NFL not the only American sport moving into the London market

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The NFL is heading into its 13th year of playing regular-season games in London, and the league is showing no sign of slowing down. But it’s getting increased competition.

This weekend the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox played two games in London, the first time Major League Baseball has played in Europe. MLB’s entrée into the London market means all four major American sports leagues have now played regular-season games there; the NHL played two games there in 2007 while the NBA has played a game there annually since 2013.

MLB placing Yankees-Red Sox in London this year (and scheduling to St. Louis Cardinals-Chicago Cubs games in London next year) is giving the London fans the best that American baseball has to offer. That’s a contrast with the NFL, which has generally sent the teams that struggle to fill up their home stadiums to London. MLB teams, which play 81 home games per year, can more readily afford to give up a home game than NFL teams, with only eight home games.

Whether any of the four major American sports ever gain a real foothold in London, or whether their games prove to be a mere curiosity, remains to be seen. But the NFL now has competition in London not only from the homegrown sports, but also from the other American leagues.

11 responses to “NFL not the only American sport moving into the London market

  1. Good luck with that.

    The ONLY WAY for international success of America football
    is if millions of drunken, mouth breathing Americans move to Europe,
    Asian, and South America.

  2. Baseball is not a competition to the NFL in any way. Nice try trying to start trouble

  3. Dolphins have always had quite a big following in the UK – partly they like the name, partly because NFL first got onto their TVs in Dan Marino’s day, and partly because Florida is a popular vacation for them – and that’s why they were chosen for 2007. Shame the newly installed turf wasn’t ready due to unseasonably (record-breaking) wet weather (even for UK). But unlike baseball which has a small following over there, NFL could send the two worst teams every year and Wembley would still sell out – the tickets all go in literally a few days.

  4. ^Prob also worth pointing out there are 70,000 Americans living in London alone, another 20,000 across the South East of England, and for example 50,000 more in Paris which is just over 2hrs hours away by train. That’s before you count the 9 million London natives and any of the 30 million foriegn tourists who go there every year. And there’s millions of European fans of NFL across Europe and Wembley is a reachable game for them. You guys hate it and I know why, but you can see why American leagues’ billionaire owners all want a piece of it.

  5. What does Peter King think about this? He has all the NFL answers etc.
    Maybe Chris Simms can do a countdown of all the professional sport teams that might relocate to London. Starting at #1 a gridiron team that plays in Jacksonville. How about the Rays at #2. They couldn’t draw any less could they?

  6. Interesting how the Premier League has become more popular in the States than any US sport has over there, yet the Premier League doesn’t have to send it’s teams over here to play regular season games.

  7. I watched the Yankees vs Red Sox games in London and it appears MLB is exactly the type of game Britons enjoy. It’s majestic and poetic and strategic and games go back and forth. Plus you can see the player’s faces and all the different styled haircuts and beards which add a quirky style to it that most Britons find interesting. My opinion is we will see an MLB franchise in England before we see an NFL one.

  8. The difference is NFL is trying to interest the rest of the world in football while baseball is already an international sport with leagues around the world.

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