Roger Goodell: Demand for international games outpacing supply

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says interest from outside the United States in hosting NFL games is growing.

Four games are scheduled to be played in London and one in Mexico City for the second straight year — the Mexico City game was scrubbed last year due to poor field conditions — and Goodell told Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal that the league has seen signs that they could be shipping more games abroad. The hangup is the supply.

“The reality is that the demand for playing those games is greater than we have in the inventory,” Goodell said. “But what we’re trying to do is, it’s a combination of the media, the events themselves, and our partnerships.”

The inventory is low because most teams don’t want to give up one of their eight home dates each year, which has led to suggestions that expanding the regular season could be tied to more international games as well as the prospect of putting a franchise in a different country. Goodell believes that a team would be supported, but other questions have to be answered.

“I have no doubt that the fanbase and the commercial opportunity is there [for a franchise],” Goodell said. “Can we do it competitively? Can we do it where our 32 teams can compete at a competitive level? And that’s critical. At the end of the day our game is our product.”

The Bears and Raiders will play this season’s first overseas game when they face off in London on October 6. That game will take place at Tottenham’s new stadium, which was designed with hosting NFL games in mind and Goodell’s comments suggest they’ll continue getting them.

92 responses to “Roger Goodell: Demand for international games outpacing supply

  1. I always see the NFL lagging behind the NBA and European Soccer in terms of international sports popularity. Then with all the head trauma and injuriea involved with the sport it’s going to be a tough sell.

  2. Take away 2 pre season games. Add one regular season game.
    8 Roadgames
    8 Home Games
    1 Neutral site game that can be played in other countries or even small market teams like Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Portland etc… even play them in College Stadiums around the country.

    Dallas Cowboys Vs L.A Rams in the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan would be pretty awesome

  3. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sure, Roger. Sure.

    The 18 game schedule you are proposing in foreign countries is no way outpacing supply. This is his way of backpedaling away from his failure to get teams overseas.

    We all predicted it, at least those of us who are intelligent did. It’s not possible. Their greed wants it to be so, but it’s not an executable concept for numerous reasons.

    You couldn’t even get people to attend a preseason game to see it in Winnipeg as a one-off gimmick!

  4. “At the end of the day our game is our product”

    And we will keep diluting that product with terrible rule changes that no one understands while softening the product as much as possible.

  5. Perhaps the XFL should have tried to start and international league? Sort of like NFL Europe? NFL Europe was the most successful secondary football league since the AFL/NFL merger.

  6. In my opinion the NFL is just insanely focused on revenue at all costs. Keep the money machine churning. Well right or wrong, when an NFL team is located outside of this country I am done with football. I love it but I am done with it. Who knows what my Sunday afternoons might produce.

  7. Here is an idea. Add 1 more game and a second bye week as well as reducing the preseason by 2 games. The additional game should be a neutral site game. This way the NFL gets their additional international games and no team loses a home game. Adding another bye week will help the players buy into the change.

  8. Most of the London games’ normal tickets sell out in hours or a few days. You have to pre-book your interest if you want a good ticket. I still think the NFL is looking to the re-intro of supersonic jets in 6yrs or so. THREE different companies prototypes could be in the air by 2021, in service by mid-2020s. It will make London viable, 3hrs from NY.

  9. As a lifelong, loyal Patriots fan I will faithfully watch the New England games until Brady and Belichick retire. Then, I don’t think the NFL will hold my interest any longer. Thanks for the memories.

  10. Winnipeg did everything the NFL or promoter asked. The promoter dropped the ball. Said there was going to be events the week of the game. NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Only 2 choices of BEER. Pathetic. The only thing that was good about that game, the fans. I was lucky didnt have to pay for ticket.

    SKOL

  11. Ya ok… the debacle in Canada says otherwise. 21k tickets sold in a “stadium” that held 35k. Remember when the NFL cancelled a game to be played Mexico .. (last year) .. multiple international debacles as of late.

  12. Cutting the preseason games to accomodate a new franchise and increase games by 17 or 18 will affect the quality of the games. How? Insufficient preseason games to evaluate the talent thereby increasing the injury risk for starters or drop off in quality by taking crap shots at players who make it to the eventual 53. One game overseas is ok for a team every 3 years or so.

  13. This coming off the Canada game and 10 yrd goal lines. How about the lost revenue for the home team businesses in that city. Great look for a tax payer funded stadium to sit empty while the team plays on gravel in Mexico.

  14. Instead of relocating teams and games for international markets, why not focus on the states that don’t have an NFL team? Wouldn’t it be cool to have an Alaskan professional football team in the NFC and a team in Oklahoma City for the AFC? This sounds more intriguing.

  15. Yea, Those people who paid outrageous price in Canada who paid to watch that Green Bay Packers / Oakland Raiders NON EVENT can’t wait for the NFL to come back again.

  16. One thing is certain….the NFL owner’s who’s greed is endless will find a way to kill the golden goose. I cringe when I hear about a team in London or whatever. I think most NFL fans like myself could give a rip about growing the game internationally and can’t stand having to lose a home game for a game overseas. It’s an American sport….leave it that way.

  17. Stop using Winnipeg as an example. The London games all sell out. The canceled Mexico City game was reported to be a sellout.

    I have NFL Gamepass and watch the first half of nearly every preseason game. All stadiums are half full or less. Except KC.

    Winnipeg promoters were charging regular season prices for a preseason game. If they had a regular season game it likely would have been sold out.

  18. “Most of the London games’ normal tickets sell out in hours or a few days. You have to pre-book your interest if you want a good ticket. I still think the NFL is looking to the re-intro of supersonic jets in 6yrs or so. THREE different companies prototypes could be in the air by 2021, in service by mid-2020s. It will make London viable, 3hrs from NY.”

    London is a tick under 7 hours now from NY. About 20 minutes longer than NY to Seattle. So I don’t think the flight time reduction is the linchpin in the plan.

  19. aarons444 says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Put a team in London.
    The Patriots are the logical choice.
    Just drop the New from their name.
    ———-

    Damn you’re going to just give away the best team to the Brits.

  20. NFL football is a total American sport. Sorry but Europe and China or wherever you want to promote it will never support it like they do with soccer. Basketball has a better chance to sell around the world. Leave it here and stop changing crap that’s making things worse.

  21. All this “demand” yet these countries REFUSE to start their own pro football leagues.
    Think about that.
    Germany, France, Mexico, Japan, etc apparently love football SOOOO much that they want the NFL to entertain them, and have the NFL cover all the costs/liability, PR, travel, etc. All while taking on ZERO risk themselves.
    That, my friends, is the opposite of capitalism.

  22. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an Alaskan professional football team in the NFC and a team in Oklahoma City for the AFC? This sounds more intriguing.
    ———————–
    Ever tried to fly into Alaska in the winter? And who would want to go to Oklahoma at all?

  23. Winnipeg promoters were charging regular season prices for a preseason game. If they had a regular season game it likely would have been sold out.
    _________________________________________________________________________________
    So does every NFL owner to every season ticket member. You don’t buy season tickets or you’d know. Not buying your excuse, 21k people showed for the event on a 80 yard field.

  24. A stadium’s worth of international fans does not outpace the tens of millions of NFL fans in this country. London games either get played very late in London so they’re reasonable here, or they’re played at a reasonable hour for the British but early morning here. How does that work? The further into Europe you go, the worse the time translation will get. Other countries offer soccer stadiums with questionable conditions for football. Who is beating down the door to NFL headquarters to see this?

    Here’s what does need to happen: stop trying to make the 4:25 game on Sunday a “national game”. It isn’t. Move some of the early games to the late window so there’s a better selection in both slots. NFL has basically turned the 1p Eastern game into the “who cares” time slot – or from back in the day on ESPN Primetime, “Stu games”. Yeah, there are bad teams, but the best games can’t only be at 4:25 and 8:30 Sunday.

  25. For our foreign friends, we would like to apologize. Winnipeg is the worst city in the entire country, and 47% of all disposable income is spent on meth. The only way to sell out an NFL game there would have been to have to have a giveaway for said meth. Put a game in a real city, and not the Bills, and we would love to come out. But seriously, no more Bills games, please.

  26. Just keep it up greedy NFL! I use to watch every game on TV a few years ago. I loose interest more every year. Now I only watch when My Steelers are playing.

  27. There will never be a Franchise over here in the U.K. It works now because it is different teams. I have been a football fan since the early 80’s and had to get my fix by reading orvwatching a highlight show which was a week late. The Championship game was the only live game we got and that took a few years to air. I am entrenched as a Miami fan and always will be but I am not saying I would have eye out for a team based here. But both you and I know that it’s only temporary. History shows if the likes of Baltimore, LA, St Louis, Oakland, San Diego, Cleveland, Houston can lose and gain, lose and gain etc etc I wouldn’t be long before the spectre of an owner makes a decision to up sticks. And imo that would stick in the throats of a football fan over here because towns almost never ever lose their teams. I has happened once in about 120 years. Other than that who would want to be based over here. Free agents of any standing no way. Travel distance, no way. Pipe dream !

  28. I have NFL Gamepass and watch the first half of nearly every preseason game. All stadiums are half full or less. Except KC.
    ——
    I noticed that too. KC is still rocking the stadiums foundation even during the preseason. You’d think NFL HC’s would be doing everything possible to get a preseason game AT Arrowhead Stadium. They have freaking awesome fans. If they ever win a Super Bowl their celebration may cause the earthquake that slides California into the Pacific Ocean.

  29. One word left out…”his” demand is outpacing “his” supply. And the supply is dwindling because “his” owners don’t want to travel to these “Exotic” venues to play in a cow pasture, Meximart parking lot, or “football” pitch.
    I’d mention the players and their disdain but they aren’t part of the discussion.

  30. Goitan,

    Season ticket holders have to pay full price for two useless preseason games. If you are a season ticket holder you purchase 10 tickets to see 8 regular season games. At least understand what you are talking about.

    I’m not big on. The international games. But what annoys me more is people making arguments built on false information and supposition.

  31. bystanderhere says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    Wouldn’t it be cool to have an Alaskan professional football team in the NFC and a team in Oklahoma City for the AFC? This sounds more intriguing.
    ———————–

    Ever tried to fly into Alaska in the winter? And who would want to go to Oklahoma at all?

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Minneapolis and Green Bay are just as cold as Anchorage. That city is the most populated city in Alaska as well. An NFL team could thrive there. High schools have their own football teams there.

  32. As a lifelong, loyal Patriots fan I will faithfully watch the New England games until Brady and Belichick retire. Then, I don’t think the NFL will hold my interest any longer. Thanks for the memories.

    Signed,
    A millennial, bandwagon fan that’s only ever known unprecedented success.

  33. The players can demand more guarantee or something else in exchange for a 17 game regular season 2 preseason games and 2 bye weeks.Every team can play one international game before or after a bye week.I wouldn’t do am 18 game season and extend the playoffs

  34. It seems like many of the commentors here just think Goodell and the NFL can snap their fingers and turn the season into 18 games or add a franchise to a different country.

    This all has to be agreed upon in the collective bargaining agreement with the players.

    I’m sure the players have some ideas as well, such as the opposite of all this travel being proposed to other countries and 2 more games added to the schedule.

  35. if i were an NFL player, i.e. someone from a group of people who have been demonized by what’s-his-face & his minions, i would think twice about leaving the country to play a game of football because getting back in would not be guaranteed

  36. I personally think it would be awesome to have games in cities in the U.S. that don’t have teams instead of playing internationally. It would be really cool to have games in places like Memphis, Portland, Ok City, etc. that don’t have NFL teams.

  37. naes says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Stop using Winnipeg as an example. The London games all sell out. The canceled Mexico City game was reported to be a sellout.

    I have NFL Gamepass and watch the first half of nearly every preseason game. All stadiums are half full or less. Except KC.

    Winnipeg promoters were charging regular season prices for a preseason game. If they had a regular season game it likely would have been sold out.

    6 19 Rate This

    ————————-

    it’s going to sell out 9 times a season and 2 preseason games??

    LOL!

    You’re a moron if you think that

    A gimmick is a gimmick for short term reasons. Period. Europe is DOMNINATED BY soccer leagues. NFL will never fly there.

    All the soccer leagues are VERY popular.

  38. International games are popular because there are a limited number of them, and the teams that play in them alternate. If you give an expansion team to someplace like London, the interest will wane after a year or two. That team won’t be able to bring in any big name free agents, and any superstars they draft will leave for the U.S. at the first possible chance. International fans will quickly get tired of watching a bad team.

  39. usedjock says:
    August 29, 2019 at 2:27 pm
    I personally think it would be awesome to have games in cities in the U.S. that don’t have teams instead of playing internationally. It would be really cool to have games in places like Memphis, Portland, Ok City, etc. that don’t have NFL teams.
    _____________________________________________

    In theory, I agree and that’s a great idea. But where are they going to play? In a college stadium, or in some cases, on a high school field? I doubt that would work. The logistics would be difficult.

  40. footballfan58 says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    As a lifelong, loyal Patriots fan I will faithfully watch the New England games until Brady and Belichick retire. Then, I don’t think the NFL will hold my interest any longer. Thanks for the memories.

    So pretty much the same as all the recent fairweather Pats fans who will disappear shortly after Brady does.

  41. Just keep screwing over your domestic fanbase that has allowed you to become the behemoth money making machine that you are. How much money do you greedy scumbags need? Scrap the international games. They are garbage and no one in America likes them.

  42. obviously the only answer is to make the Raiders forfeit all home games and have them travel around the world the entire season.

    LOLOLOLOL

    Goodell…. its not beyond him.

  43. Simple solution to lack of supply: adopt the 17 game season, with the majority of the odd games offered to international stadiums.

    NFLPA is playing negotiation games by feigning objections to 18, but could buy off on 17 with two byes and 2 preseason games. NFL wants the international games to grow its brand on TV channels in Europe & Latin America. NFLPA could get goodies such as expanded rosters, 2nd bye weeks, 16-game limit for non-specialist positions. NFLPA will ask for more, and perhaps there’s another goody or two to be wrested.

  44. 8&8parade says:

    August 29, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    As a lifelong, loyal Patriots fan I will faithfully watch the New England games until Brady and Belichick retire. Then, I don’t think the NFL will hold my interest any longer. Thanks for the memories.

    Signed,
    A millennial, bandwagon fan that’s only ever known unprecedented success.

    blahblah5528 says:

    August 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    footballfan58 says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:18 pm
    As a lifelong, loyal Patriots fan I will faithfully watch the New England games until Brady and Belichick retire. Then, I don’t think the NFL will hold my interest any longer. Thanks for the memories.

    So pretty much the same as all the recent fairweather Pats fans who will disappear shortly after Brady does.
    ///////////

    Sorry kiddo’s. I’m a 65 year old grandmother who has been watching the Patriots since 1967. Have seen more football then probably the both of you put together. But thanks for the laugh!

  45. The preseason game in Winnipeg (?!) only used 80 yards of the field because pulling out the Canadian style uprights left big holes in the end zones.

    How, again, does Goodell have a job?

  46. None of the fans that actually made the NFL what it is, American fans, like or want international games. The players do not like or want international games. This has nothing to do with politics, patriotism, xenophobia, or whatever kind of lefty spin you want to put on it. It’s just a fact. No one wants to get up on Sunday at 7am to watch their team play in London. Of course being good to the homegrown loyal fans never crosses the owners’ minds. They’ve proven that time and time again, most recently with forcing Thursday night games down our throats. They only thing they care about is the size of their bank accounts, which by the way, will be starting to dwindle in about 10 years or so when the NFL tanks and loses out to soccer.

  47. naes says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:34 pm
    Stop using Winnipeg as an example. The London games all sell out. The canceled Mexico City game was reported to be a sellout.
    ———————————————————————-
    The ‘sellouts’ are in large part due to corporate sponsorships here and abroad. That’s how the NFL is able to bring these games there and guarantee they at least get close to an even return on their investment. It’s a huge, expensive production to pull all this off.

  48. Of course it is; who can deny such a clear reality?!? Hell, in Canada, they even took 20 yards of the playing field!

  49. I cant wait for the Vegas stadium to be done, that way the Raiders dont lose home games anymore to this garbage over seas crap

  50. Roger, instead of focusing on how to play games overseas, please figure out a reliable streaming solution for NFL games that provides a reasonably priced way for a fan to watch their team if they are “out of market”. Thanks.

  51. Goodell is such a total imbecile. He and these greedy owners can take the NFL to Timbuktu as far as I am concerned!
    I hate games played in other countries! It’s all about money and nothing else!
    The fans in this country get screwed by the NFL every time we turn around and this is just another example of it.
    I am thisclose to stop watching the NFL altogether. Between college football, college basketball, high school football, high school wrestling, the NBA and the NHL, there are plenty of ways to enjoy my sports without the NFL.
    I never thought it would come to this. I started watching the NFL in 1960, but I am just about fed up with the way they have ruined the game. I’d be willing to bet a lot of fans feel the way I do, too.

  52. aarons444 says:
    August 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm
    Put a team in London.

    The Patriots are the logical choice.

    Just drop the New from their name.

    ——
    And do what with the current stadium, mall and hotel?
    You got a plan to give Kraft a couple of billion to take care of that issue?

    The salary cap for a London based team would have to be higher just to cover the taxes.
    I could see any first rounders saying they’d play baseball if picked by a London based team. What free agent would want to sign with a London based team if that was not so?

  53. “Wouldn’t it be cool to have an Alaskan professional football team in the NFC”

    I would absolutely watch the Fairbanks Fairies play!

  54. NFL Europe has failed multiple times, and the cities their had their own teams. It lost $30 million per season. Not buying that there’s ‘just so much’ demand.

  55. “They only thing they care about is the size of their bank accounts, which by the way, will be starting to dwindle in about 10 years or so when the NFL tanks and loses out to soccer.”

    Agreed on the bank account part, but I think I heard the same thing about soccer taking over 10 years ago. And 10 years before that as well.

  56. taxpayers that fund public stadiums should sue for lost revenue when games get moved. those stadiums are based on x number of games

  57. no one cares about the nfl outside this country. its just veiwed as a novelty. people watch because its a bunch of weird circus clown cartoon characters trying to kill one another…..wait, thats why we watch it.

  58. The thing is, that demand comes from Goodell himself as he tries to force the issue. Europeans I know (quite a few) see it as an enjoyable curiosity once in a while (so the once a year games they think are fun) but to really get immersed in following a team and season not so much. Not because they dont think American Football looks like a pretty cool sport, they do think that, but there are other sports that draw their attention and emotion a lot more so thats where the time investment goes. More than one.

  59. And do what with the current stadium, mall and hotel?
    You got a plan to give Kraft a couple of billion to take care of that issue?
    ======

    No plan at all.

    Just hoping their “fans” go with them…

  60. Just play your preseason games outside the United States. Soccer does this all the time. They never play their normal national league schedule outside of their country.

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