Expansion team could be coming in London


The NFL has said it’s not interested in expanding to put a team in Los Angeles.  But the NFL could be interested in growing by one in order to put a team in London.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported during Sunday NFL Countdown that the team that eventually is placed in London could be an expansion team.

Mort also said that the base of operations for a possible developmental league that would play at a single location on the East Coast would also serve as the home away from home for the London team, when it could come to the United States for two or three road games at a time.

The possibility of an expansion team in London raises the question of whether it would be one team or two teams that would be added to the league at that point, expanding to 34 teams — and screwing up the current format of four teams and eight divisions.

62 responses to “Expansion team could be coming in London

  1. Alot of discussion for a franchise in a country which gets 120,000 viewers for the top rated live (NFC) Championship game.

    Seems to me something doesn’t add up.

  2. haters gonna hate. Wembley might not be sold out but 75,000 seats are gonna be filled. considering Tampa’s stadium can only seat a little over 65,000 that’s pretty good. the largest NFL stadium is the Jets/Giants stadium. It can seat up to 82,000. Wembley when you combine sitting and standing can fit 105,000, if you only count seats it can sit 95,000. If a team can move there and sellout every game then they are gonna make some money!

  3. Terrible idea on two levels: messing up the Perfect 32 league and putting a team outside of North America. I could see maybe involving a Canadian city at some point, but not Mexico or in Europe.

    If they want to play in Europe, why not create a new league? Oh wait, that already failed because not enough people over there were interested.

  4. Between the kickoff rules, the excessive penalties for defensive roughness, and now this, it is clear the NFL does not believe in the concept “don’t mess with a good thing”.

  5. Why should London get a football team before L.A. does?? I’m European myself and the people over there don’t give a rat’s you know what about American Football. They have their Futbol. You have to think about the traveling of the teams, and who would want to get drafted by the “London IDKs” and have to move there and change their whole lives. The NFL is trying to hard to expand to other countries, how bout we start with Canada first….

  6. I’d rather not see a team in Europe at all.

    But it means more TV dollars and more jersey sales.

    So, are you ready for some…

    fish and chips?

  7. What a DISASTEROUS idea and concept that strictly is formulated on GREED by NFL corporate and opportunities to entrench further their hands into the pockets of an unsuspecting European economy.

    It’s all about the dead presidents.

    The NFL tried to rake in some euros with NFL Europe after the World League of American Football earlier successes, but it, too, eventually flopped due to lack of interest outside of Germany and racked up over $30M in debt annually for the NFL.

    Additionally, not enough players were making the transition from NFLE to the NFL.

    Travel would be a killer and bye weeks would be necessary, but it is a pipedream at best.

  8. Why? Football has never been more balanced..for 1 division to have 5 teams, and to have to fly to London every year, would just be lousy.

  9. That would suck 😦 The current format for the league 8 divisions of 4 teams with the schedule rotation system they have is basically perfect. Why screw it up?


  10. It has been well documented how poorly west coast teams play when they travel across multiple time zones. How well would a London team do when they have that travel schedule for every road game?

    Besides, in this economy, do you really want to be shipping more jobs overseas?

  11. I’m a transplanted American who’s lived here in London since 1994. I have always maintained that London could support an NFL team simply because fans from throughout the continent–Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium have made the trek to see the International game every year. Plus, we do see NFL games over here on Sky and on the terretrial channel, 4–and we get a 9pm (4pm EST) game on BBC 5 Live radio.

    However, as a long term entity, I don’t think an NFL team in London is a good idea. What drives the NFL? The TV contracts. What happens when NBC and ESPN want to put them on SNF and MNF? All such games would have to on the road–hardly fair to them. All of their home games would have to be played between 6-9PM local to jive with TV programming. Logistically, it would be a nightmare. Teams coming over would have to have their bye week after coming to London–they would have to leave on Monday, arrive on their day off on Tuesday and then catch a morning flight back to the States on the Monday after the game.

    I just don’t see it working.

  12. Im not buying it.The league is perfectly symmetrical with 32 teams They will not screw up the schedule process by adding a team or two. You know they arent going to add 8 teams.

  13. And would the blackout rule apply to the London team? Good luck trying to sell a product in a new market when you punish them for not selling over 80,000 tickets every week.

  14. Ok, say they put a team there. London Jaguars? London Bucs? London Vikings? London Bills?

    Who is going to play there? The much higher cost of living, and MUCH higher tax rate will deter any free agents. The large number of felons in the NFL will not be allowed in the country.

    What about the time difference? Isn’t London either six or seven hours ahead? So every home game is to be played at 7 pm? Travel time? The team will have to fly 12+ hrs for west coast games?

    This will not work. For anyone.

  15. Let’s say this does happen. How many Eli Manning type incidents would we see where a player drafted by the London Redcoats refuses to play there because he does not want to be relocated across the Atlantic? Having to play in London would significantly effect the “outside of football” lives of these players, as they would be away from family and friends for a large period of their lives during the season. It would almost be impossible for the London team to compete due to free agents refusing to sign there, and draft picks not wanting to play there. It’s hard enough already for an expansion team to build up a competitive franchise in this league, so I do not see this idea working out in any way.

  16. Aside all of the obvious reasons fans wouldn’t like this, it doesn’t make any sense to have a team that faces such a massive disadvantage in terms of jet lag on every road game and such an advantage over its visitors. Sure the nfl is a business but it’s not a typical biz and Goodell foolishly thinks he can run it like a typical one. It’s the mindset that if you’re not growing you’re dying. Often when a business grows, its established customers (in this case fans) suffer as the business’s resources and attention become spread more thin and quality suffers (see Toyota for example). In the case of pro-football, you have a hyper sensitive, easily put off fan base that has a lot of competition for their interest. This is just an obviously bad idea.

  17. Expansion is useless. It will water down the league.

    How can you expand by 1 team?

    London Jaguars

    Los Angeles Raiders(AFC)

    Los Angeles Vikings(NFC)

    It will be easy to remix the divisions with these moves.

    AFC South

    AFC North
    New England
    New York

    NFC West
    Los Angeles (Vikings)
    San Francisco

    AFC West
    Los Angeles (Raiders)
    San Diego
    Kansas City

  18. here’s a compromise. keep the Vikings in Minnesota. Place expansion teams in L.A. and London. Then if the London team isn’t working out after 5 years, move their team to L.A. as well. there ya go. problem solved.

  19. Seriously, how can this work? Unless the NFL wants to buy all the discontinued concords to get the London team across the ocean in 2-3 hours, then this will never be fair competition.

    On top of that, how do you break down 33 or 34 teams. In order to be balanced you need to be at least at 36 and that is way too watered down. Imagine who would be starting on the bottom four teams that would be added now. A quarter of the teams already have weak QBs.

  20. With all of the ugly toothless people over there they should send the packers to london. The fan base would be nearly identical!

  21. There are plenty of US cities that could use the economic lift of a new NFL franchise. 1st la, then los Vegas, san antanio, and Portland to name a few. I’m not in favor of any expansion 32 is a nice number and la can be filled by Minn, Oakland, SD are all good guesses to move. My guess la get ready for the return of the rrradiers……. London just enjoy ur one game a year but putting a NFL team there is just as insulting as the idea of putting an premiership team in ny.

  22. What seems strange about this is not the idea of expanding to Europe, but the idea of locating that expansion in London instead of a German city.

    London hates American Football: the London/English Monarchs were the first NFL Europa (WFL) franchise to fold, dying by 1998.

    Germans love American Football: by 2007, when NFL Europa folded, it was down to 5 German and 1 Dutch team, and ALL of the German teams had growing attendance.

    I don’t understand–if the NFL wants to expand to Europe, why not go to that part of Europe that will actually watch and support the NFL?

  23. Hey look, the sky is falling!
    It would seem that a team in London would be the end of civilization as we know it based on the silly commentary here.

  24. @johnnyb1976

    because mexicans are poor and couldn’t afford to go to games, and because Canadians are Canadian.

  25. You cannot place a team in LA so long as current NFL teams play in older stadiums. You need LA to extort cities.

  26. I think a developmental team, or even league in London would be cool. But it just seems like any London based team would just struggle due to their outrageous travel requirements. The stats all point to the same thing when it comes to teams traveling to a different coast. Going back and forth to London seems like it would be 10 times worse than that. I’m not as vermantly opposed to a team in London or expanding the league. But I do want every team to have a reasonable chance at success, or else the entire league loses meaning.

  27. If they’re not putting a team in LA but want one in London, and having an odd number of teams seems out of the question, does that mean one team gets contracted if the team in London is an “expansion” team? Wouldn’t that equate to a team moving?

  28. Goodell is going to try and ruin the NFL
    32 teams is perfect
    16 game regular season is perfect
    Relax the penalties on hitting. Football is a physical sport.
    I pray Roger Goodell doesn’t get his way. He needs to realize expanding just to expand is not a good thing. Look at all these banks that just kept growing and growing. Eventually they failed.

  29. But a 34-team league would essentially force the adoption of an 18-game schedule because there is no way to preserve the neat rotation of every team playing every other team every so many years (at least once every three years for non-division opponents within the same conference, and every four years for inter-conference matchups) with 34 teams playing only 16 teams.

    If you don’t believe me, sit down one night with a pencil (don’t even dream about using a pen) and a notepad, and try it. I have.

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