NFL may consider a game in Australia


The 2016 college football season kicked off in Australia with Cal facing Hawaii, and the game drew enough interest that the NFL may consider a game Down Under as well.

Hawaii Athletic Director David Matlin told the Sydney Morning Herald that the NFL has been monitoring fan interest.

“Obviously [the NFL] are paying attention to this,” he said. “I think it’s a possibility. I think you have the facilities and the sports enthusiasts, so it’s a real good place for sporting events.”

With 61,247 fans attending the game in Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, the NFL is surely confident that it could sell out a game in Sydney. And the fans in Sydney showed they were willing to spend money at an American football game, with the stadium issuing an apology for not being able to meet the fans’ “unprecedented demand for food and beverage offerings, resulting in unfortunate queues,” a spokesman for ANZ Stadium said.

“We had more than 61,000 people walk into the venue just before lunchtime all wanting to eat and drink,” he said. “This created long queues that took an extended period to service. The specific demand for American-style food products that took longer to prepare – such as the 2-foot hot dogs – added to the challenges.”

The NFL’s primary market for building its fan base overseas is London, which hosts three games a year. This year a game will also be played in Mexico City, future games are planned for China, and Germany and Brazil have both been mentioned as potential hosts for NFL games. So Australia, with its population of only 24 million, is likely a lower priority, especially considering the greater logistical challenges of getting two teams there.

But Australia has shown it can host a football game, and sell a lot of tickets, a lot of beer and a lot of 2-foot hot dogs. The NFL will notice that.

30 responses to “NFL may consider a game in Australia

  1. That’s what, 3 Jags games worth of fans? Just move that embarrassment of a franchise already.

  2. Goodall and Jerry Jones screwed over their existing market in St Louis so badly, even though St Louis had funding approved for a $1B new stadium, that they should address that first. NFL was so greedy to get their hands on LA money, they shafted long suffering St Louis loyal fans and violated their own relocation rules to do it. Shameful.

  3. The logistical challenge for getting two teams to Australia is no different than the challenge getting them to China.

  4. BRilliant idea. lets take our NATIONAL(not international) Football League to where the fans that MADE the NFL cant be a part of it. Just amazing Goodell. Thans for looking out for money interests only. Screw everything else huh? Cant wait for the players to strike. Im all for it if it means the all mighty zionist money grabbing loser leaves the league. He got his 30 million a year.He gives no rats about if anything fails when he retires

  5. The NFL is a greedy enterprise. They seriously don’t care about it’s core fan base. Why not create two new teams and call them the “NFL Globetrotters”? Have those teams play each other around the world.

  6. Games in London, Mexico, China, now Australia. Is there going to be any more games played here in the states. You know the cities where we pay extra taxes to build these huge stadiums they live in basically rent free.

  7. Let’s focus on making sure scheduled games are played in the US (Canton) before we do more overseas games.

  8. The league makes billions in its normal operations every year.

    Now it makes billions more with its shadow ownership of the daily fantasy gambling sites.

    Yet they still want to extort their buildings from public money.

    At least a dozen of the owners have zero interest in winning a Super Bowl, only in keeping the money machine rolling with just enough lip service to do so.

    I don’t mind games overseas, but not if they are going to take that revenue from stadiums that taxpayers pay for. Period.

    No public money for the NFL ever again for any reason. Then they can put their games wherever they want.

  9. I read the linked story. It sounds like it was a disaster for the fans. They stood in lines for over an hour to get food because the stadium was unprepared for the demand due to the “unusual” noon kickoff time. I guess they weren’t aware that most American games start between 12 & 1pm. The NFL would most certainly draw simply as a novelty in Australia, but it wouldn’t have any staying power.

  10. But, Australia is south of the equator! The compass needle points SOUTH!! How many NFL players will be confused as to which way to run? It will be horrible to see a “north-south” runner having to convert to “south-north” style of running. Worse yet, the announcers will have no idea which end of the field is which.
    Imagine Hochuli trying to explain which goal the team has chosen to defend after the coin flip.

  11. Until international travel gets fast enough so that a team flight to these games takes no longer than the longest domestic flight to games, they shouldn’t be having them at all. This is a huge money industry with hundreds of millions of stakeholders from owners to employees to players to fans to the entire American psyche, but the league itself only ever seems concerned with 32 of them. The rest of us, including the players who have to make these arduous trips in the midst of an arduous season, will get what Roger decides to give us and we’ll like it.

  12. Now that the 3rd preseason games for 2016 are over it seems like a good time for the NFL to publically release the PSI information that was collected during the 2015 season.

    The integrity of the league depends on that the information be made public prior to the start of the 2016 regular season.

    Remember Tom Brady is being made to miss the 1st 4 games of the regular season and fans of all 32 teams deserve to see the information that according to those that dismiss science should show that the suspension was justified.

    Remember that the suspension not only affects the Patriots. Four teams get to play against the Patriots backup QB and twelve teams will have to face Brady. That means that the 4 teams get an advantage that could affect who makes the playoffs and how the teams are seeded.

    It’s possible that at least one team won’t make the playoffs due to another team having an extra win that was obtained when they beat the Patriots in the 1st four weeks. Assuming that the other team that doesn’t make the playoffs earned a loss while facing Brady. Even the non-win tie breaker statistics could be affected.

    Also might not be fair to the team that has to face Brady in the early round of the playoffs because the Patriots were seeded lower than they would have been if they didn’t have an extra loss from one of the 4 suspension games.

  13. While the travel time to London is significant, Australia is a whole other story.
    That will have jet lag and impact player performance for several days.
    Maybe the first game of the season, but other than that, it will harm the participating teams.

  14. So, as an Australian, I’ll give my two cents here. Well, five cents, because we got rid of one cent pieces about 25 years ago…

    Exhibition games? Great! Preseason games? Sure – I remember the Broncos and Chargers playing one in Sydney back in 1999… but regular season games? With that much travel, and that much time difference? Now, I’ve done the transpacific flight back and forth plenty of times, and all I want to do afterwards is sleep – I doubt it’d be conducive to good football, both for that game, and the game the teams play afterwards back in the states. While there are definitely more than five people interested in it – remember last preseason, when Jarryd Hayne’s jersey managed to crack the top five in sales – it’d just be too much of a logistical nightmare to actually play games Down Under.

    One final note, though – I find it curious that the couple of forays that American football has made into Australia have been into Sydney, because Melbourne is definitely more of a sports town.

  15. The NFL can’t claim to care about player safety when they’re playing a game in Beijing. China still uses leaded gas and the air in Beijing is so ATROCIOUS, you have to chew it before you inhale. Shame on you NFL!

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