Mayor says London is “overjoyed” to have NFL games


The NFL has a powerful ally in London: the mayor.

London Mayor Boris Johnson performed the coin toss before Sunday’s Cowboys-Jaguars game, and he said Wednesday on Late Show with David Letterman that he thinks there’s an enormous appetite for the NFL in London.

“It’s fantastic, and I can’t tell you how overjoyed people of London are to see NFL,” Johnson said. “I was at the stadium, Wembley the other day — our national stadium — and it was full to the rafters, 85,000 people. We’ve got lots of Americans in London, but these were Brits, and they understood it, too.”

Johnson admitted that he personally is more of a rugby fan and finds the starts and stops of American football frustrating, but he said that in London there’s a “general enthusiasm for all things American,” and that includes the NFL.

NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell have made it clear that they’re enthusiastic about expanding their presence in London. Johnson’s comments are music to the NFL’s ears.

51 responses to “Mayor says London is “overjoyed” to have NFL games

  1. It’s great to see the NFL go international.

    The Vikings are Canada’s team.

    The Cowboys are Mexico’s team.

    The Jaguars are England’s team.

  2. The U.S. is a sovereign country, we really need to stop with all of this “internationalism” and “global blah blah blah” crap.

    The NFL should NOT go to London….ever. If you do that then you introduce problems with players being paid in British currency, tied to the Euro, which sucks.

    Plus, other NFL teams will get screwed by the long trips, and costs, having to play there.

    I just do not see any upside to this.

  3. Anybody who knows anything about Boris Johnson knows that he’s slightly crazy and almost anything he says can be discarded.

  4. Expand it! Make it an Olympic event. I love the thought of NFL in Europe. Who would want to keep it in the US??? Some of the premier players in the league aren’t even from the US. Pull your head out and stop being so ignorant.

  5. First let me state that I do not believe in these games but knowing the money now comes from broadcast rights they are going to continue regardless of what we, the fans in the USA think. On a lighter note when the NHL expanded to LA in the “70’s”(?) the original owner of the Kings stated that the reason he bought a franchise for the area was due to the 600,000 transplanted Canadians in the So. Cal region. When the team played in front of sparse crowds he can to the conclusion the reason they moved to LA was because they hated hockey.

  6. I live in the UK, but keep it as it is for now. Just play some regular season games over there.

    Dont move a franchise there. The second the franchise is 2-14 then the fans will start to stay away.

    Have a couple of games a year but leave it as that

  7. You try to be overjoyed watching a 1-9 team and spending hundreds of dollars for the weekly beatdown.

  8. Let’s see the Brits support an American football team for a full season. It’s never gonna happen.

  9. Get used to it kids. There will be a team in London not this week or next but within a decade or so.

    The only real issue is travel time. And for those of you who never get out of their mother’s basement the aerospace companies are working in a little thing call ‘trans sonic aircraft’.

    London to NY in an hour. LA in two.

    We’ve already proven we’ll watch football at all hours. All the NFL has to do is overcome travel time and it is done.

    And for those if you who do fantasy football, if there is a receiver in London or a QB in Moscow who can help you dominate “your league” you’ll lap it up like the Pavlovian dogs you are.

    Me I just hope the games are good.

  10. 4 teams in UK with a UK Division and 4 teams in Canada for a Canadian Division. One goes to AFC and the other to NFC and you have a successful expansion of the NFL into an International Football consortium. It is the only way an expansion into UK/London makes sense for schedules and transportation logistics for any expansion at all over there.

  11. After watching boring soccer and dull cricket, I’m certain that the English (and Europeans) will prefer to watch the vastly superior game. Roger Goodell has done it again. He should be knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for introducing the Brits to real football.
    The big question is which team will the Commish send there? I suggest the New England Ex-Patriots.

  12. “in London there’s a ‘general enthusiasm for all things American,'”

    That includes me.

    I send a lot of time in London and everyone is glad to see me.



  13. Does anyone know what the local TV ratings are for these games in London?

    Not good, I predict. Don’t be fooled by what a politician says.

  14. Mayor thinks it’s great, except he is only there because of work duties, and is probably following the rugby match on his laptop while the football game is going on.

    Which pretty much sums up the Brits attitude towards the game. Dallas reporters encountered total apathy over there when the Cowboys were in London.

  15. Thank you NFL and NFL owners for giving the middle finger to the local american economies that built your office buildings. People losing their home games must feel like a bunch of heels. London, you can keep your “friendly’s”, we don’t care.

  16. “Some of the premier players in the league aren’t even from the US”?

    At most maybe a couple of kickers but they’re not premier.

  17. Guys, I’m a dolphins fan in the UK. I’ve followed your game since 84 and travelled to the US many times for a game. I also coach in the UK. Naturally, I’m excited about the NFL coming to London but I also understand the arguments and I get the anti feelings that often fill these blogs but there are somethings you need to realise. Firstly most of the tickets sold for the 3 games were bought as season tickets and they sold out mighty quick indicating the demand is there regardless of what politicians say. Secondly there were a good number of Dallas fans at the game and on talking to some of them, they loved the game and the London experience. We loved having all the Americans at the stadium.
    Finally, guys it’s going to happen. We will get a franchise and it will be one of the most supported franchises in the league. Regardless of your feelings towards the commissioner, the game is growing and it maybe time that you take a step back and think about it. If you get the chance, come over and experience London. Like your fellow Americans that have been to see us, you will be made to feel so welcome.
    What are you all so afraid of? It’s massive here! We won’t let you down!

  18. I’ve read a lot of comments on here about how the “NFL is for Americans”, and “Keep it out of London” and so on.

    Well, all you ‘keep it here’ people, maybe if you could not use phrases like “world champions”, because you’re not, in American Football – a game that is only played in America.

    Superbowl winners are not World Champions, they are American Champions. Since when did the rest of the world get an invitation to compete?

    I look forward to the barrage of hate.

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