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Thread: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the road

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    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the road

    Goodell sees more games in England
    Friday, October 23, 2009
    Associated Press

    LONDON -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expects the league to start playing multiple regular-season games in Britain in the next few years -- an expansion that could lead to putting a franchise in London.

    Goodell said Friday that "every indicator" shows the British market can support more games and that having a franchise here is of "tremendous interest" to the league. But he stopped short of giving a timeline for expanding the NFL's overseas presence.

    "The interest and the enthusiasm for our game continues to grow, and we want to feed that," Goodell said. "We want to respond to that by hopefully bringing more to the UK."

    Goodell spoke at a sports conference Friday ahead of Sunday's game between the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium. It's the third year in a row the NFL is staging a regular-season game in London, and the league is now looking into playing at least two games a year in Britain, he said. Aside from London, Manchester and Glasgow, Scotland, are being looked at as potential venues.

    "I expect that sometime in the next couple of years, we could be playing multiple games here," Goodell said. "If we brought more than one game here, and it continues to have the same kind of enthusiasm and growth of interest, I think that is about as good of an indicator you can get that it could successfully support a franchise. And that's what we're looking at."

    Staging a Super Bowl abroad, however, "is not something that is under active consideration," Goodell said.

    The league is considering expanding the regular season to 17 or 18 games, with a possibility for every team to play one game abroad. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said if the league wants more of the current franchises to travel internationally for games, the regular season should be extended so that teams can keep the same number of home games. The Bucs are giving up a home game this season.

    "I'm not sure our fans would appreciate us giving up a regular-season [home] game, and I know I wouldn't like to do that. But eventually I think there's a chance of that if we expand the schedule," Kraft said.

    Kraft said placing an NFL team in London "would be the right thing to do some time in the next decade."

    Goodell said he would prefer a potential London-based team was a completely new franchise, rather than moving one from an existing market.

    "We would like to keep all our teams where they are," he said.

    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady didn't sound too enthusiastic about playing for a team based in Europe.

    "That would be challenging," Brady said. "But I don't see that happening any time soon."

    The league is also eyeing having a team in Los Angeles again, especially after California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill this week allowing the construction of a 75,000-seat stadium that developers hope will lure an NFL team back to the Los Angeles area.

    "I think there are some positive developments going on there," Goodell said. "But now we have to figure out how to pay for it. And in our economic system, that is a big challenge. It's at least an $800 million stadium."

    He would not venture a guess as to what would come first, a team in London or Los Angeles.

    "I don't know about the timing as far as the sequence," he said. "I would tell you that both markets are of tremendous interest to us."
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4588350
    -------------------------------
    I'm not sold.
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  3. #2
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    I'm not sold.
    It's a better idea on paper than it is in practice.

    You can make the travel work (Hawaii manages to fly 6+ hours for games on the mainland, which isn't too much longer than the 7.5 hours it takes from London to New York), but there are all sorts of smaller problems associated with having one NFL franchise separated from the rest.

    Any London-based team would be at a potential disadvantage in the free agent market (would players want to take a job that required them to leave the United States and live overseas for 6 months at a time?), and would be at a disadvantage running scouting operations (scouts and coaches would be 7 hours, minimum, away from any college games being played).

    And, of course, you'd need to sell tickets. Is there even a market for the NFL in England beyond the once-per-year novelty act? My understanding (based on people I know who live over there) is that the average Brit knows less about American football than the average American knows about soccer. Can an expansion team put 60,000 people in a stadium every week with (likely) little to no support from away fans?

    As a football fan, I think it'd be beyond cool to have games being played in London or Mexico City -- but the logistics simply don't work.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Such a bad idea, NFL Europe was a huge money loser for a reason.
    Go Gators!

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    Member durl's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Does Goodell have the inside track on some type of teleport device?

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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Would they change it to the IFL?

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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    Such a bad idea, NFL Europe was a huge money loser for a reason.
    There are many reasons one can point to for the lack of success NFL Europe experienced, but it's hard to discount the main one: bad football rarely sells, no matter where it is located.

    NFL Europe was filled with guys who couldn't hack it in the regular NFL -- whereas an NFL team in London would be (theoretically) actual NFL players playing against other actual NFL teams.

    Were people excited to see the Rhine Fire playing against the London Monarchs? Probably not. Would people be excited to see the London Monarchs NFL team playing against the New England Patriots or the Pittsburgh Steelers? I think there's a better possibility than that.

    Interesting side notes:

    * - There is actually a league currently playing "American Football" in England: The "British American Football League" (website: http://www.bafl.org.uk/)

    * - They are governed by the "British American Football Association" (website: http://www.bafa.org.uk), which also runs a website promoting American Footbal (http://www.getintoamericanfootball.com). It's interesting reading when coming from the background of someone like me, where I can never remember a time where I didn't know the basic rules of football.
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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Sure the Patriots or Steelers would draw, the first few times, then the novelty would wear off and I think you would see attendance like MLS games get, it's a small niche of fans there who enjoy the American game.

    Besides, if cross Atlantic expansion was possible I would think the NBA would be all over it first.

    The NFL should think about about Toronto and Mexico city first
    Go Gators!

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    Member redsfandan's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    The NFL should think about about Toronto and Mexico city first
    That makes more sense to me. I think the players would much rather be on a team in on of those cities instead of on a team in London where they'd have to take 6-12 hour flights to every game.
    "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfandan View Post
    That makes more sense to me. I think the players would much rather be on a team in on of those cities instead of on a team in London where they'd have to take 6-12 hour flights to every game.
    I was under the impression that the NFL had done feasibility studies of Mexico City and found that the population base (notably the middle class / upper-middle class population) wasn't sufficient to support an NFL team -- especially when you add in the need for high-end tickets and corporate-based tickets (luxury boxes, etc.).

    Toronto is a good bet, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see a team like Jacksonville relocate there in the next 10 years.
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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    I was under the impression that the NFL had done feasibility studies of Mexico City and found that the population base (notably the middle class / upper-middle class population) wasn't sufficient to support an NFL team -- especially when you add in the need for high-end tickets and corporate-based tickets (luxury boxes, etc.).
    Yeah. The average citizen there really can't afford to go to games. They will have the same problem with baseball. Also, the smog there is terrible. Kickers and punters would love it there, though since it's quite a nice altitude there.

    Toronto is a good bet, though. I wouldn't be surprised to see a team like Jacksonville relocate there in the next 10 years.
    Buffalo played about half their home schedule there last year.
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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Impractical nonsense.

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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip R View Post
    Buffalo played about half their home schedule there last year.
    The Bills only play one game a year in Toronto, plus the occasional preseason game. I believe the NFL has a deal with the CFL to not overload the market. An NFL team in Toronto would kill the Argonauts, and really weaken the CFL, since they only have eight teams to start with and Toronto is one of the premier teams.

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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    If the NFL were serious about expanding into Europe, the first place they should probably look is not England, but rather Germany. Of all the NFL Europe markets, it seems like the German markets did the best. Also, the NFL would have a built in fan base of all those in the US armed forces serving in Germany. However, it still doesn't get over the fact that such a team would still be 6 hours away from the East Coast and would be 9 hours away from teams on the West Coast. They would probably have to do a lot of creative scheduling to ensure that such a team isn't overly affected by the jet lag.
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    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Send them the Browns.


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    Re: Goodell sees more games in England; a team located in England possible down the r

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt700wlw View Post
    Send them the Browns.

    Our local TV station would probably still show their crappy games over the Bengals sometimes.


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