NFL official: Permanent London move “clearly” not close


Every time games in London grow closer on the schedule, certain fan bases worry that they’re about to lose their team to England for good.

But a league official said that move “clearly” isn’t imminent, for any team.

Chris Parsons, the league’s senior vice president for international business, said they’re still working to grow the fan base in London, and this year’s two games were virtual sellouts within two weeks.

“We’d like to continue to grow our fan base even more aggressively,” Parsons told Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “And whether that’s doubling it from where it is today – I’m not entirely sure what the exact number is – I certainly would want us to be even bigger in the UK before we made a move like that, which clearly wouldn’t be something that would happen in the near term.”

The first of the games is coming up, as the Vikings “host” the Steelers on Sept. 29, while the Jaguars have a home game against the 49ers on Oct. 27.

Both games will be held in iconic Wembley Stadium, which holds 84,500 for football.

The Jaguars have been viewed as the leading candidate for relocation, but future plans might involve them playing a home and a road game there, which wouldn’t hack 25 percent off the season ticket inventory for the other fan base Shad Khan is trying to grow.

18 responses to “NFL official: Permanent London move “clearly” not close

  1. There are big time tax, visa, and family reasons why NFL players may not want to relocate to the UK and London for their careers!

    A player drafted by a London franchise basically is forced to become a U.S. ex-pat.

    London may be the most expensive city in the world in which to live.

    And the British tax system is at higher rates for high earners than anywhere in the US.

    The NFLPA will have to get involved in this.

  2. “The Jaguars have been viewed as the leading candidate for relocation”

    Only by idiots, of course, who still try to insist it despite the amounts of money Shad Khan is pouring into the stadium AND the city. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your obvious hate for Jacksonville. Keep on making fools of yourselves.

    Meanwhile, you shockingly neglect to mention Tampa Bay, who have trouble selling out their stadium and whose owner bought a soccer team before Khan did. The Bucs would have a much better chance to move than the Jaguars.

  3. Please forget putting an NFL team in London or anywhere else outside of the USA! If they love football so much let them start their own league.

  4. Smartest comment the NFL has made to date this season. NFL Europe was a flop – why would this be different? Go there and the only Western culture sports influence you see there is the Yankees.

  5. Good. There isn’t an NFL fan that lives here that thinks that is a good idea. London is a novelty. A girl you see on the side. You see her a couple of times a year and everything is great, but you marry her and you realize that she isn’t that cute or funny.

    If it ever happens it will be a money grab by an NFL owner and they will have to Raider-style overpay any free agent to come there. It isn’t a good idea, it never was, and I wish that the NFL would let it go along with the 18 game season Roger Goodell thinks we all want.

  6. Initially I was against this but when I look at what happened in Florida when they were upset when they showed the Jaguars game instead of the Manning Bowl. If the team is not being supported in their own city, why would people around the county complain if the owner decides to move them to where they are wanted? I’m sorry but the NFL is a business now. The game of football is long gone.

  7. New York Manchester United’s that sounds odd, you think a British fan base of any team will agree to that hell no… NFL is an american sport with somewhat of a following in England and certain parts in Europe. It will never ever eclipse the popularity of soccer if that is the goal of the NFL. Not in this lifetime.

  8. @anthonymtx
    Talk about an epic fail comment you made there. Tell you what, go back and really read that topic word for word since it when right over your head. I’ll help you out with this tidbit, Jax and Orlando are two different cities and they are located in the state of Florida. Now the rest you have got to figure out on your own there tiger.

  9. Logically there isn’t any team moving there. But this the modern day NFL where logic clearly isn’t their strong suit. That said there’s a comment about the Bucs moving. Never happen. The NFL is not going to lose a region like this one even if it is to London. While nowhere near as big as LA, they won’t let one of this stature go again.

    Jacksonville logically should NOT be going anywhere. Facts show they sell better and average more fans in attendance than many others (including the Tampa and Miami). There was a time this was questionable, but not in recent years. But again, facts and logic don’t stop the NFL from doing things these days. So, depends on how badly they want to move a team there and in some way view Jacksonville as an expansion city a mistake. Unlike moving a team like Tampa which would cause them to lose this region, a lot of Central Florida, and other fans across the state, the Jaguars moving would probably not hurt as much. You’d lose Jacksonville but would there be a huge cascade from there to other markets? Doubtful. Orlando and Savannah would throw a moving party. Tallahassee probably doesn’t care too much either. In many ways if someone were to move it will boil down to $$$. Bucs leaving would have a drastic effect on ad dollars in a big portion of the state and in a sizable market. Jaguars, not so much.

  10. I dont believe any team should ever go out of the US the fans from the US would never be able to watch there team, sorry people from other countries but I just don think its fair if a team were to relocate to the UK.

  11. Even if they could figure out a way to make the travel not so brutal they’re never going to overcome the fact the overseas team would be the absolute last place any player or coach would want to be.

    And London has never been the football hotbed the NFL wants to pretend it is. The Monarchs folded years before the rest of NFL Europe was shut down. Yes, they sell out a game or two a year in record time. But by that logic every band should give up touring and just play continuously in the first city where they get a sold out crowd.

  12. London, right … Unfortunately, Shahid Khan and Roger Goodell seem more interested in getting a London-based franchise than returning the NFL to Los Angeles.

    JAX is the clear favorite – and, in my opinion, only viable candidate – for relocation.

    Since 1970, five original NFL franchises have relocated: Baltimore Ravens (formerly Cleveland Browns), Indianapolis Colts (formerly Baltimore Colts), Tennessee Titans (formerly Houston Oilers), St. Louis Rams (formerly Los Angeles Rams), and Arizona Cardinals (formerly St. Louis Cardinals). In that same time, there have been five expansion teams: Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    With the exception of the City of Jacksonville, all relocation/expansion activity has occurred in either 1) original NFL markets (Baltimore, Cleveland, Houston, and St. Louis) or 2) Top 32 designated media markets (Indianapolis, Nashville, Charlotte, Tampa, and Phoenix). Out of all 32 NFL teams, only the Jacksonville Jaguars lack BOTH legacy and market viability.

    In a perfect world, the Jaguars would be headed to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the NFL feels like playing “Doctor” as it experiments with the International Temptation that is London.

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