NFL Invading Europe?

October 8th, 2013 by WLOY Staff

nfl_a_london1x_300x300It seems that the NFL is attempting to invade our brothers from across the pond. Since Roger Goodell became Commissioner of the NFL in 2006, he has pushed heavily to involve Europe in the NFL. Since 2007, there has been an annual game in London between two NFL teams in the regular season. This year it was bumped up to two games in London, and now the NFL has agreed to play three games at Wembley Stadium in London next season.

The three home teams have already been determined as the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons, and Oakland Raiders for these three games next season. This will be the most league games that have ever been played abroad. Goodell has also said that he believes there will be an NFL franchise in London in the near future. This has created a very mixed opinion among fans of the NFL.

The traditional fans point to a couple of things. Number one, we tried to get American football started in Europe once already in the past, and it failed. The league started out strong in 1995 with teams based in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. However, the buzz quickly died and the league ceased in 2007. There are also arguments that we don’t need to have a team for our number one sport in a foreign country. That would be similar to the Barclays Premier League for soccer in England having an expansion franchise in the United States.

There are also those that are embracing the change. It would seem to appear that London at least is ready to love American football. Attendance has rapidly increased in the last few years for the NFL games in London to the point where the two games this year sold out weeks ago. Also, from a business standpoint, it really could be a very beneficial venture to start a franchise in London. If the interest continues to rise every year, and merchandise revenue continues to increase, who’s to say that a franchise in London couldn’t provide some of the most fruitful and passionate fans?

The debate rages on, but one thing is for sure; we will continue to see NFL games being played in London so long as the demand is there.

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