NFL’s London chief says league is one step closer to putting a team there

From 2013 to 2016, London will have a team of its own.  Kind of.  For one game per year.

The man who runs the league’s London operations says that the decision to bring the Jaguars (Shaguars) to Wembley Stadium annually for four straight seasons is the next step toward putting a team in London, permanently.

“I think the first chapter has been considered a success with the owners voting on a renewal going forward. Jacksonville returning is also a sign of maturity of the concept,” Alistair Kirkwood told Reuters on Thursday.  “What this now does is allow us to test if we can bring in more new fans and boost a single team recognition.

“Once that period has come up we will then have learned an awful lot about it and know what the viability for us going forward is and then be in a great position to make a call [on a London franchise].”

Way back in 2009, Peter King reported that the next step in the process indeed would be sending the same team to London for three or four straight years, allowing that team to build up a fan following.

The unanswered question, then, is whether the team that builds a following becomes the most logical team to move.  Jaguars fans would be wise to hope that their team doesn’t build much of a following in London.

82 responses to “NFL’s London chief says league is one step closer to putting a team there

  1. It’s called the National Football League for a reason.

    Globalism applied here will irreparably destroy that unique sense of Americanism that is the NFL.

  2. The team would need to be a fairly good team to build a fairly big following in such a short time with so few games being played in London.

    One thing for the Jags, they’ll probably get their biggest home crowds of each year in London. If the Jags are going to move though, I’d think L.A. was the more logical location, not London.

  3. Putting a team in England permanently is a terrible idea. Teams on the West coast already have issues with the travel to the East coast. How is making them cross the pond going to make things any easier? Hell, put a team in Hawaii first. At least there the weather is good.

  4. Will American Fans of this American Football Team still be expected to sell out 85% of their home stadium in order to avoid a blacked-out telecast of their favorite team’s “home game”?


  5. I would love to have another Austin Powers movie, give Will Farrell a larger role. Add Paul Rudd, maybe Jonah Hill to the cast. MOVIE GOLD. Sorry for the off topic comment.

  6. Stop it! Cut it out! This has gone on longer than it should. Screw GB! We don’t need a NFL Team in London. Logistically, it’s flat out retarded.

  7. With new ownership, I don’t see the Jaguars moving anywhere as long as the team can start building some modest success to prevent the further erosion of its fan base. On the other hand, if the team doesn’t improve on the field and its fan base continues to deteriorate, the chance of a move becomes greater. Where the team is located five years from now is more dependent upon improved performance and game attendance than any external factors.

  8. Why not try Toronto or Montreal first? They are actually not half the world away and would more than likely have a lot more football fans than any place in Europe could offer.

    Canada just seems like a more logical first step for trying to break into another countries market.

    That jet lag is going to be killer for these guys and I can’t imagine a lot of them will want to live in Europe where our brand of football isn’t exactly as popular as Goodbell wants us to believe.

  9. Oh no!!! As a Jags fan I’m quivering in my boots!!!! Gimme a break. I didn’t see all of this attention when STL played some games there. I gotta hear this stupid rumor craop for four years, great! Let me know will London has an ironclad Jags fanbase of 20K, oh no, we are definitely in trouble now…..

  10. It will never work because of the jet lag. Teams have a hard time playing well when they have to fly from the East Coast to the West Coast, and now you expect them to fly to London? The home team will have a huge advantage in every game. The London team will have the same problem when they come over here. The London team would be 8-8 every year.

  11. This is the dumbest idea ever to have a permanent team in London. This is the NFL, not the IFL (Internation Football League). Keep our teams in the US. They, and every other country, can watch it on DirecTV. If I was a season ticket holder, I would be pissed to only be at 7 home games instead of 8.

  12. Why is the NFL so insistent an ruining the league. The sport has never been more popular just leave it alone; a team in Europe is ridiculous. We don’t need any new teams or a team in London. If Jacksonville can’t support the team move them to L.A.

  13. This sucks. I don’t want London to have a NFL team. The league is big enough as is!!!!!!! It is all about money with these people, this will ruin the product.

  14. Kahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhns…..

    Plan all along is to hijack the mighty American team for the British Empire.

    Bloody hell

  15. When is someone going to ask the million dollar question..

    What happens if the players refuse to move or play for a London team. I am sure there is going to have to be some kind of deal made with the players union or they are going to tie this up in court. Forcing players to move to another country is not gonna fly with some of them. I know If i was a player on that team I would refuse the relocation.

  16. I ask this question on every “NFL to London” post:

    What is Goodell going to do about the fact that sports betting is legal in London? Does he think he’s going to tell the Government of the UK that they have to ban sports betting? Is he going to sue them?

    And if he doesn’t do those things, doesn’t that make him little more than a hypocrite willing to suspend his supposedly steadfast anti-gambling stance in order to cash in on the European market?

  17. LOL at the Jaguars being the team to send over there. If Goodell wants some fanfare, why would you send over the worst team in the NFL? Also, putting a team there would be a logistics nightmare. Every week having a team fly to London or that team flying to the U.S. and back. Talk about jet lag.

  18. Sorry, but this is an American game and doesn’t belong anywhere else. I will be done with the NFL if they move an existing team over there.

    The only possible way it could work is to have two expansion teams in London and have home and away games two weeks in a row for the traveling team, and then a bye week.

  19. Taking the NFL into Europe is going to be very difficult. You can’t do it one team at a time. That might would work in Mexico, Canada and South America because we share time zones. You can’t just take one London team and drag them in and out of North America each week. Too much jet lag and if you don’t believe that you’ve never had jet lag.

    Europeans don’t care about American football and their high schools can’t afford the pads, helmets etc. that would be necessary to inculcate their culture(s). Oh, and by the way, what about those 3,000 concussion suits?? Does that make Ingrid in Belgium want to send her young son Hans out to be an NFL player? No. No it doesn’t.

  20. This has always seemed like a horrible idea to me.

    They should just put together the NFL minor league like Florio said in his article yesterday; and they should let some of those minor league teams be international.

    Wasn’t the NFL trying to put a pro team in Mexico also?

  21. They need to get that sonic waver rider figured out so you can get from NY to London in an hour. Otherwise, this really doesnt make a whole lot of sense. Too brutal for the traveling team.

  22. Reminds me of when the CFL put a couple teams in the USA. No staying power and people here just didn’t care enough. It’s too costly to do this in these economic times, besides it being just a dumb idea.

  23. dtob79 says: Aug 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    Goodell just won’t let this thing die, will he?
    Fixed it*
    Goodell just won’t die,will he?

    All jokes aside,this is a horrible idea all around for fans & players.
    Too many problems go with this move.
    Jet-lag & sports gambling in the UK are the two major issues.
    I’m not a fan of any team losing a home game to cater to this ploy for money either.
    The ONLY motivator in this is $$$$.
    How else would you justify the Seahawks,Chargers,etc making this trip?
    Let’s concentrate on filling the stadiums here first!

  24. London already has multiple football (soccer) teams playing in arguably the best league in the world (BPL). No way the NFL can compete with soccer there, or anywhere else outside of the north american continent.

  25. As a jags fan I will have to admit I am a bit worried about the long term plans that Kahn has for our team.

    If it were just about money he would certainly move the team to a larger market someday. The team would be worth twice as much as he paid for it if he moved to say LA or London.

    The one thing that continues to bother me is the perception that jax doesn’t support the jags. The jaguars haven’t had a game blacked out since the 2009 season. They are consistently in the top of the league in attendance. People have to realize even with the tarps the jags stadium has a larger seating capacity than lots of teams in the NFL

  26. What a dumb idea. Everyone knows there is only one football they care about over there and the NFL couldn’t even come close to touching their football fanwise

  27. If they get one of our NFL teams, we get one of their EPL teams. We’ll take Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City, or Chelsea for Jacksonville, St. Louis, or San Diego.

  28. Most likely Division if the Jags move would be the AFC East made up of London, New England, Jets and Bills with Miami moving to the AFC South in place of the Jags. Geographically it would make the most sense.

    Still a VERY stupid idea, but we are dealing with and idea that originated with Roger Goodell……

    What else would you expect.

  29. Yeah, because the World League was such a smashing success. Hey Rog, people in England don’t give a damn about football. Why do you insist on trying to make them like it? It’s like sending Islamic missionaries to Salt Lake City.

  30. The appetite for the game over here is incredible. We will deliver an 80,000+ crowd that weekend, all paying at least $80 per ticket + most of them will be at an organised tailgate (party) beforehand where we will all spend at least another $80. This will also be shown on live TV across the whole country with a massive marketing spend behind it.

    On the other hand you could have a blacked out game in St Louis or somewhere where about 50,000 people come and then moan about how bad everything is.

    If you want your team to play in the US, go and watch the game ffs.

  31. I’m a 30 year NFL fan, living in London. I have been a Bengals fan thru thick and thinner since Anderson to Collinsworth in the 80’s..

    Putting a franchise in London simply will not work IMO, simply because most NFL fans in the UK already follow a team. I follow the Bengals simply because it was the first US city I ever visited. Why would I pay to watch the Jags once, never mind 8 games a year ? I watch the Bengal games thru ‘Game Pass’, and don’t watch Jags games even though I could for free.

    I however do like the idea of playing an extra 17th regular season game in neutral venues, followed by the bye week to allow players to recover.

    The players want more money, their agents want more money, the owners want more revenues, sponsors and TV companies can’t get enough NFL.

    Something has to give here, and playing an expanded regular season with an increased roster seems to me the least painful option.

  32. If they want to expand, do it in Canada first. Is the NFL stupid? There is a huge following here, we have our own league, our high schools and colleges play the sport… I don’t understand sometimes.

  33. They shouldn’t put a team there until every American team wins, or at least gets to a Super Bowl.

  34. Was the head of London operations already in a straightjacket when he made these remarks, or was he put in one after making them?

    And a show of hands if you’d love to have that job. They play one game there per year and they need a full-time executive to oversee it?

  35. Shaguars (nice!) to London?

    If there’s one thing that won’t change, it’ll be the level of dental care evident in the stands.

  36. Considering the 50% (and soon to climb) tax rate there – and considering the hassle of being far away from family and non guaranteed nfl money, what player in their right mind would want to play in the UK?

  37. Good send england the jaguars then tampa and miami can fill their stadiums with season ticket holders lost since the jags were born!!!

    Win win

  38. Whyyyyyyyyy does the NFL have a London chief?? What exactly does he do?? The whole concept is dumb and stupid. I’d like Goodell to read all of these comments.

  39. I’ve not done a poll or anything, but I’ve met enough English people to know that American football is barely on any of their radars.

    I think this is a ploy to get a US city to build a stadium for the Jags/Rams/Chargers or whichever team the NFL is “seriously” considering sending to London.

  40. You know, you read posts on message boards like this, and all you see are idiots trading childish insults or pathetic hater trolls. EXCEPT WHEN THE TOPIC IS HAVING A NFL TEAM IN LONDON!!! Then everyone agrees on how much they DON’T want to see it! Pay attention Roger!!

  41. I am based in the UK at present and as much as I love the game, the idea of having an NFL franchise in London is an unreal concept. There is a hardcore following for American football in the UK, but as has been stated before the fan base for teams is set and I could not see how the Jaguars could get a following…..This is not about the growth of the game internationally but like has been said many times, MONEY! If however Goddell and Co do want to set up a franchise the. The most logical choice would be the New ENGLAND Patriots……it’s in the name, baby!

  42. I am born and raised in UK and this is a bad idea. I support the eagles,buy the shirts,follow every news site and have game pass to watch them every week,but this is the NFL the clue is what the N in NFL stands for national.what next the English premier league sends a team to LA .Yes we fill a 80,000 stadium ONCE a year but would we fill it 8 home games,would we change in my case 20 years+ of support to the Eagles to support the London team?,what about post season when teams are hurting ? Jet Lag is that the answer? No.

  43. “It’s called the National Football League for a reason. ”


    While I agree that the idea seems silly, it didn’t seem to matter to the NBA or NHL…

  44. Greed is going to destroy the NFL. The 18 game schedule the fans don’t want. Shipping a uniquely American game abroad. These things are going to kill the sport. This isn’t soccer or basketball where a poor child only needs a ball and a couple of trash cans as goals or a box for a basket. You need a helmet, shoulder pads, hip pads, thigh pads, knee pads, cleats, a ball and properly measured field. This is an expensive sport. Some small colleges have dropped it due the expense and insurance costs. If this is such a freaking great idea, why didn’t NFL Europe work? How many billions do they need to make?

  45. Maybe I am missing something but can’t you have your cake and eat it too with regards to playing overseas?

    What I mean is can’t the NFL give both teams that play over there 8 home games in their regular city stadium, play 7 road games in the US, and then play 1 “road” game in the UK. So techinally the “home” team that plays in UK will get 9 home games for the year. You don’t even really need to call any team the home team that plays in the UK.

  46. Like I said during the lockout, it’s the owners league and they do what they want. It doesn’t matter who objects, players, fans or refs. It’s their business and they do what they want. You might not like it but it’s true.

  47. Gadzod said “If they get one of our NFL teams, we get one of their EPL teams. We’ll take Arsenal, Man Utd, Man City, or Chelsea for Jacksonville, St. Louis, or San Diego”

    Would someone please deport thedolphins out of here and bring us Chelsea FC or Arsenal? My first option is Manchester United, but ManU and ManCity Are not in London for a fair swap.

  48. This is a dumb idea. Khan is moving the Jaguars as soon as he can. Hey Khan, go own something more up your alley like a 7 eleven or a gas station.

  49. This is the dumbest most retarded idea I’ve ever heard of. From the climate to taxes there are too many reasons players would NOT want to be there. Good luck dealing with the NFLPA on this one Goodell.

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