NFL exec thinks team could be based in London by 2022


Even though we keep sending them things like a Dolphins-Raiders game, the English for some reason can’t get enough of NFL football.

And spurred on by a good response to the international series that will include three games this season, the league is emboldened in its pursuit of a full-time franchise in London.

Mark Waller, the NFL’s new head of its international division, said he could envision a team based there by 2022.

“When we started [with the series in 2007], I reckoned it’d take 15 years to do it,” Waller told the NFL Network’s Albert Breer. “That was what I expected, and we’re still on course. We’re at the midpoint now.”

That timing is not coincidental with another CBA and a new round of television contracts, which creates a climate ripe for a move.

The league is currently working through the logistical challenges, experimenting with start times, and bringing teams from different time zones to gauge how to proceed if/when it’s a full-time endeavor.

Waller also mentioned two other interesting points as it pertains to expansion of the international market. He specifically mentioned Germany and Brazil as possible future sites of games, with China perhaps more of a long-term goal.

But perhaps most interesting was the possibility of partnering in some fashion with the Barclays Premier League, England’s top soccer league.

That process could be expedited by joint ownership of clubs in each league, since Stan Kroenke owns the Rams and Arsenal) and Joel Glazer owns the Buccaneers and Manchester United). Jaguars owner Shad Khan owns Fulham, a former Premier league team that was relegated to the minor leagues after finishing next to last last season.

“We have goals that mirror one another,” Waller said. “They’re big in the UK and want to be bigger in the U.S., and we’re big in the U.S. and want to be bigger in the UK.”

The piles of money those two powerhouse leagues create in a year are vast, and the fact there’s talk of working together creates a world of possibilities.

63 responses to “NFL exec thinks team could be based in London by 2022

  1. And just like clockwork, the tired old take of an NFL franchise in London starts just prior to the annual across-the-pond game.

    (Hint: it’s not gonna happen)


    Im a season ticket holder and I am pissed off to lose a home game to London while still paying for 2 FULL PRICE preseason games.

    Stop messing with the kickoff, leave the extra point alone, get some consistently in referee calls, AND STOP THE LONDON CRAP.

    PS- thanks for the 9:30am eastern start time for Lions Vs Falcons on Oct 26th in london

    Fire Goodell!!

  3. Please tell us what the head of the international division does.

    “Well, mostly I look at Google earth and daydream, but I did ust get a copy of Rosetta Stone’s beginning french.”

  4. We will send a crappy league of goat beaters on top of horses for your crappy league of American Football.


  5. You’d think they would go with Mexico City first given the lack of the biggest complaint – time zone changes. Can you imagine being drafted by the London team and all of a sudden you have to move to a country half way around the world?


  6. Surely there will be fleets of Jetson mobiles zipping across the pond by 2022 so logistics will be a non-issue…..

  7. I watch the Packers and then sometimes the game that follows that, SNF and MNF.
    But I don’t think I’ve ever watched a London game from start to finish. Maybe just bits here and there if anything.
    If this American football fan isn’t interested than how can any other Americans be?
    And the rest of the world, which includes England, laughs at our football and thinks their football is superior and it is since that is the #1 sport over there.

  8. “bender4700 says:
    Sep 26, 2014 3:53 PM
    England Patriots

    Think of how easy it would be to make changes to everything. Just drop the New.”
    I hope you understand the irony of having a team named the Patriots and who they’re named after moving in London.

  9. Best case scenario: Goodell goes, someone comes in with better sense and puts a stop to this nonsense.

    2nd Best case scenario: They go ahead and do it and then it fails big time and is then stopped.

  10. If I was the coach of an American team I would stay here and take the loss of a forfeit and would encourage all other coaches that had games over there to do the same.
    If I was within the system, I would do all I could to shake it up to protest against this stupid idea.

  11. I’m sure that by 2022 they will find more foolish people who think this is a good idea. Owners can’t see beyond their trips to the bank. That is their only concern.

  12. “…the English for some reason can’t get enough of NFL football.” I’ll tell you the reason. Because their alternative game of scoreless ties played by guys with mullets who habitually flop to the ground as if shot by a .50 cal sniper rifle only to get up and prance around the field again once the refs show some little colored plastic card is simply unwatchable compared to our football.

  13. Unless I just haven’t heard of it, they don’t play American Football in England, so they have no system in which kids grow up learning the game.

    I can understand the novelty of it from an English fan’s perspective, but how are they supposed to relate to it? How are they supposed to enthusiastically root for it if none of their countrymen are on the teams?

    It would be like if The Australian Football League opened up a team in Chicago. We would find it maybe entertaining, but the novelty would soon wear off…..

  14. Well good luck with that but with the headlines I’m seeing I’m envisioning a more dystopian nfl future where games are played in some far away land without laws.

  15. Considering the NFL could potentially gain the attention and more importantly revenue from England, Whales, Scotland, North and South Ireland customers, it’s not too hard to understand why the NFL is pushing for it. If the revenue outweighs the logistical nightmares than it’s probably going to happen. Us fans watch the NFL for many reasons but what makes us different from the owners is that they use it as a means to run a profitable company. I still think it’s stupid and I really hope a city doesn’t lose their team in the process.

  16. DO NOT PUT A TEAM IN LONDON!!! They had 2 leagues in Europe that FAILED!!! They don’t care about American Football, so if this happens the NFL as we know it will fail!!! Goodell SUCKS, FIRE him now!!!

  17. Let me preface the following statement by acknowledging that I am not a psychologist. I have put a lot of thought into exactly why it is I am so against a London franchise. It makes great business sense in terms of tapping into new revenue streams, and I love this game(don’t we all?) and don’t see why exporting it wouldn’t ensure its long term survival in terms of showing the world once and for all that our football is vastly,(or as the English would pronounce it, “Vahhhstlee”) superior to their football in every possible way.

    Its national pride. Period. As much of a fan of free-market capitalism as I am, I can’t help but feel like those in charge of this are selling us out. American football is so uniquely…American, that it would make sense that suits would come along and take something that really only Americans can do and something that would really only thrive here, and offshore it for massive profits. Its so…not punk-rock.

    As American as American Football is, I suppose it wouldn’t truly be American until we outsource it and sell it overseas to make unholy sums of money. Still, at the end of the day its like when Metallica cut their hair and put bodily fluids on the cover of the album that came after the Black Album, it cheapens it. Football is apart of our national identity, its OUR game.(Canada too plays a cute little version of it, but its still OUR game).

    It brings us together in a showing of solidarity, something so well thought out, so skilled, so violent, so…American. If we offshore it we sell a piece of ourselves. After the soul searching, this is the conclusion I have reached. A London franchise has a certain appeal, I won’t argue logistics or tax/legal issues as any issues they have will be offset by TV contract revenue a London franchise would generate and an influx of advertisers. At the end of the day though, we would be lowering the American flag over one of our forts and seeing the Union Jack raised over it…a little piece of us will be gone.

  18. You know the old trick where someone glues a quarter to the bottom of a toilet bowl? Goodell is the guy who’s trying to get that very last quarter.

    It doesn’t matter if the idea is garbage – if it’s more $ than Goodell will pursue it.

  19. England still wants a team even after reading about how the NFL is full of domestic abusers and officials who turn their heads?

  20. the English for some reason can’t get enough of NFL football.

    Tell me that when it’s not a one time only party but 8 miserable games a year with a losing franchise. Quarter filled stadium and no NFL merchandise sales.

    Then what, move them back to the U.S.? Maybe to LA or another city that deserves a team? Maybe Mexico or Canada that might actually be geographically/logistically possible?

    NFL will eventually have to blackmail some city to get that London team back here.

  21. Can LA get a team first before we think about London?

    It’s not a good idea. The time difference is too much,

  22. Enumerate the free agents who want to move to London, please?

    Even beyond the greed, it is a stupid idea.

    The logistics make it near impossible, the realities beyond the logistics involved make it a moronic choice.

    Goodell go back to hiding .
    You were way better at that than you are at football inovations.

    When we dump Goodell can we get our old league back?
    The one with tackling and rules that allowed for a running game.

    Goodell is a criminal for what he’s done to the shield.

  23. Anyway the politicians from the location of the leaving team (Jacksonville) will question something about the NFL’s tax exempt status as it takes its $ overseas?

  24. If it is so danged important to you to ‘grow the game outside the US’ why do you always ignore the foreign countries nearby? There are a lot of good to excellent soccer stadiums that could be utilized in Central and South America, in the Carribbean, or hell, even in Canada. And with multiple major Spanish-language networks already in place you can strike a deal easily enough for wide ranging media coverage.

    Maybe start by playing the Pro Bowl in Puerto Rico. Use it to gauge the viability of some of these things. And the players will still get their week at the beach.

  25. It’s so laughable to read all your posts from the dreamer of eggball being the “World sport” to the our “football” is better egomaniac, to the typical round football hater poster among other characters. Anyways, keep dreaming, pounding your chests or hating, The matter of the truth is only one Football rules the world and your eggball sport, let’s just say you can keep and recycle trash in your own house.

  26. Yep, if this ever occurs this is where I’m done caring about football. It’s a logistical nightmare no matter what way you slice it.

  27. No team for L.A. , but London is getting one by 2022 ? It wouldn’t mind if the league went bankrupt . What a sorry bunch of egomaniacs at NFL headquarters in New York .

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