Goodell says NFL’s progress in London is better than expected

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says putting American football in London has worked out better than expected.

At his “State of the League” press conference, Goodell talked up London as a market where the NFL has already experienced tremendous growth, with more to come.

“London has done not only everything that we expected, but more than we expected,” Goodell said. “They’re responding to the game better than we ever dreamed, with more enthusiasm, more passion. You see it every year. When I was back last fall, you could see the passion and the understanding of the game. Every event that we have explodes with interest. We are continuing to advance our interests over there from the same point of playing more games. The more media coverage that we have, obviously leads to better understanding of the game on a national basis. We are working with sponsors, we are working with the fans directly, but already the three games that we have here, the report I had yesterday was just a couple thousand tickets left. That may be sold out by now. That’s three games in an incredibly short period of time. So, their passion is obvious. We want to continue to respond to that fan interest and if we do, we don’t know where it will go, but I think there is great potential in London for the NFL.”

Whether continued growth in London means a franchise based there or more teams giving up home games to play there, it’s clear that the NFL’s experiment with London won’t end any time soon. The league is committed to London for the long term.

66 responses to “Goodell says NFL’s progress in London is better than expected

  1. The reality is that very few people outside north America care about the NFL, whether Goodell wants to believe that or not

  2. Send them the Bills and the Bucs and charge them $500 a pop.

    Let me know how much they like it then.

  3. I think it’s terrible a team has to give up a home game to play in London. This is a American sport and should stay here. Dolphins seem to have to go every year. I hate this idea.

  4. London won’t work, the players don’t want to live there and the travel for all away games would be too much

  5. Don’t know about a team in London but we love having the games over here – my Son and I have our Season Tickets bought. Great that they are all early kick-off this year, home in time to watch most of the other games. Loving two consecutive weekends as well – awesome.

  6. “London has done not only everything that we expected, but more than we expected,” Goodell said. “They’re responding to the game better than we ever dreamed, with more enthusiasm, more passion. You see it every year.

    In other words the commissioner is saying, you know Toronto, you might want to actually provide us with a reason to put a team in your city. Luke warm support for the CFL’s Argonauts and the Bills in Toronto disaster doesn’t look good on your resume.

  7. I think London would work and would be a huge success IF the NFL expanded out to 40 teams (8 divisions of 5 teams) and allowed an “All-European Division.”

    The European teams would play most of their games (division home/away games) in Europe, and would only have to travel to the US 4 times.

    Obviously, we’re at 32 teams now, 5 teams in Europe would bring that total to 37. The remaining 3 teams would be a replacement in St. Louis for the Rams (whom are on their way to LA) and AFC expansion to LA (which the league wants) and a final free for all (highest bidder) between Portland, San Antonio, Birmingham, ect, ect..

    If there’s not an entire division in Europe, the logistics would never work.

  8. A team there just won’t work. The travel, the taxes, the degree to which players and staff would have to uproot their lives, it’s just completely illogical.

    But then, this is Roger Goodell we’re talking about, so I would expect no less than complete idiocy in the pursuit of more revenue streams.

  9. Will he ever shut up?

    I started to watch the NFL honors last night but as soon as I saw his face in the audience I turned it off. I want the networks to realize that fact.

  10. Guys, look at the bigger picture here. Goodell knows there isn’t a huge clamor for American football in Europe, but wants to maintain influence there in case a growing and potentially lucrative market opens up and to ensure there won’t be a different league popping up to rival the NFL. Goodell/the owners want this monopoly maintained across international borders, whenever the time comes.

  11. Well, enjoy that Roger…..I wont be watching…….there is this thing called time zone.

  12. “The reality is that very few people outside north America care about the NFL, whether Goodell wants to believe that or not”

    Yeah that’s why the Super Bowl usually has what, 1.5 billion viewers or so, roughly 5 times the population of the US.

    London is a fantastic city and the UK has great, passionate fans.


    Wwaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaa ‘Merica waaaaaaaaaaa

    Not to mention I just laugh at people acting like the players are flying cattle car economy. They fly first class on a private jet. The travel is no issue at all.

  13. To have a permanent team there IS the mistake.
    The London people eat the games up because different teams come and they don’t come often.

    Water it down with a garbage team to relocate & people won’t care unless the London team has a marquee team coming to town.


  14. London is a terrible idea. It is just something different to see out there if you are from the area. If I do go to London it will be a part of my vacation and football is not on the list! I would hate for my team to go to London and have less games to see here.

  15. Yeah that’s why the Super Bowl usually has what, 1.5 billion viewers or so, roughly 5 times the population of the US.

    As about 110 million Americans watch the Superbowl ( or about 1 in 3) how do you account for the other 1.4 billion you claim watch?

    we await your response Mr. goodell

  16. It will be a colossal mistake to put a team in London. And there isn’t enough talent to create a “European League”. With a team in London performing poorly, like most expansion teams, enthusiasm will burn out and the city will be left supporting uncompetitive teams for years to come and the NFL will blame its failure on poor management. The reality will be the NFLs failure to predict this.

  17. Tell us again the fiction that the NFL cares about the fans, Roger. An extra dime in profit >>>>>> fans.

  18. No team in London, please.

    If Goodell wants more revenue (and he does of course to serve his masters), he could have a series of eight games in London featuring current NFL teams and have them start at 9:30. It creates another TV contract for the owners. That is better than some of the other schemes to like expanding the playoffs.

    I am very happy that Goodell has moved off the idea of expanding the playoffs. I’m an Eagles’s fan and we would have benefitted as we would have been next up, but it makes the end of the regular season less intense.

  19. As about 110 million Americans watch the Superbowl ( or about 1 in 3) how do you account for the other 1.4 billion you claim watch?

    There will be 20 or so matches in the upcoming Cricket World Cup that will be viewed by more people than the Super Bowl.

    In fact a regular season Manchester United-Manchester City match probably has a world-wide audience close to Super Bowl numbers.

    Outside of North America, Nobody Cares.

  20. I am not sure why some of you keep saying “the players wouldn’t want to live in London”. I would. London is an awesome city. In fact, of the 32 cities right now, i’d much rather live in London than better than half those cities. I mean who moves to Detroit on purpose ?? or Jacksonville ?

    Second I read comments saying London doesn’t even want a team ??? really?? because they sell out huge stadiums for teams they have zero cause to root for. Imagine if they had their own team. I don’t think it would be hard to sell out 8 games for an actual home team, when you sell out 3 games for foreign teams.

    Also the travel issues people speak of really aren’t that bad. For instance, its a longer flight from south florida to seattle than it is London to new York. You would have to work something out for the London team when going to the west coast like if they play 4 teams on the west coast in a season, perhaps they play two in row the coast twice to make it more fair.

    I am not really for or against a team moving to London (I am dead against any expansion, anymore the NFL will start to look like the NHL where a ton of players who have no business playing at that level get jobs because theres to many teams). IF your going to be against it, you should atleast have a valid argument and not just what you think the people of London might be interested in (which you have no idea) or that players wouldn’t want to play there (again you have zero evidence so don’t say it. )

    On side note if your just a plain ole murikan and hate the brits because of freedom or whatever, then nevermind anything I have said. Asking someone like that to ad hear to logic and understanding is a losing battle

  21. This is DUMB. The Big House put 110k people for a Real vs ManU match. Does that mean the EPL should put a team in NY.
    I think the owners are just throwing it out there so they can bargain and get more out of the players. Players need to hold out and play hardball.

  22. If you own a nfl team and your name isn’t Robert Kraft better start kissing Goodells rear end. It’s apparent being buddies with the commish you get certain privileges and have rules made that make you exempt from hard knocks and playing in London. I mean look at the dolphins. They had to give up a home game to play in London to get considered for a super bowl? How does that work? It’s all about appeasing Goodell.

  23. There just aren’t enough QBs for any more teams. Counting all QBs, from Rodgers to serviceable, there are around 27/28 to go around.

    The league can expand no more and keep up the current parity and quality.

    A London team would have to be one of the current franchises that simply flies over 4 times a year for 2 straight home games, and have a training/franchise base on the East Coast.

    It’s not happening.

  24. Set your sights lower, Roger. Start in Mexico where a team would at least have a prayer to be successful.

  25. @gomybirdsgo

    I don’t share the same flag-waving isolationist “This OUR sport, not YOUR sport.” sentiment that seems to dominate amongst PFT commentators.

    That being said, I think it would be smarter for the NFL to focus on expanding its brand in the Third and Developing World, much like the NBA and MLB than keeping up this single-minded obsession with moving a team to L0ndon that my or my not be profitable and would must certainly be a logistical nightmare.

  26. I believe all of you are football fans so you will understand this. I am Jaguars fan from Slovenia. The Jaguars committed to give up 1 home game to London international series (2013-2016) and in return Jaguars receive double the money for London game than for any other home game. From the Jaguars organization: ‘Since the average sold ticket price at Wembley is $124, compared to $85 at EverBank Field with 20,000 less capacity, the Jaguars literally double their return on ticket revenue. The corporate sponsorship dollars only add to a revenue stream the Jaguars desperately need for financial stability.’ Fans like me benefited from London games but I do not wish for a permanent team in Europe. Admitting that the experience was phenomenal I only wish and hope to someday flying over the’ pond’ to Jacksonville to spend some time with arguably the best fans in the NFL. GO JAGS!

  27. When is european soccer going to send us chelsea????
    Or let the us host barcenola vs arsenol???

    You mean Aston Villa vs. Elche if you compare Raiders vs. Dolphins

  28. NOBODY wants a team in london except roger.
    if you want to go international, go north and south, mexico and canada – this overseas move is not good for the league. of course, goodell is also bad for the league but they keep paying him for his incompetence.

  29. There is a lot of support for the NFL in the UK. NOBODY loves sport more than the British!
    Problem is that everyone already supports a team and they are not likely to give up on years of support just because a team relocates to London.
    On the other hand it would make the ludicrous claim of american teams to be ‘World Champions’ more credible if a team outside of the USA was actually competing!!

  30. Will be the beginning of the end of the NFL . . .GFY to the moron calling this isolationist . . . And again as I have said in the past….Any stadiums built with tax payer funds involved should get their 8 homes games and in fact demand it.

  31. How about a few teams in Canada? The cfl is a fantastic leauge with great fans how about a whole separate Canadian division ? Makes more sense don’t you think?

  32. As someone mentioned in another post, the American tax payers have paid and or are paying for stadiums in their respected areas so why are you taking funds out of that area when you send a team’s home game to London? Goodell is retarded.

    I used to have to travel to northern England and spending 16-18 hrs in airports and on planes sucks. Time difference sucks, the food sucks and the weather generally sucks. If I ever have to go back then it will be too soon. I missed almost the entire 2013 season being over there because I wasn’t staying up until 3-4am Monday mornings just to watch some of the games.

  33. Roger I know you don’t care about screwingg season ticket holders over but I agree that there isn’t enough talent to field anymore competitive teams in the NFL.

  34. @alonestartexan

    I still don’t think a San Antonio team would make it. If they were able to sell out for the first couple of seasons, how do you think it’s going to go if they’re losing while Dallas and Houston are having good seasons? They would have more problems than the Chargers have had with filling the stadium.

  35. It’s quite amusing to read all the negative comments.

    The NFL has already demonstrated that the London games have been wildly popular and a financial bonanza. Many fans seems to forget the NFL is a commercial (profit-making) organization. Goodell is compensated handsomely for leading the league into greatly increased profits. Fans’ calling him Greedell or whatever derogatory slights demonstrate jealousy for success …. doesn’t matter: the NFL team owners’ profits and team values continue to skyrocket. Those 32 guys signing his $44 million annual paycheck are thrilled with Goodell’s achievements, specifically including the London games.

    The NFL (owners and players) strives to more than double total annual revenues to $20 billion over the term of the NFL-NFLPA 10-year agreement. This will happen via some combination of:

    * more London games involving existing domestic teams – this could easily go to 8 to 10 games per season, as the 9:30am quadruple-header grows in popularity, resulting in increased fees from broadcast networks

    * expansion to a 17-game or 18-game season with neutral games in London, Toronto, Mexico City, San Antonio, Germany, etc

    * adding two or more teams via expansion, including London

  36. Nothing says thank you to the fans like stealing home games from them just so the league can open a new revenue stream.

  37. I’ll start supporting the league’s get richer schemes when the league starts paying taxes. Until then, what’s in it for us, the American people?

  38. This league was built from the money of American fans! They deserve to keep all games here and definitely no London team. I hope everyone boycotts every game if they do that. Course Roger and the owners don’t give a damn what the fans want or don’t want. Not as long as they keep making their millions.

  39. Goodell:

    “Yes the refs are a mess, Patriots continue to cheat, players beat up loved ones daily, the integrity fo the league is under attack… But golly gee, we could have teams flying 8 or 12 hours to London to play, wouldn’t that be keen?”

  40. We the fans need to draft someone to speak to the NFL owners about this out of control commissioner. Maybe John Madden, maybe Paul Tagliabue, maybe Gil Brandt, or some other old time football executive. Goodell is systematically wrecking our game. How can we fans take action? Something has to be done. So many errors, as Goddell has admitted, in 2014. We gotta get him out of there or eventually the Mark Cuban prediction will come true. We can’t let that happen.

  41. – Hates the kicking part of the game of football
    – Fixated on London and other overseas markets
    – Can’t oversee an investigation to save his life
    – Wouldn’t pay refs on time
    – Wants to dilute quality of game with expanded schedule and teams and playoffs
    – $44 million paid lap dog for filthy rich owners

    Did I miss anything?

  42. My brother lives in London. He says they have to give these tickets away to fill seats. Even then the cameras only show one side of the stadium because the thing is still half empty.

  43. No free agent would sign in London. Not a single one. Not going to willing to pay US income taxes and UK.

    Goodell shows what is wrong with American business. Its never managements fault because they were tso smart and became manager in the first place.

  44. He’s “in another world.”
    – Angela Merkel, on Vladimir Putin

    Roger Goodell fits the same description. You read the comments of media and fans who think NFL in London is nonsense. But here’s Goodell actually believing London and Europe is becoming a hotbed for the NFL, despite the opinions of millions.

    It’s money. It’s in London, so Goodell is gonna take the NFL there. But it’s never gonna be like it is here. The TV money isn’t there. The NFL money model doesn’t work there.

  45. So if consistently spending more than you make over the past three decades to push the NFL product on people that call their sports games “friendly’s” is “better than expected” than congrats!

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