Rugby World Cup prevented NFL from playing more London games in 2015

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The recent expansion of the NFL’s London games, from one in 2012 to two in 2013 to three in 2014, won’t continue for 2015.  But the slate could expand again come 2016.

As explained by Albert Breer of NFL Media, the staging of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 reduces the availability of Wembley Stadium.  Come 2016, there will be no such impediment.

As a result, NFL V.P. of international Mark Waller told Breer that Waller will “be very disappointed if we’re not playing more than three games there in 2016.”

More tweaks to the London approach could be coming.  Next year, the NFL will send a divisional game to London for the first time, with the Jets and Dolphins squaring off.  Also, the NFL will play games on back-to-back weekends at Wembley Stadium for the first time.

Future changes may include, per Breer, having teams play the weekend after playing in London in lieu of having an automatic bye week and/or playing London games in December.  The overriding goal will be to determine the potential impact of these factors on competitive balance.

Which means that interest remains high either in playing even more games in London — or in putting a team there.

42 responses to “Rugby World Cup prevented NFL from playing more London games in 2015

  1. As we say in New England, the real football season starts after Thanksgiving. With that said, it would be outrageous to have a team give up a home game in December to play in London.

    Expansion of the game to put a team in London is a joke. The distance/time creates a disadvantage.

    Keep the game in the USA !

  2. Nonesense lets keep expanding…

    When are we going to play our first game in IRAQ seeing as that’s one of our flowers of Democracy???

    Maybe we can look forward to a future superbowl in Afghanistan???

    Come on Roger lets think big here, these are untapped markets…

  3. On the bright side… there would FINALLY be a real circadian advantage for Eastern Time Zone teams.

  4. panthrobro says:
    Nov 15, 2014 9:32 AM
    Good. Lets keep it Americas thing.

    Stop trying to force our ways on other people around the country

    1. America is a continent.
    2. United States a country
    3. London is not in ‘the country’

  5. Anyone else watch the game between the US and the All-Blacks a few weeks ago?

    If you ever wondered what it’s like to be the “other country” playing the US in basketball, you should have watched.

  6. Good, screw this London football crap the owners keep trying to force on us. If we can get British sports on our side, all the better.

    Nobody but the billionaire owners want London football anyway, once again at the expense of the fans.

  7. Without rugby there would be no American Football. As a fan of both sports I am glad the NFL won’t interupt the RWC2015

  8. Those who keep saying, keep it America…wake up! It’s coming to London, it’s staying and us in the UK are happy to have it! We’re also happy to have you guys over to join us. There were plenty of Americans at the stadium for the games this year that travelled over and they loved the experience. There would be be no talk of black outs over here. 90000 every game.
    Stop whining and live with it! The world of the NFL is changing.

  9. I wish one or more of the sports web sites would report on how US football fans feel about this push to London. My social circle universally hates the London idea, and one friend who works for an NFL team says most owners hate it too, its a Goodell idea backed by a few influential owners.

    It would be interesting to see if the NFL is pushing this against the will of their most important fans. I think they are.

  10. Capitalism is great until you become the best, as the nfl is now, and then you over expand until it screws it all up. Guess it’s best to appreciate the nfl today before they ruin it!

  11. West coast teams pretty much will get messed up by the time differential. Same with a team based in London playing on the west coast.

    Not a well-thought out idea. Football isn’t like basketball or baseball where you can play every day or every other day.

  12. I’m not crazy about the London games, but I don’t really care enough about them to get all uppity. However, there is a reason divisional teams play each other twice–to put a divisional game over there and take away that team’s home advantage is just wrong. That could have a significant impact on a season in a single game. Keep the divisional games at home.

  13. trollhammer20 says:
    Nov 15, 2014 9:53 AM
    Anyone else watch the game between the US and the All-Blacks a few weeks ago?

    If you ever wondered what it’s like to be the “other country” playing the US in basketball, you should have watched.

    ===========

    I was there. That’s a great analogy.

  14. Wouldn’t it be better if London, Scotland, Ireland etc or pick a bunch of UK cities to give franchises to so they could have their own divisions and conferences and the North American playoff teams could play the UK playoff teams for/in the World Super Bowl or Global Bowl or GloBowl or Wuper Bowl. Playoff games could be staggered weekly or every team could get a week to travel and adjust and practice?

  15. Why not let cities like London and Berlin to host a developmental league for the NFL? That way you eliminate the time difference problems and they still have NFL football to watch.

    Oh that’s right, they tried that before and it failed miserably.

  16. Unless your a crappy fan from Jacksonville no team should suffer having to play in London. Still waiting to ever see a real poll of NFL fans that indicates they want games played in London. you only ever hear about the commish, jerry jones and robert kraft promoting the idea.

  17. Those who keep saying, keep it America…wake up! It’s coming to London, it’s staying and us in the UK are happy to have it! We’re also happy to have you guys over to join us. There were plenty of Americans at the stadium for the games this year that travelled over and they loved the experience. There would be be no talk of black outs over here. 90000 every game.
    Stop whining and live with it! The world of the NFL is changing.

    I don’t think we are trying to be disrespectful to your culture and I’ll readily admit a lack of understanding of rugby, cricket, and even soccer. It’s just that from a US fan’s perspective having games in England or any other area for that matter create a number of issues. Firstly, to give up a home game puts a team at a huge disadvantage. There clearly isn’t any kind of home field advantage for the home team in those games as the fans wear jerseys of teams that aren’t even playing (which is almost unheard of in the US).

    Furthermore, the fans over there seem off in terms of what they are cheering for. And maybe this will correct itself in time, but nobody over here cheers for the actual punt. The punt return might be a different story, but the punt in itself is not an exciting football event.

    We have no issue sending you the Metro Stars instead.

  18. gronkasaurus says:

    Capitalism is great until
    =======================================

    Should we make the NFL communist?

  19. This expansion is the STUPIDEST idea yet from the NFL. No team in L.A. but let’s get one in London ??????? It is obvious that the owners will make $ on this so :”it’s a great idea !!!!!! “but it really isn’t ….unless your an owner.

  20. abninf says:
    Nov 15, 2014 12:31 PM
    gronkasaurus says:

    Capitalism is great until
    =================================
    Should we make the NFL communist?
    ====
    the revenue sharing they practice is socialistic. That worked out okay.

  21. Not a fan of these games. If they had a team that might be a different story, but to rob a home game from a team to try and “expand the logo” is almost ridiculous. And personally, I don’t think the talent pool is deep enough to add 2 more teams. Brits, if you like football, cool. Order the redzone channel, of the league pass from direct TV.

  22. The NFL is all about money. The British SKY TV deal is worth close to $1 billion per year and 2.1 million Brits describe themselves as NFL fans. If this is good for the sport, it makes sense. It’s just hard to believe the haven’t figured LA out.

  23. Oh darn. I was hoping for six London games in 2015 and a London franchise in 2016. The sooner the owners throw their money down that rabbit hole and lose it for good, the sooner they’ll stop this nonsense … and perhaps send Goodell packing.

    Until then … I’m just watching more and more college ball.

  24. Ha ha, Rugby more important then the NFL. Yet another reason why the NFL will continue to lose money in Europe. Can’t wait till a team moves there and 15,000 show up in week 5 because everybody is at either a Rugby or soccer game. The NFL will be threatening to move the team to Los Angeles by the second year.

  25. Every time a London story comes out in PFT, we see a plethora of American chauvanism, and flag-waving comments. It is likely that only a few of the commenters actually own season tickets — the only fans who are curently being impacted.

    If the sell-outs continue and the number of Limeys who get into the game continues to increase exponentially, expansion to London would be inevitable. Not only the 90,000 butts in the seat at each game, but, more important, adding 100,000,00 or more English speakers to the TV base from the UK, Ireland, and many of the Commonwealth countries. The NFL is not a social service for our benefit. Its owners are capitalists who make billions by making sound business decisions.

    btw: Once London does get a team, US season ticket owners would no longer be impacted.

  26. Just love how someone accuses Americans who take a dissenting view of London expansion of being “chauvinists” in one sentence, then refers to the British as “Limeys” in the next. Ah, yes, your openmindedness is noted.

    The NFL makes most of its money on television revenues, not butts in seats, so it’s not necessary to be a season-ticketholder in order oppose overseas expansion. Some of us recognize that while London television deals are lucrative for the NFL, diluting the product is not good for the game we love. Europe and the UK do not have an American-type college farm system producing new players. No matter how many new teams the NFL creates, the pool for new talent is finite. And that pool cannot now produce enough elite quarterbacks and offensive tackles to populate every franchise in the current 32-team league. If the league keeps expanding, we won’t have more parity, we’ll have mediocrity. That doesn’t excite me.

    What’s more, the owners tried bringing American football franchises to Europe/the UK several years ago with the World League of American Football. It failed miserably and at considerable cost. As someone else posted, it’s fine for those in other countries to support American football. By all means, sign contracts with Sky TV. But don’t rob American fans of home games or endanger players by flying them all over the globe and expecting them to perform on command. Put your bread-and-butter audience first.

  27. in IRAQ seeing as that’s one of our flowers of Democracy???

    It was until we bailed out on them.

    Maybe have a muslim team based in Europe?

    Both lines would be women and children for the “men” to hide behind.

  28. Deb says:
    Nov 15, 2014 5:30 PM

    What’s more, the owners tried bringing American football franchises to Europe/the UK several years ago with the World League of American Football. It failed miserably and at considerable cost.
    =======================================
    Are you serious? American football? Maybe people over there were smart enough to know the difference between what we see over here and the crap that we exported in the name of the WLAF. The NFL makes a lot of money from the tv deal in the UK. They’re not going all in because it’s failing. More people watch NFL in London than in many NFL markets. As long as the logistics work, it’s not a big deal and London is no further from the east coast than the west coast.

  29. Yes, I’m serious. The World League of American Football played … wait for it … American football as opposed to soccer, which is called simply “football” in the UK. That would be why I referred to it as “American football.”

    I’m not surprised the quality of what’s played by our decades-old franchises is superior to the quality of what was played by the startups in the World League staffed by NFL rejects. As I said, by all means, let’s sign those overseas TV deals so those folks can watch our best.

    My objection is with expanding the National Football League to include teams in London, Canada, Mexico, or anywhere else that is not part of the United States. We don’t have enough players to keep expanding. Time and distance are secondary considerations.

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