Goodell wants a team in both L.A. and London


With the NFL eyeballing a return to Los Angeles and expansion to London, Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed for the first time his preferred pecking order.

I want both, but it doesn’t matter which one is first,” Goodell told a forum of European NFL fans, via Bill Williamson of

“You are proving you are worthy of a franchise,” Goodell added.

It’s the strongest statement Goodell has made to date regarding his desire for a team in London.  Earlier this month, Goodell tapped the brakes on talk of the placement of a team in London.

That is not our objective,” Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters at the quarterly ownership meetings.  “Our objective is to continue the growth of our game internationally.  What we are so pleased about is that our game continues to grow and fans want more, television broadcasters want more and sponsors want more.  We are responding to that interest in the game because fans want to see it.  This is just another step down that path.  We are making sure we can bring more football to more people.  The UK fans have been terrific.  Seeing over 500,000 people the day before the game at a rally is really extraordinary.  It is a signal that there is real interest in our game internationally.  If it ultimately gets to that point it is a different issue.  We have a lot of steps to go before we are at that position.”

There presumably will be a lot of steps before the league is at the position to put a team in either London or Los Angeles.  Until then, the NFL will continue to have a presence in London, expanding from two games this year to three in 2014.

97 responses to “Goodell wants a team in both L.A. and London

  1. Fans in London don’t care. I don’t know how many ways that can be expressed. They show up once a year because the NFL is a novelty, but our football would be BURIED in popularity by their football.

  2. They really dropped the ball with NFL Europe. They should have ran that with the idea being an AFL/NFL merger kind of deal. Maybe try it again.

  3. Why is Goodell railroading this London thing? It’s obvious by this poll and anyone you talk to that NO-ONE wants a team in London or play any games there… I know it’s all about money, but that can’t be the only reason Goodell continues to force this issue.
    (or any other european cities)

  4. Why this will work, L.A. flies to London week 1, then home. then Miami…. and then SF. That sounds fair. I remember the NFL saying Hawaii was to far for travel back in the ’70’s. It seems to me cities in Canada have shown an ability to support a football team, why not go where there is a track record? Or do we want another Jacksonville?

  5. This whole London thing is a joke. They’d be at a severe disadvantage, on top of already (most likely) being one of the worst teams in the league

  6. A London team will not work. You can’t have a team flying back and forth every week. You would need the London team to spend 2 or 3 weeks on the road. You wouldn’t get big time free agents. The team would be rookies who get drafted and free agents who have no other offers. To be fair, they’ll still be better than the Jags.

  7. Good idea, and maybe ship Goodell off to London to oversee the league there….then the teams can play real football in American !

  8. If you want a team in a different country, why not Canada? They have NHL, NBA and MLB teams.

    This whole thing is annoying. The divisions and schedule formula is good the way it is. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  9. We’re going to see a ton of “But LA lost two franchises” and “LA doesn’t want an NFL team” and a few different variations on that here, but the reality is that LA IS GOING TO GET A TEAM. They will not be awarded a new franchise, they will be given an existing one. Im not going to speculate which team it will be, but it will be a team none the less. It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion of Los Angeles is, I for one don’t like the place. But in any case, team owners aren’t coming out saying “Omaha is going to have a team soon” or “San Antonio will have a team really soon”. They are coming out saying “LA will have a team soon”. Most owners care about money first, team second. And you will make a lot more merchandise, and advertisement dollars (where owners really make they’re money, not so much ticket sales) in Los Angeles more so then Jacksonville, St. Louis, or San Diego (nothing personal against any of these cities).

    For whatever your personal opinion may be on the situation, you have to know deep down, somewhere in your brain, you know that LA will have a team sooner then later. Once the NFL owners use LA as way to get new stadiums from states and taxpayers from the teams that aren’t going to move, they’ll move the team they want to LA over night.

    And the NFL is a 7 billion dollar a year company run by extremely smart business men. If you think they really don’t already have an idea/plan which team(s) they’re moving there, then you are dumber then you think.

  10. The NFL has made billions of dollars to date. Now he probably wants to make billions and billions of euros. What is next after that? Russian rubles?

  11. West coast teams can’t play fer crap when they travel to the east coast. What happens when ya add an additional five hour flight? Greedell will not be stopped. Good luck London attractin free agents.

  12. Goodell is the only person that wants London to happen. Why? So that he can have left his mark on the league. Economically it makes zero sense… NFL Europe was a flop, at least the way the NFL did it. Perhaps they can come up with a new formula to make it work.

    If Roger wants a realistic way to make his mark on the league, I would suggest he put into motion the makings of a developmental league stateside. With hundreds of collegiate players available to play year in and year out, and only 53 active roster spots per team, fans should be begging for this. There are hundreds of small markets that could field teams, salaries would be low, and teams could spend a couple years developing that 6th round quarterback. Although it would be an uphill fight in regards to budgeting and convincing owners that they won’t lose attendance to the bush leagues, this is a fight Goodell could conceivably win.

  13. Bigfatdynamo I completely agree. A developmental league in smaller markets who don’t have a real football team (professional or college) could be given teams. The NFL should have purchased the UFL and made it into a developmental league for them. Then they could have made more money that way. The UFL died due to mis management, but had the NFL bought it and developed it, it could have been a very enjoyable thing.

  14. “”strongest statement Goodell has made to date””

    Ahh… So the “statement” you make depends on
    the audience Roger? Sounds like a politician to me.

    I am beginning to respect you as much as one too.

  15. The NFL should help expand the CFL. Leagues been around for over a 100 years. Longer than the NFL by miles. Put a team in LA and maybe one more in the US. But I know money talks, but stay out of London and Canada.

    If they would use some money to pump the CFL to 12 teams and stay in Canada. It could be a fraction of the cost of starting a new league.

  16. Eventually, you would have to have players from the UK on the roster. I heard of a small Kentucky school go over and beat the UK team so bad that they probably would make the Jaguars look like your annual Super Bowl winner. But, if Goodell could make a bunch of euros he would do it, regardless of what the resulting product would be.

  17. London doesn’t care about our football. We have two different cultures ya know.

    I hate how everything is globalized now.

    The United States isn’t half the nation it was even just 20 years ago since this new global culture has taken hold in our way of life.

    It’s only going to get worse. Every year we lose more of what made us unique. You think 9% unemployment is bad? Just wait 10 years. You’ll be praying for single digit unemployment.

  18. It’s only about money folks. God dell is trying to do what any business owner would try and do and is expand the customer base. He already has the U.S. sealed up. Think about it, people in this country actually buy a seat license so they can buy a season ticket. They buy seats in places where the players look like ants. They sit in traffic for hours to get in and out of the stadiums and pay premium prices for parking and concessions. If people refuse to buy tickets to watch 0-8 teams and or pay for new stadiums, which then out price the common guy, they move the team or threaten to move the team…..never is the ownership blamed. U.S. fans are pawns in this game. Roger God dell…..check-mate.

  19. Just go out and shock the world with full assurance that you are the real deal and more deserving of a football franchise than any other city in the world!

    Then you can go into slouch mode and lose 100 games in a row if you want, cause there sure isn’t a need to prove yourself worthy once we already let you in the door.

  20. I for one would like to see a team in London. Maybe it’s the pride I would feel that our sport was catching on elsewhere and the Euros were paying attention to us!

    And for those who seem truly lost why Goodell is pushing for this — hey, moron — this is what CEOs do! You are always looking to grow the business. Just because the current set up of 32 teams seems fine for you doesn’t mean the owners feel that way. After all, does McDonald’s just set on the menu and say “we’re fine with the Big Macs”. No, they tweak the menu to increase public interest.

    As for the London distance problem — it’s been said before but I’ll lay it out again. This could be accomplished with an east coast training facility. Then the regular season games would be played in blocks of 3-4 home, 3-4 road, 3-4 home, etc. While in the U.S. the team is housed at its east coast facility. The aspect that I don’t have an answer for is how do you handle the following week for the teams visiting London — do you work in an extra bye into the schedule? I don’t know but it will happen.

  21. No London team until someone invents warp drive, or they bring back the Concorde.

    A team in Mexico City or even Hawaii makes more sense.

  22. That doesn’t make sense for London. This is Americas game. Hence A.F.L, N.F.L.

    There is no I.F.L. (International Football League)

    They had a European League. Keep it there.
    I could see flags being thrown now for passport issues or something stupid like that.

    We need Tagliabou(sp) back. I really hate Goodell!

  23. if Goodell wants more money I think he should consider a losers bracket. Rather than put an 8-8 or 7-9 team in the playoffs give them their own, with an almost trophy for the winner. Then you can give borderline/struggling franchises playoff games.

  24. How’s that saying go…the pig is always fattest before the slaughter? If goodell pushes this forward and puts a team in London, the NFL will decline. As a matter of fact I think that bozo is very very lucky the NFL is still raking all the $$$ considering all the ridiculous rule changes they’ve made.

  25. I’m the biggest Goodell hater there is. But I will never vote against expansion.

  26. If they put a team in Russian what would they be called?? The Moscow Cossacks?? At least there are no people whose life revolves around PC that would be offended by the name. They would be on the next train to Siberia. Hopefully, Goodell would be on the train.

  27. jessejames182 says:
    Oct 26, 2013 3:48 PM
    if Goodell wants more money I think he should consider a losers bracket. Rather than put an 8-8 or 7-9 team in the playoffs give them their own, with an almost trophy for the winner. Then you can give borderline/struggling franchises playoff games.


    I like that idea. And the “winner” of the losers bracket would get the #1 pick in the next draft, 2nd place the 2nd pick, and so on. That would eliminate teams being tempted to do the whole “Suck for Luck” thing.

  28. I’m sure Goodell has this well thought out and can tell us why free agents will be eager to pay a 50% tax rate for the privilege of playing in London.

  29. Structurally the league is damn near perfect the way it is. The schedule cannot get any better as far as who plays who, 4 year rotation, etc. Adding teams will degrade the product on the field even more than it already is so I doubt expansion is a viable option. That means uprooting a team and alienating an entire fan-base. That is just plain crappy no matter which team moves to LA. I say LA because no reasonable person can objectively look at the London/Europe/Asia markets and think an NFL team would flourish there. Logistics would place that team at a severe disadvantage on a weekly basis. The main players on the team will be rookie contract guys and has-beens that cannot find work on any other team. They are making more money off LA than they would with a team there. Once somebody moves, the threat to move or get a new stadium basically dries up.

  30. The tax rate for free agents making more than one million dollars a year is already close enough to 50% that the London rate won’t be a deterrent.

    Playing in London on Sunday will be easier than playing anywhere in the U.S. on Thursday. That said, playing in London on Thursday will be a real challenge.

  31. Major problems with expansion at this point:

    1. Logistics for a London (or any country not USA team)

    2. Lack of top caliber QB already in the NFL.

    Even if they work out the logistics/scheduling for an outside of the USA team, where do they think they will find a QB to run the offense? As we are seeing this year, outside of a few elite QB, most teams are in dire need for a real QB (see Vikings, Texans, Buccs, Rams, etc.) already. Adding more teams to the mix isn’t going to magically produce more good QB play. Rather the contrary it is going to show more bad play at the position and more maneuvering to get a high top pick to hopefully land the next elite QB.

    So no, Goodell – quit trying to expand when you don’t have the leaders for the teams already playing.

  32. Screw London. Put a team in L.A., Goodell, and be done with it. You have a 9 billion dollar a year mega league… and still you want more. Football is unique to America, and London needs an NFL franchise like Lincoln, Nebraska needs a professional soccer team.

  33. Water down the product a little more Uncle Roger… Another Minnesota, Tampa, and Jacksonville… NFL isn’t what it used to be, just look at the prime time games this week… Only saving grace is a strong QB draft in 2014.

  34. friendofinnocence says: Oct 26, 2013 4:30 PM

    The tax rate for free agents making more than one million dollars a year is already close enough to 50% that the London rate won’t be a deterrent.

    Please tell us, Mr. Tax Genius, how the tax rate is 50%.

  35. Having a second Jacksonville team would probably be a better idea than a London team and that is a terrible idea.

  36. Start a relegation league. Four teams, LA, London, Las Vegas, and San Antonio or Portland. They can draft like expansion teams or pick up free agents after the draft. That way there is a sort of minor league system with the possibility of success in the future and real teams don’t have to deal with those teams until they earn the right to play. And if it doesn’t work out, no big deal.

  37. Well, Goodell is an idiot. You left that out of your blurb.

    Seriously, how much longer is this guy’s contract? I didn’t think anyone could get the cushy job that he inherited and make changes that harmed the game, but he manages to spit them out with regularity.

  38. Reporter: Roger, do fans really want a London franchise?
    Roger: After looking at the PFT poll results, a staggering 3% say yes. When the fans speak, we listen!!!!

  39. The irony is that health care is socialized in England but stadia are privately financed.

  40. Goodell won’t rest until we have 18 games of touch football per season in three continents.

  41. Having an NFL team in London makes no sense from an standpoint other than money. The demand for the NFL, beyond one or two games per year, doesn’t exist. The competition between American football and European soccer is a losing repositioned proposition for the NFL. The travel required for the NFL teams-both home and away games-would place a burden on the players that would only weaken the on-field product and undermine the health of the players.

  42. We have at least four too many teams in the NFL.

    Seriously there aren’t enough quality players coming out of college to fill the ranks of 32, 53 man rosters.

  43. Kick rocks Jags haters. Jacksonville NEVER finished last in overall attendance. JAX drew more fans than the other two larger Florida markets last year, remember that.

  44. LA needs to get its stadium issues together first. By the time that happens, Ralph Wilson will have passed the Bills on to his family who are on record as saying they don’t want to own the team. Sean Combs will team with some billionaire LA partners who will pay the relocation penalty on the Bills lease and bring them to LA. I know this is a shocking scenario, but it is the one most likely to happen.
    Sorry, Bills fans.

  45. All of the 40% who said neither should just say “I believe in unicorns” because they rip Los Angeles fans for not going to games in 1980’s when Tampa, San Diego, and Cincinnati have similar or worse histories.

    Blackouts took place when those teams were at .500 or above (ie the 2010 and 2011 seasons).

    Stop buying into the myth that preventing blackouts or attending games is a great way of supporting a team.

    Stop saying that fans are bad by not going to games or withdrawing support teams. Say they’re bad when they don’t support a good team or waste money on a team that’s bad.

    The best way to support a team is by letting the owners know that their teams are either great by attending or watching or need improvement via email, Twitter, or any other form of modern day technology and turning your back on them when they want you to come.

    Love is not pure when you skip criticism or do not care.

    Showing affection or hate is pure love because you show that you care.

  46. To the people saying…”London only shows up once a year because its an novelty”. Do you realize the NFL only needs them to do that 7 more times? There are only 8 home games. The amount of negativity towards a London team reeks more of xenophobia than any other rational reason. Seriously, why do you care if there is a team in London? I think expanding a major American league worldwide would be kind of cool since its never been tried before. Not sure why they don’t focus on Canada first seeing that football is actually popular up there already, but whatever.

  47. London? They have lots of futbol teams there already. Can we please get an NFL team in Cleveland? Fans will support it.

  48. Have they thought through the logistics of having a team in London? Coaches and players aren’t going to like 8-11 hour flights, jet lag, and disruptions to their schedules that this will bring. Have a series of international games, but limit it to just that.

    As for LA, that market is large enough to support two teams, one AFC and one NFC. The state of Missouri has two NFL teams, but the state of California, the world’s 8th largest economy, is serviced by only 3 NFL teams. There’s plenty of room for expansion.

  49. I would like a team in neither city. In fact, I’d like as few reminders as possible that LA even exists.

    Thank you.

  50. Man U v Chelsea and London would riot :/ good one seen as though Manchester is clearly not in London! Brits share our football all around the world with other countries when our empire virtually passed the sports on Americans are so defensive just be proud other countries are interested NFL is not going to be somehow pinched off you just chill out!!!!

  51. This whole reaction thread reads like:

    “‘dey took are jobbbs! This is ‘Merica! You don’t like it, why don’t you just get out!”

  52. And now ladies and gents, let’s give it up for your London Shaguars…

    At QB Tim Tebow, at WR Terrell Owens, at RB Michael Turner, DE Lawrence Okoye, at K Kickalicious!


  53. Given the choice between playing in the NFL for a London team or getting on with their life’s work, guys will choose play football in London. Offer a player enough as a free agent, he’ll learn to like the Leicester Square nightclubs real fast. It’ll be worked out where the London team will only make 3 trips each way across the pond, there will be a salary differential to account for the confiscatory tax rates, and before you know it I will be rooting for London on the final leg of a 3-team parlay. The only unfair thing is that London fans will be able to wager a few pounds sterling at a shop a half-mile from the stadium, while I can’t bet because it isn’t legal and I follow the law to the letter.

  54. Tebow’s brand of religious evangelical extremism won’t go over well in the UK. The first time he starts praising God/ Jesus, the British press will destroy him as would the fans.

  55. Good ell should not be allowed to make decisions he is the worst commissioner ever, he’s the only person I know that wants football in England

  56. LA could have an NFL team sooner than you think… That is if the Chargers don’t get the new Stadium that they have been so deperately wanting in SD… I’m sure both LA and San Antonio will be sending the Chargers a deal and a bid for the team to be in their city sometime soon.. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out!

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