U.S.”
    The Super Bowl needs to stay in the U.S.A. The event is ALL American….like apple pie and Chevrolet.

  4. I think both are stupid ideas. I know the NFL is all about money money money but the logistics of travel time, time zones etc. will be nearly impossible to ignore. The SB is the “greatest show in sports”….in America, but I can’t see American fans supporting a SB in England.

  5. I’m a foreigner and I do not want to see a Superbowl or an NFL team to London, or anywhere. It’s an american sport, not an international circus.

  6. All about the dollar signs…
    They will reget it if they hold a London SB.
    Sure, it may expand the audience, but at what cost? Just a slap in the face to the fans following the game for decades in exchange for trying to lure in a few more.
    What happened to the true NFL fans (let alone fans of the teams PLAYING) going to the game?
    The SB should be hosted by the higher seed – regardless of location.
    What happens the week after Seattle plays in London? Not fair.

  7. “It’s like a U.S. soccer crowd: no one knows when to cheer.”
    Oh please. Back in 1985 british fans might have been cheering punts but fans in the UK get a ton of games on tv and have a lot of knowledge about the game (and dont mis-report the ‘death’ of a HOFer unlike some websites)
    But i want the Superbowl to stay in the US and all the franchises. The UK might sell out the home games the first year, the second that team goes 4-12 then the fans will stay away. Fans have been supporting teams in the UK for 20+ years now, they wont want to go and see the ‘London Jaguars’ late on a sunday instead of watching their team online.

  8. Let’s hope you’re as wrong about this as you have been running the Niners since DeBartalo left.

  9. At least NBC and ESPN would not have to worry about carrying a game from London since I doubt they would have a game with a 1am start time.

  10. NFL must know something we don’t. They’ve discovered the Myans were right about 2012 and will award London a team once the Earth shakes to it’s core and the contenents shift…when it’s all said and done London will be located where Buffalo, NY is today!

  11. It’s pretty hard to piss off diehard NFL fans, but the commissioner has the brains to do it.
    All this is, is a ploy to NOT sell Superbowl tickets to the faithful fans who froze their asses off during the regular season.
    Ask Bob Kraft how many of the Superbowl tickets went to those loyal fans. He won’t even give that figure out!!!!

  12. Yeah I don’t see this happening. Players will struggle mightly with the time change and such. It’d be a rough go round for them.

  13. That will be a sad, sad day in the NFL if the Super Bowl is EVER played anywhere outside the U.S. However, a franchise in London would be pretty cool… London Raiders maybe? haha Al Davis is a big enough of jackass and I can picture him charming the hell out of some European women with his looks.

  14. so we see a direct correlation between west coast teams traveling to the east to play games and sub par records. yet they think having a team an ocean away will have good results. that team will be 3-13 every year. if they’re seriously going that route they should just play friendlies with CFL teams. do it like baseball does: if AL is home then both teams get a DH, if NL then pitcher hits. so if the home team is CFL then they play on a CFL field etc. keep in mind I realize that this idea is almost as retarded as an NFL team in England…

  15. The Super Bowl will not be played in Europe due to the time difference. The NFL and the networks want the game played after 6 PM Eastern that means the game would have to have a start time after midnight and I don’t think they want to play a game that late.

  16. Before London, the NFL should expand to Mexico and Canada, it will be much easier for teams, fans and players.
    The NFLs most stupid idea was, anyhow, to cease the NFL Europa, even though the lost 30millions a year, this is much more advertisement to the game than one game in England.
    And if the NFL wants to attract Europeans, they should go to central Europe, where the biggest and best football leagues are.
    Start with Germany, Austria and Sweden.

  17. How idiotic it’s called the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE for a reason, not the WORLD FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

  18. I haven’t watched baseball since the strike. I haven’t watched Basketball since the ref gave Jordan another ring in ’96. Hockey went on strike not long ago. If this happens I will have one less sport to watch on TV. Gonna have to find something else to do while sitting in my recliner and drinking beer. Maybe if I can kill a few more brain cells I can get myself to watch NASCAR, doubt it, but maybe.

  19. Likely to happen based on what?
    Reviving NFL Europa is the only credible idea as far as American football overseas goes. There is no realistic support anywhere in the NFL for a team overseas (even if one does develop it will be an expansion team because no existing team will move from its present location) or for more than the one game in London that is presently played.

  20. Roger’s wife (a class lady) just quit her job at Fox News to be a full time mom. If Roger wants to stick it to NFL fans in the US, she better consider she’ll need to go back to work.

  21. The Real Shuxion says: July 19, 2010 9:52 AM
    That game in Oakland is gonna suck for them. What is that, a 10 hour flight?
    I can hear the excuses already.

  22. If it does happen, this might be the only chance for the East Coast to have this thing wrap up before 11pm on a Sunday night. If not, they’ll be doing an 11:30pm kickoff, London time, to accomodate the 6:18pm EST we usually get. Either that or move it to a Saturday night, then I wouldn’t care if they played it in London or on Pluto.

  23. The day the Super Bowl is played in London will be the first Super Bowl I won’t watch since Super Bowl VI. I don’t care who’s playing. And an NFL team in Europe will kill my interest completely. As it is now we hear how hard it is for a West coast team to play on the East coast, so we’re going fly them an additional 4-5 hours?

  24. Damn it.
    Its just plain BS, all about the money and not about the real NFL fans.
    Leave the SB in the USA. I cannot stand the idea of pimping that American tradition to some other freaking country. When that happens I am done with the NFL. Dance with the devil mfers.

  25. Owners and the NFL don’t want to play in the frozen, cold weather venues for a Super Bowl but this fool is suggesting another country. Surely you jest.
    Football is America’s favorite sport, hands down. Why would any other country, including Mexico or Canada, be considered? Team owners and players live off the money spent by folks supporting their local or favorite team. If for no other reason than the economic benefit of holding the big game, the Super Bowl belongs in the good old US.
    I can’t believe this is an idea that would be supported by most owners or even the NFL. This is one idiot with a “brilliant” idea of a new football world that only he can see.

  26. Saying that the Super Bowl being held in a different country would be a slap in the face to the real fans is a joke. When was the last Super Bowl held that the average fan could attend, much less afford a ticket? The first one? The average blue collar fan won’t even get a chance to attend a Super Bowl in their lifetime because of the prohibitive costs surrounding such an event, so why should they care where it is held? The only way that I will ever be able to see a game will be to work for the league in some capacity, and then to be good at sucking up. Which I am not. I for one do not care where the Super Bowl is held. Right next door to my house. Or Seattle. Or Miami. Or London. It does not make a difference. I will never be able to afford to go anyway.

  27. # The Real Shuxion says: July 19, 2010 9:52 AM
    That game in Oakland is gonna suck for them. What is that, a 10 hour flight?
    I just did a search, and the shortest flight I can find between the two cities, is 22 hours not including any layover time. Yea, an NFL team in London is a terrible idea.
    A Super bowl in London? I’m not a fan of that idea either. The latest they could possibly kick off, is around 8:00PM London time. That means the kick off would be around 3:00PM EST and Noon PST. Living on the East Coast, that wouldn’t bother me all that much, but for those on the West coast, it would suck.

  28. Enough US cities without a team to even think of putting a team in England and for 8 teams a year to make trips across the ocean to play. Including west coast teams. Are these goofs for real?

  29. mrbr00ks, its not about the fans attending as it is the effect the Super Bowl has on the local economy. When this comes to a city special grants are given out for people to start local businesses and existing businesses take off as well.
    For the NFL to take this game away from the people and cities that made them rich would be a kick in the gut. It might not matter to you where the game is being played but there are thousands of business owners and a even more bartenders, waitresses and local street merchants that would tell you different. Keep the game in the USA, the people that made you rich deserve the opportunity to make some money.

  30. Only way you put a SB in London is if you have a full league worth of teams in England and their champ plays our champ.
    Anything less is ridiculous.

  31. Let’s hope the NFL really, really takes its time on this one. Let’s not force something down another country’s throat, unlike what the rest of the world does to America with soccer.
    Anybody notice how over the past 10 years there’s been an almost fanatical pace by the powers that be to make everybody in America love soccer, even though most really do not? Is this simply part of the new world order where everybody will eventually be the same, every form of currency eventually worth the same, everybody gets paid the wages, yada…yada…yada…??? Sounds pretty freakin’ scary to me?!?!?
    NFL Football belongs in America only. If you don’t understand this, you’re not thinking rationally.

  32. London Lymies? That has a nice ring to it…
    Roger get your sh*t together, the pure thought of this is ridiculous.

  33. I can see having a “Preseason Game” or two over there. Shoot – they can even have the “Pro-Bowl”. But once the NFL starts holding Super Bowls in another country. I will begin my boycott. The Super Bowl brings lots of money to the town that is hosting it. The money should remain in the USA, not exported to another country. Just like defense spending should be spent in America, not in Europe.

  34. wheres florios classic “london sillynannies”
    oh wait rosy wrote this.
    it would be awesome because london would explode with nfl followers and it would open up a lot of opportunities to spread the sport that is perfection. on the downside, a lot of these redneck country bumpkins who dont like them foreigner types that aint from round these parts and will be very not so happy if and when they watch AMURRICAN players play AMURRICAS game in the uk, not AMURRICA

  35. The NFL does not understand its own marketing!!
    NFL Europe started in several countries but eventually had German teams on the Rhine River, Amsterdam and Berlin.
    Why does the NFL ignore their German supporters?
    Why ignore Amsterdam?
    Plus if the NFL really was serious about Europe they would never have shut down NFL Europe.
    The NFL has treated Europe badly.

  36. We saw what happened when the London Silly Nannies led by Peter Griffin played the New England Patriots. Let this be a lesson in expansion overseas.

  37. Just bring back NFL Europe, it was a great development program. (Thanks for Kurt Warner success!!)

  38. I will never support a Super Bowl outside the USA. I won’t watch it, won’t buy any merchandise, and certainly won’t buy tickets. The Europeans can keep their own “football”. This is another revenue scheme by the league.

  39. Super Bowl stays in America, Period! Thats like having them play one of their stupid soccer championships over here, it makes no sense. As for a team over there, that’s dumb too. The travel would be rediculous, they would always be on the road going from one away city to the next. Who would want to play for a British team anyway. It’s always dreary and ugly out over there. Plus, they would teach our football players how to fall to the floor and act like they just broke an arm or a leg everytime someone touches them…panzies!

  40. Start another leauge to accomodate world football teams!!! As you can see it DID NOT work in Europe TWICE!!! Do NOT ruin the NFL with this NONSENSE Goodell!!!

  41. Half these yanks dont even go to the games, so I dont know what everybody is whining about. I’m fine with games being played in London but a superbowl is too much.

  42. The day the NFL plays the Super Bowl outside of the US is the day I cancel me season tickets of 28 years and counting.

  43. I am trying to decide which is dumber, the 18-game schedule, or this.
    No, it’s this. Just about the stupidest thing I have ever heard about the NFL.
    Why not have a Las Vegas franchise for the English Premier League? It makes about as much sense.

  44. @Adz
    You’re fine with it b/c you’re obviously a european… who the hell uses the term “yank” in the US anyway?
    I’ll tell you what… 1 way to ensure the superbowl never happens in England is for everyone to commit to boycotting it if they do decide to hold it across the pond!

  45. why are y’all getting worked up? how could one or two teams be based in Europe?
    the travel time and the time zone differences would be enough to kill this idea.
    the only way you get a team over there is if you have an AFL / NFL type thing and the two leagues battle it out in the SB at the end of the year.
    a Super Bowl wouldnt be all that tough to pull off logistically. not sure how warmly it would be received here, but if it could bring in more dollars it could happen.

  46. I wish I would have gone to Superbowl I, the tickets were only 10 or 20 bucks. I only lived 20 miles away but still didn’t go being as I wasn’t a fan of either team. If I would have had a clue I would have gone just for the memorbila and could have made a fortune and sold it all to be able to afford a ticket to go see the Niners beat the London Raiders!

  47. I’m British and London could sustain a team the traveling would not be an issue look at some of the traveling the teams do now.To have a super bowl in
    London would be a travesty though in fact if that ever happened the comish would have to suspend himself for four to six weeks

  48. The answer here is obvious folks. Make American football into an Olympic sport. I mean, the Olympics are boring as it is so why not add an actually exciting sport, as well as give the U.S. An automatic gold medal. This way we can keep it an American sport with the Superbowl still here at home and our Olympic team would only have dominate the Sillynannies every 4 years.

  49. Baseball seemed to survive expansion into Canada. We have even hosted a couple World Series games.
    I think London is a horrible Idea. Toronto would be perfect. Baseball is called America’s Game and we play it up here. Football has a longer history in Canada than in the states. Basketball was invented in Canada and Hockey rules up here. The CFL is like a farm league compared to the NFL but we would welcome a team. Toronto is the only city that could support a team. Just ask the former Vancouver Grizzlies NBA team. Its going to happen sooner or later. Check out the CFL on the NFL network this year. The season has begun. You might enjoy the no Fair catch rule or the 20 yard deep endzone. the field is 110 yards long and 10 yards wider. We play 3 downs not 4 and the footballs made of Snow. The funny thing is we could support a NFL team but our CFL teams Struggle .

  50. London Shaguars
    London superbowl would never happen unless they inlist a lotto to help teams & cities economy. We are a selfish nation we wouldnt give london all that revenue!

  51. I am English and I love the NFL but would hate to see a Super Bowl in London or a franchise moved here.
    The NFL needs to respect it’s national roots and the fans that have made it what it is and keep the teams in America.
    Everyone else can watch it on the TV and it will mean that we will have exactly the same experience as the majority of American fans. The NFL doesn’t have to export the actual games around the world. Just make it a damn site easier to watch on TV and the internet and the game will grow globally. It will probably never challenge association football (soccer) but the NFL would still be able to make millions of dollars in merhandising, broadcast rights, internet subscriptions and advertising without giving away a single game.

  52. Currently, there is no way a franchise could survive in the UK. There are thousands of passionate fans over here, but nowhere near enough to sustain a franchise. The London games sell out because they are still a novelty.
    American football was more popular over here in the late Eighties than it is now. The NFL threw away a good start by moving the TV coverage move on to subscription, satelite channels and they’ll never be able to grow the sport until they get back on free-to-air tv at a reasonable time of day.
    If they get football on to the BBC on early evening timeslots, and make the internet packages significantly cheaper so that children can afford them (or parents can buy them without feeling that their wallet has just been mollested) then in 20-50 years time they might actually be able to sustain a franchise over here.
    Otherwise, this just looks a negotiating ploy to keep American cities in fear of losing their franchise and reduce the fallout when one of the teams relocates to LA.

  53. Goodell is really starting to get on my nerves. This is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I hope it is a huge failure and Goodell gets fired.

  54. I watch the Super Bowl on TV every year so it could be played in Antarctica for all I care. As for international teams… do it. I love football and the more football the better.
    There is no reason to keep it “our” sport other than some stupid nationalistic reason. Like anyone gives a crap what country you were born in. Leave it to us Americans to be proud of something we had nothing to do with.

  55. The funny part will be when they try to have the game live at prime time. With a 5 hour time difference there are going to be some tired fans at the game. There is no way the SB will ever be in London…

  56. Didnt a british oil company just destroy an entire fishing economy in the gulf this year? Why would we allow a f’n superbowl in london if people r losing jobs across the entire gulf of mexico

  57. FumbleNuts says: “The Super Bowl needs to stay in the U.S.A. The event is ALL American….like apple pie and Chevrolet.”
    From A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, 1545: “To make pyes of grene apples – Take your apples and pare them cleane and core them as ye wyll a Quince, then make youre coffyn after this maner, take a lyttle fayre water and half a dyche of butter and a little Saffron, and sette all this upon a chafyngdyshe tyll it be hoate then temper your flower with this sayd licuor, and the whyte of two egges and also make your coffyn and ceason your apples with Sinemone,Gynger and Suger ynoughe. Then putte them into your coffin and laye halfe a dyshe of butter above them and so close your coffin, and so bake them. ”
    And your Chevy was assembled in Canada or Mexico, with lots of parts from South Korea.
    Or . . . was that your point and the [sarcasm] html tag failed?

  58. “Raiders757 says: I just did a search, and the shortest flight I can find between the two cities, is 22 hours not including any layover time. ”
    The flights back take much less time. Must be faster planes or something.

  59. Ok, we have the four new expansion cities now Commish can you get down to it please?
    Portland OR
    Las Vegas NV
    Los Angeles CA
    or maybe just replace London with another US city, like Salt Lake City UT

  60. Didnt a british oil company just destroy an entire fishing economy in the gulf this year?
    if you’re reffering to BP, i think you’ll find that 60% of its shares are owned by Americans. But if we’re doing the international blame game, wasn’t it the downfall of american banks which plunged pretty much most of the western world into a recession?
    as for London, i don’t see a Franchise being a viable option (though not because of distances; its 2 hours more from NY to london than it is from NY to SF at most and quite frankly, if you’re getting paid $325,000 a year MINIMUM, you go where you’re told to and if you don’t like it, you can quit and take up a real job where you get paid far less and treated far worse), at least, not for a long while yet. a superbowl though, yeah, why not. real fans won’t be able to go anyway, the teams will have 2 weeks to get ready for it so the whiney babies can get used to it and quite frankly, british fans have been forking out a fortune for merchandise – at least as much as Buffalo fans, if not more, i’d wager – so don’t give us some crap about it robbing the fans, because just because we don’t live in the USA, doesn’t mean we’re not fans.

  61. “Spaceman! says:
    “….because just because we don’t live in the USA, doesn’t mean we’re not fans.”
    Some of us are UEFA fans. Think they’d mind over there if the championship were played in L.A.?
    Yeah, I thought so. 😉

  62. NoHomeTeam………Or should I say NoBrainCells?
    My 1965 Classic Chevy Malibu was built right here in America you friggin’ moron.
    And apple pie…”Then putte them into your coffin and laye halfe a dyshe of butter above them and so close your coffin, and so bake them. ”
    Dude, put down your crack pipe and get some professional help!

  63. A super bowl in New England that will happen before one will be played in England.

  64. I’m from Toronto, Canada… A couple of things:
    As a die hard Niner fan, and a true enthusiast of the NFL – I really think that the game should stay in the States where it belongs..
    We get the Bills coming over to play in our city, and compared to Ralph Wilson, or any other American Stadium – the experience is not the same at all..
    In addition to the sport itself, the entire culture of the NFL is a sacred one – and that culture shows up in every parking lot at every stadium nation-wide, well before and after kick off.
    Tailgating is a joke over here. Our strict laws and regulations basically set u up for a DUI on your way out.. Located in the heart of downtown, there’s no room for fans to enjoy themselves prior to the game as they would in the states..
    I’ve been to stadiums from Philly to Seattle, Detroit to Texas and several in between – and one thing is always unanimous – the fans of any respective community – all share a bond inspired by the game – legends past, and future stars alike.. its a unity that transcends beyond the field of play, and it should be valued.
    I feel terrible for the Bills’ supporters who have to leave their home town, cross the boarder and drive far north to see their “local” team in action. Charging 3 times the price, and given that our dollar’s no longer a joke anymore – it’s quite a significant increase…
    As a Canadian, I am honored to take part in YOUR tradition as if it was my own – and am always welcomed all across the country – not because of my name, race, or religious philosphy – but that great American Football culture.
    Keep the games in the USA, where they are appreciated.

    w/ Peter Griffin playing umm whatever position
    he played in that episode.

  66. What division would a London team be in? If it’s just a team that moves, I still can’t see the London Jaguars being in the AFC South.

  67. Occam; quite frankly – and on a purely personal level – i couldn’t care :-p the odds of my team ever playing in a champions league final are about the same as Al Davis making a full and public apology to Lane Kiffin, admitting that he was wrong about JaMarcus and that he should have gone with Brady Quinn and that Kiffin was right all along.
    seriosuly though, i understand how it would piss the fans off, but if its for just 1 year, why not try it? i’d also wager – and this is pure conjecture, i admit – that theres more NFL fans in Britain that there are UEFA fans in the US.
    Purple; he played centre.
    Zane; i really wouldn’t worry about a franchise – at least, not for a long while. heres why; basically, its all down to the fans. now, i have been lucky enough to go to all 3 games to have been played at Wembley and will be going to the 4th. it was a fantastic experience (and to see Big Blue playing in the year we won the Superbowl is a memory which gets better and better with each passing day) and i’ve not met anyone who has been and hasn’t enjoyed it. the problem is, that at the moment, its a one off game. a considerable proportion of the fans are based outside of London (myself included) and on game day theres guys coming down from Birmingham, Manchester, even Scotland, then goign back up either after the game or – more usually – on the monday morning having stayed in a hotel. take into consideration the cost of a ticket, transport, a hotel, you’re looking at about £175 (and thats before you factor in booze and food) as well as round trips of anywhere between 4 and 24 hours. now, as a one off thing, no problem with it. as a regular thing… there it becomes a bit tricky. not because we don’t want to go, because believe you me, if we could we would, but logistically its a bit tricky (especially in this economic climate).
    2ndly; i’m a Giants fan. my cousins are Eagles and Falcons fans. my friends are packers fans and Panthers fans and Bengals fans and pats fans and we have been for years and theres the problem. i’m not going to give up supporting the Giants. my friends won’t give up supporting their teams. oh, we may adopt the london franchise as our second team and cheer them on against 31 of the 32 other teams, but if the London team plays NYG, i’m going to go with Big Blue.
    as an aside, in the old NFL Europe days, we had The Londan Monarchs. if there is going to be a franchise, i’d vote for sticking with that.

  68. PhD – better choices –
    Birmingham, AL (an actual football demographic) – Birmingham Vulcans
    Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma City Phantoms

  69. “Toronto would be perfect.”
    Uh, no. Toronto has proven it will not support NFL football, even for one game a year.

  70. It doesn’t matter if a Super Bowl is played on the moon. The average NFL fan nowadays can’t afford to attend anyway.

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