League expects London game to be a sell out

When trying to identify the various potential non-sellouts this weekend, we cast an eye to Great Britain.

Has the NFL moved all tickets to the game between the 49ers and Broncos to be played at Wembley Stadium?

Not yet.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora tells us that the league “fully expect[s]” all remaining tickets to be sold.  “Due to team and business partner returns this week,” Signora said, “we have a few hundred tickets for sale.  Sunday’s crowd will be more than 81,000, marking the fourth consecutive year attendance has topped 80,000.”

Whether the NFL can continue to attract that many people to more than one game each year in London remains to be seen.

Sending better teams to other countries would help.

54 responses to “League expects London game to be a sell out

  1. People are really whining because the NFL plays 1 single game in another country? You guys are like 5 year girls. Waaa Waaaa Waaaa.
    No wonder people think this country is a joke.

  2. As a huge NFL mark that just moved to England, this game does not intrigue me in the least and I won’t be going. I know of no one who is, or wants to go. There is really no buzz for this over here. Sure 80,000 is a nice figure but I don’t get where the NFL is getting its idea that it’d be viable to have more games or even a franchise in the distant future.

  3. Heading over from Dublin for the game. Can’t wait. Support neither team but to be seeing an NFL in person isn’t something I’ve wanted to do for years.

  4. If the end goal of this yearly game is to get the Brits as into the NFL as the US is, at some point you are going to have to send over two quality teams. It would be like English soccer trying to increase interest in the US by having a regular season match in New York between Wolverhampton and Stoke City, instead of Man U v. Arsenal.

  5. I’m all for sending teams over there, but one year it has to be good teams and a decent rivalry, the 49ers are awful this year and the Broncos aren’t much better…then again why give those fog-breathing limey bastards one of our best games? What have they given us?

  6. I agree with RedGoneWILD.
    Keep NFL in North America. Wasn’t there an NFL league in Europe? Didn’t it fail? So, why force it?
    It’s like that retard Gary Bettman trying to force hockey into places like Pheonix. It’s just plain dumb.

  7. Favre’s Excuses says:
    October 27, 2010 11:20 AM
    It already is a sellout, playing a game in london, that is.
    Very,Very Funny, yet sadly true.

  8. I aint going this year. we already have the circus over here in England, and the fact is the only thing interesting about these teams is the job security of the head coaches. I don’t need to fork out 100 quid for a ticket to follow that though. thats what pft is for.
    still, its impressive that 80,000+ tickets have been sold with such poor teams at such extortionate prices.

  9. If not will the NFL place the blackout rule in place for London ? If not how can they place on game here in the US

  10. what what a shootout, the 1-6 niners vs. a team that lost to Oakland by 50 pts.. have fun you limey bastards

  11. florio why not admit the obvious you hate the 49ers. you suggest changing the schdule midseason to suit ratings. its silly i mean this game was scheduled in the offseason no one had winning records then. i mean at the time san fran and denver were expected to make strides this year. san fran is 1 and 6 besides the sea and kc games they lost by maybe 3 points a game. what other 1 and 6 team has that lost margin. in other words if the ball bounced any other way they could be 4 and 2

  12. I was stationed in the UK for 3 years and getting to catch some NFL even though it wasnt my team was awesome, Giants and Dolphins would have been a snoozefest regardless of where it was played back in 07, and in 08 the Saints vs Chargers was a pretty high scoring affair that had the whole stadium excited. Now I live in North Dakota which not only offers no football but apparently thinks that snow in October is a good idea as well…

  13. Of all the retarded things the NFL has done in the last decade or so, forcing teams to play a regular season game in Europe, Japan, Mexico, Canada, etc. is the most absurd. It is such a blatant attempt at a cash grab it is almost sickening. I am all for the league making money but trying to “globalize the market” makes no sense. The europe league was a good idea to prep talent but it ultimately failed as a business venture. If the NFL insists on playing a game over there every year then why not make it the pro bowl (after the SuperBowl). They would likely get some interest just because of player popularity. Playing legit games away from NFL cities is bad for the game and an NFL franchise in ANY overseas market will never work…the only ones that do not know this are the ones trying to cram it down everyone else’s throats.

  14. “Sending better teams to other countries would help.”
    Really Mike? Inching Closer to that Matt Millen Status on your blog.. This isnt the WWE, They had no idea two teams who should have turned the corner would be this bad.

  15. I’d sooner get munsoned out in the middle of nowhere than watch Troy Smith and Singletary take on the Broncos…

  16. Not sure why anyone would blame the league for promoting itself globally. This to me is just good business sense. Only 49ers season ticket holders should have any legit complaint about this game being in London.

  17. Yeah, when the schedule came out they should have earmarked two quality teams like the Cowboys and Chargers to play.

  18. To be fair, many expected both these teams to be better. The 49ers were supposed to be the class of their division, no one thought they’d be a train wreck like they are.
    I personally don’t like sending our US teams to the UK. There are thousands of fans here too and most I suspect are a lot more interested in the NFL than Europeans are.

  19. Yes, the Brits will enjoy sitting in the stands complaining about how too many starts and stops, and too much disruption in the action. They won’t understand what they’re watching, but fun will be had by all. And the braintrust that is the NFL will decide this one-day event somehow means these futbol devotees are ready to support an NFL franchise full-time.
    Nevermind that such a franchise would have to be populated with American players since there’s no locally grown talent and won’t be without a PeeWee thru University farm system.
    Nevermind that time differences mean Sunday, Monday, and Thursday evening games would air in the middle of the night–so who’d watch?
    Nevermind that their culture is built around soccer, and our football will never replace that. It is a uniquely American game of Manifest Destiny.
    Yes, by all means, go forth, Emperor Goodell! Slay the goose that laid the golden egg: U.S. fans.

  20. Obviously Florio who just started following football in 2004 doesn’t recognize the 49ers still have one of the largest fan bases in the league and always do well at the ratings box.

  21. So, if it’s nota sellout, is it blacked out in both London & San Fransisco, since it is their home game? Still don’t like this idea. I’m sure I’ll be really pissed when I lose 1 of the 8 home games we get a year, when it’s the Ravens turn. This isn’t basebal where you have 81 games @ home, it’s football where there are only 8. I’ve liked Goodell as the Commish, but this is a wrong idea, unless you are going to send the teams over every year who can’t sellout their own stadiums.

  22. How is this suprising? For one there are enough transplants and secondly it has not been oversaturated enough yet so that you still have a novelty factor for enough people to go and see one. Kinda like Cirque de Soleil, whether you like the circus or not you may be intrigued enough to go see one or two.
    That does not mean that there is enough interest to sustain a team or more games. Because there is only one football king in Europe.

  23. I think one game a year in London, if the teams were actually decent helps the NFL. It would never start a franchise there, unless we invent a supersonic passenger plane and cure jetlag, but it does garner interest and sell apparel. Thus, more revenue for teams and the NFL. Anything so they quit bitching and get a cba done.

  24. The British equivalent of this farce would be like the EPL sending two bottom feeder teams such as Wolverhampton and Wigan Athletic to duke it out on American soil.
    Can you just imagine the type of excitement that would generate over here? I’m honestly surprised that they’re able to get 50,000 for this game, much less 80,000.

  25. thats right nfl,the biggest money maker over here.lets take our sport and make em play over the pond. instead of being so greedy try and help out the U.S.of A. first.i swear if there ever is a superbowl over there i will burn all nfl items and find something else

  26. @ Deb
    ” They wont understand what theyre watching”
    Typical american ignorance. Id suggest you take a look on the NFLUK website. You would be surprised to know that we are just as knowledgeable on the game as you yanks.

  27. I don’t think most people over here want a franchise in the UK, I for one don’t.
    The main issue is – who is going to support them? People in the UK already follow teams (mine being the Ravens) and there is no way I would suddenly start supporting a British team instead. It’s just not a sensible idea and i’m astonished that it keeps getting brought up again and again by Goodell and the NFL press in this country.
    NFL doesn’t receive a huge amount of media coverage over here, but it is growing. The main sports channel dedicates (and has for a number of years) 6 hours on a Sunday afternoon to the sport as well as lot of additional programming through the week.
    A hell of a lot of merchandise is sold over here at the games and this Saturday; Goodell, John Elway and Jerry Rice (and a lot of others) are holding a fan rally in Trafalgar Square – which will definitely get a lot of press interest.

  28. gwylie1 says: October 27, 2010 11:17 AM
    The Brits got to love going to a game with Troy Smith starting for the Niners.
    First of all, you act like they know who Alex Smith is, or even David Carr…. which is the only way they would know the “starting QB” isn’t playing.
    Guess what, they have no idea who most of these players are.
    But if I had to choose between watching Alex Smith or Troy Smith… I’m going to choose Troy Smith every time. So they’re actually getting the better talent even though they probably have no idea who EITHER of the guys is.
    I was glad to see this wasn’t being forced on to my local channels… but now that news of Troy Smith starting has emerged, I actually WANT to watch the game.

  29. They day I, a season ticket holder, am told I will only see 7 homes games because 1 is in London I will lose my f’n mind.

  30. @Adz …
    I used to live in the UK and was constantly bombarded with the same questions over and over. For every fan who studied the game, I encountered 30 who found it excruciatingly slow and were extremely impatient with the stops and starts. So I was speaking from experience, not ignorance.
    And your comment about “typical American ignorance” perfectly sums up the general British attitude I encountered toward all things not British–and especially toward Americans.
    Since Britain has no internal resources to provide players for a British team, I resent that providing one would further strain the already thin population of top-level American football players in the United States. You’ll just have to excuse me if I don’t wish to dilute our sport for the entertainment of people who find us “typically ignorant.”
    And though “yank” is the common way you lump us all together, I am a Southern American and no damn Yankee.

  31. I’m surprised the Yorks didn’t force season ticket holders to pony up for the London game. No different from making them buy preseason tix….

  32. A lot of you Yanks seem to think us Euro folks don’t know anything about the game.
    Some lad said we “wouldn’t know who the starting QB is for the 49ers anyway?” Dude, don’t comment in something you don’t know about.
    American football is growing more and more popular each year. We have easier access to viewing games now that channels like Sky Sports, Channel 4 show the games. We can also get ESPN over here.
    There are also amateur leagues in most countries in Europe. Our Irish national champions recently competed in a challenge cup with teams from Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. I don’t think the game is popular enough over here to maintain a pro league let alone a franchise but don’t for a second think we are all ignorant to US sports.
    Go to the NFLUK website… believe me, there are a lot of fans over here. Sure there will be people attending the game for the novelty factor but they will be in the minority… I can’t imagine someone shipping 100 quid for the novelty.
    Don’t comment on things you know nothing about, it shows ignorance.
    I, like the majority of the 80,000+ people, am thrilled to be able to see an NFL league game in person, and there are thousands more gutted that they are not able to go.

  33. Deb, that was the perfect response to an arrogant Limey. Well done. I used to live in Manchester for about a year and experienced much of the same resentment and outright snotty attitudes towards Americans and America. There’s a certain level of pompous arrogance the Brits hold towards Americans because they’ve been long surpassed by a former colony.
    Enjoy the game you Brits. We’re just sorry we didn’t send you Subjects better teams to watch.

  34. By the way, Yanks isn’t meant as a derogatory term. Please don’t take it that way. It’s just a general term we use. And not tied to north v south etc…

  35. We saw how empty the Tampa stadium was last week over here. Bringing a game here can be a big money spinner for some teams. Some teams can take advantage of our enthusiasm.
    @Deb… Anyone that has paid to travel to London and for a ticket is going to know the rules. Sure, the game is currently a bit of a subculture at the moment, but exposure changes that.
    I personally contribute at least £300 in tickets and merch (not just at Wembley, saw the Jaguars at home earlier this year) every season to the NFL that it wouldn’t have previously gotten. That’s got to be a good thing, right?

  36. @FugDuggles …
    You said “Our Irish national champions …” Are you Irish or British? My comment was directed toward the British guy talking about the typically ignorant Americans. I have no problem with the Irish. In fact, if you’re Irish, I’m sure you’ve experienced plenty of the same treatment granadafan and I are referencing. I have met some lovely British people, but many do have a lot of derogatory things to say about America and Americans.
    Yes, I know “Yank” isn’t meant as derogatory. But that was what I always said when it was used 😉
    I’m glad you enjoy our sport, and I enjoy hearing from people like Ravensatron who want to enjoy our sport without disrupting the NFL. My chief problem is with Commissioner Goodell and other shortsighted league officials who’d destroy the NFL trying to force something they failed to do with the European league.

  37. @ Deb
    I was referring to the “they wont understand what they are watching” and the whole “not knowing who the start for SF is” comment. My whole post was too simply point out that there are fans and the sport is getting much more popular each year. There probably will be newbies attending the game but the majority will be fans of the teams/sport.
    This International Series is good exposure for the sport over here, even though it’s not great for the home fans of the participating teams.
    The whole thing about the “2 bad teams” can’t really be an issue as these two teams were chosen months ago. But if they sent over a big rivalry game then the home fans would be mega pissed off. As I imagine would the networks.

  38. @FugDuggles …
    Well, I’m sorry for assuming most wouldn’t understand the game, but as I said, that was my experience. But I have to say, that’s also my experience with a lot of casual American fans. It’s a complex game 🙂
    @NachoNovo …
    It’s wonderful if you’re like Ravensatron (see his post above) and just want to enjoy American football as it is. And I’d have no problem with the NFL reviving the World League of American Football, which had American teams throughout Europe. My problem is with Commissioner Goodell’s long-range plan to expand the NFL into Canada, Mexico, and the EU.
    My problem is that it’s not doable. We don’t have enough top-caliber players to stock that many teams. We’re not producing enough QB talent to cover even half the 32 teams we have now–at least not QBs that can play at championship level. Time differences will make it impossible for EU fans to follow our Sunday, Monday, and Thursday night games. The World League went broke. But the NFL is willing to gamble with our principal league??
    Heaven forgive me, but I’m beginning to think of Roger Goodell as football’s version of the bubonic plague.

  39. Its good to expand the league and the followers. But how many of the Brits will come to the states to watch a game? probably not that many. But the NFL would receive revenue in apparel sales all year long across the world. It makes sense for the NFL but not for us fans.

  40. @ Granada
    Arrogant Limey. How am I arrogant? I was just making a point. I’ve got nothing against america or americans. However when you get the likes of morons like Brian Baldinger saying the Brits havent got a clue about this game really annoys me. What does he know!!!

  41. @Adz: your statement of “typical american ignorance” is absolutely arrogant. If you don’t like being classified that way then don’t make those types of statements. You cannot honestly believe that a vast majority of “Brits” are well versed in the players and rules of NFL football. I am sure there are many Brits, like yourself, that are but they are no doubt the minority. The point has never been that Brits won’t like or support an NFL football game; it is that they are incapable of sustaining that support beyond a couple novelty games. The EU league failed financially. It was a good league to develop talent but it was not viable as a business venture. Bottom line: an NFL franchise in europe will not be successful and playing regular season “home” games overseas is unproductive. If the league wants to promote the game and sell gear, then play the pro-bowl in europe 2 weeks after the superbowl. There will be a watered down version of the game (but that’s the way the regular games are heading anyway) but the popular players will be seen by the “global market”

  42. @FinFan6886 …
    The Pro Bowl would be a great idea if the UK has an indoor venue. London in Feb. is not a place for an outdoor game.
    It’s just happenstance that this year’s regular season game involves two teams with little playoff potential. One of these days they’re going to schedule my Steelers for one of these idiotic regular-season outings, and then it will be time for someone to crack Goodell over the head with a frying pan.
    I don’t want my team’s season disrupted by jetlag and a screwed-up practice schedule. And for what? As Ravenstron said, serious fans across the pond are fans of our teams playing on our fields. Incorporating a UK team into the NFL simply is not viable. And doing anything that might cost my team a game is not acceptable.

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