Goodell sees London franchise as a possibility “down the road”


Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that now is the time for London to have an NFL franchise.  Commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t quite as enthusiastic, for now.

“As you know, we have determined we will have two regular-season games there next season,” Goodell told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.  “The fans are reacting very positively to the game.  The more we give them, the more they want.  That is why we are expanding the series.  If that continues, who knows where it goes down the road.  I think we are quite a ways from having a franchise there, but I don’t rule it out as a possibility down the road if the game continues to grow.”

Goodell was equally non-committal regarding the prospect of returning to Los Angeles.

“We know we have millions of passionate fans in southern California,” Goodell said.  “We want to get back there.  It’s hard to believe, but it’s been 17 years since the NFL was in Los Angeles with a team.  We want to get back there, but it is going to take a stadium.  There’s been some progress on getting a stadium built, but it’s critical that we have a stadium that works for the community, works for the team and really can help us . . . provide the experience that’s great for our fans and make sure that team is successful for the long term.”

He also left out the most important factor:  The stadium deal must be as strong as possible for the NFL and the team that ends up there.  The league carefully has accumulated a significant amount of bargaining power over the years, and the league always uses it.

47 responses to “Goodell sees London franchise as a possibility “down the road”

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if they just left things alone for a couple of years and let the game speak for itself. No new teams, no relocating, no new rules.

  2. Goodell went on to say the only way there would be a franchise in London would be if Sean Payton had to be coach and spend all his off days in Liverpool.

  3. So would the league change it’s name to IFL? (International Football League). As long as the London team is named the Redcoats and the halftime shows consist of U.S. snipers in the stands picking off British soldiers marching on the field then I’m all for it. Otherwise, this is a stupid idea.

  4. What would be the attendance if this year’s version of the Jacksonville Jaguars were London’s home team?

    My guess is less than Tampa Bay.

  5. Too bad they can’t revive NFL Europe again

    Football is America’s game introducing the logistical nightmare of an overseas franchise additionally is beyond ridiculous

    I’d rather they try to create leagues in other areas of the world then have the champion of those leagues play the NFL Superbowl champion in a couple of centuries time if football ever catches on internationally

  6. Much like the 18 game season, Roger is the ONLY person who thinks a London franchise is a good idea. Is it just me or does it always seem that the people who are the most clueless are usually the ones in charge?

  7. When we invent Star Trek teleporters, I’ll be cool with a franchise in London.

    Until that time, it’s not fair to the players and fans of the road team on either side. You think London players are going to enjoy having to fly that far and back eight times a year?

  8. I hope London doesn’t get a team (And i live in the UK). One or two games a year is great but if there was a franchise (London Jaguars for example) the fans would desert them the second they go through a 4-12 season.

    In the past we had the London Monarchs in the WLAF, first season 9-1, 60,000 fans a game, second season i think it was 3-6-1 and 20-30,000 fans a game.

    With access to most games live on a sunday (NFL Gamepass) a lot of fans wont bother to see a game in my view.

    Keep with a few games as they’re doing at the moment but keep the franchises in the US

  9. Once a franchise is established in London, the enthusiasm will die down when the Brits go through the same ups and downs, highs and lows that the rest of us NFL fans go through with our teams. Let’s keep NFL teams here in the States, where they belong.

  10. Issues with a franchise in London…
    1. The NFL can’t even find a team for Los Angeles, yet we’re supposed to believe the NFL is going to find a team for England?

    2. Teams going to London from the East coast will have a tough ride.
    Teams going to London from the West coast will have a NIGHTMARE ride. They will literally be traveling halfway across the world – Pacific coast to Europe.
    Imagine when it’s the London teams’ turn to play against the NFC West/AFC West – awful either for the London team on the road or the American teams on the road.

    3. Good luck attracting free agents to join this London team. Either the players relocate their entire families to a foreign country across the Atlantic Ocean, or they spend 4 months completely separated from their families in the USA.

    4. The NFL can barely sell out their 1 game per year in London. Do they really think they can sell out 8 games?

  11. Yes. Just leave things alone. We have a perfect number of teams. Four in each division, four divisions in each conference.
    The idea of the NFL an (American league) having a team in London is just plain stupid. Time zones and travel time and schedules would all be a problem. The NFL has just become too greedy.
    Goodell needs to go away!

  12. What idiots. I can just see the Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego teams making trips to London. American football is nothing like basketball; it will never be a global sport.

  13. Here’s the bottom line: the majority of players in the NFL are American-born. There’s no way these players will want to spend half their career living outside the U.S. in London. I don’t know what input the players association would have on this but I just don’t see the players ever going for this. The London franchise would have a tough time luring free agents, draft picks will demand trades. We can’t get pro teams to work in Canada for crying out loud. London would be a miserable failure. It would also be Goodell’s legacy.

  14. So you have a team in london that will have to travel here to the states to play its away games and the teams here in the states have to travel there.
    Arent players already complaining about jet lag with traveling from the west to the east coast for games?

    doesnt sound logical, but in the end we all know its the money that makes the rules.

  15. “millions of passionate fans in southern California”

    Really, Roger? Really? The NFL had two teams there not long ago. I suppose the fans stayed away BY THE MILLIONS?

    Depending on how the scheduling was handled, a London team would have a tremendous homefield advantage or they’d be at a severe disadvantage. This Saints fan won’t mind having a team in London … as long as they’re in the AFC.

  16. ….& hopefully every decent ticket holder for all teams boycotts this assinine thought & process. just because u r greedy doesnt mean you have to jump continents. for any team to be moved overseas every decent fan should boycott this move, not buy tickets, & just see how important the base is here and teams should stay here.

  17. NFL football will not work in London. This is because the London team would never have a decent offensive line due to the constant … wait for it … wait for it …changing of the guards!!

  18. Oh my god just leave office man. I can’t stand you. You change all kinds of rules. And are now trying to add a non us team. I so hate this guy and want him gone. Never in my life did I want to see the greatest American game ever in the hands of some money grubbing piece if S@&$. This guy makes me physically sick.

  19. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. As a “one night only” option, the NFL will sell out it’s games in London. With different teams every year, and the rareness of the games there, it works well. But if they put a bad team there, which whomever it is will be, the novelty will wear off quickly. Nobody in Jacksonville wants to watch the Jags every week let alone in London. And not knocking the Jags, but since they seem to be the team everyone thinks will go then you “win” by default.

  20. I thought the Mexico City experiment went over way better than London. Plus there’s no 8 hour time change, and when Texas secedes from the US there will be a huge chunk of ex-pats living there.

  21. cwwgk says: Nov 15, 2012 11:58 AM

    Roger Goodell could discover the cure for cancer and his intelligence would still be criticized by commenters on this site.

    Nobody’s questioning his intelligence. They’re questioning his judgment. Which, by the way, has proven to be pretty worthy of judgment.

  22. Football will never be big in England. In case you haven’t noticed, Roger, they already have ‘foot’ball and they are quite content with it. The NFL should instead do a Euro tour, much like the Premier League does in the States.

    Ireland has already expressed interest in hosting a game, and I’m sure Germany would be interested, as well as other countries. That’s not to mention our next door neighbors, Canada and Mexico, who would certainly love to host games.

    There are other ways to spread interest and generate revenue than by having a team relocate.

  23. slow down… If Texas gets their way they’ll leave the Union and then we’ll have to international teams.

  24. eventhorizon04 says:
    Nov 15, 2012 11:37 AM
    Issues with a franchise in London…
    5) Would the London team have a higher salary cap? New York is the most expensive city to live in here in the US, but it ranks 14th worldwide. London is #1. A guy making $5 million living in, let’s say, Carolina, would need to make $15 million to live the same lifestyle in London. Good luck getting a free agent to sign on for that.

  25. Its amusing that so many people seem to think flying first class on a chartered jet is as draining and problematical as flying coach on a commercial flight.


  26. Wake up Roger, it’s not going to work. There are too many logistical problems, starting with the fact that all the players from the London team are going to live in …. wait for it…. the United States!

    Secondly, there is the issue of double taxation for the players of the London team. If you think tax rates in the U.S. are bad, wait until these players get hit with the double whammy. You think the NFL is going to be able to play games in London without the team and the players paying UK taxes? Uh, no.

    Then you have the issue of travel time, television delays, and the problem that the London team will essentially be playing 16 road games, since none of the players are going to end up residing there. And these are just the beginning of the problems with this nonsensical idea.

    Hey Roger, why not try putting a team in Los Angeles first, and actually making that work. It’s a lot closer, and makes a lot more logistical sense.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 15, 2012 3:21 PM

    Its amusing that so many people seem to think flying first class on a chartered jet is as draining and problematical as flying coach on a commercial flight.

    You do understan.. wait, clearly you don’t… you should understand that no one, regardless of personal experience with chartered jets, nor how pretentious they are about it, is arguing that the flight itself is draining.

    People are discussing the jet lag associated with traveling through at least six time zones and its effect on athletic performance. Considering how hard the fit hit the shan a couple years ago when west coast teams began the season 0-6 against east coast teams; it’s more than reasonable to discuss how flying halfway around the world every other week could affect the proposed team and its players.

  28. it’s no surprise to me that robert kraft has input with this. he seems to have alot of input with the league office such as how quick goodell destroyed the infamous spygate videos and how the pats seem to get the favorable calls/no calls from the refs quite often so why not get krafts input on expanding the nfl as a matter of fact why dont goodell just step aside and let kraft be the commissioner but wait an owner cant be the commissioner my bad i guess they will have to keep doing it the same way they always have.

  29. Cause 3 teams in one state isn’t already excessive. Lets add a 4th. Why don’t they focus on moving the raiders and chargers to the Canadian football league first.

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