Tea with my football? I’m not so sure.

Across the pond in Wembley Stadium, America’s own Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings battled it out today in front of a crowd of 80,000 European football fans. Despite the distance, NFL fans all over the country had their eyes on this game with one question in the back of their mind: should the NFL have a team in London?

vikings

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/28/sports/football/nfl-roundup.html

A number of fans, players, coaches and league-owners passionately oppose the idea, which has been discussed for years by the NFL and league-owners. Many oppose the idea for financial reasons, including the high costs for travel and the burden of building a stadium in a still risky market. Many players and coaches oppose the idea as well because they do not want to move their families to London and some just prefer the iconic American sport to stay, well, American. A common rationale is, why change something when you’ve got a good thing going?

The NFL has advocated for the expansion for years and hoped to use this game to promote the addition of a team in London. The number of international football fans, especially in London, has grown in recent years and he NFL believes that they have a solid fan base that would support a team and buy season tickets. The league hosted an NFL block party on Regent Street on Saturday to pump up the fans and hype up the game. With the festive block party leading up to the game the NFL hoped gain support and harness new international fans.  To build on some of this hype the Discovery Channel and NFL Films created a two-part series called “NFL in Season” where they will document the players before they make the trip to London. This will air on October 4 and November 1, 2013.

nfl london

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/sports/football/hype-machine-in-overdrive-nfl-pops-back-to-london.html?pagewanted=all

The Jacksonville Jaguars will play the San Francisco 49ers in London as well, after signing a contract to play a game in London every year for the next four seasons. According to the Sports Business Journal, this was a strategic business deal to help the team find new markets and expand their fan base. By playing a game in London every year the Jaguars hope to become London’s favorite team and hopefully bring in more revenue as a result.

I personally disagree with the idea of having an NFL team in London. Although I understand the NFL’s desire to expand their markets and business opportunities I do not think that they should add a team in London. I think that the team and players would be at a great disadvantage because of all of the additional costs and travel, as well as the  burden of moving players and their families overseas. Even though support in London for NFL football has grown since the demise of NFL Europa, I do not think that the team would end up being financially successful or a winning team. I think it is rather extreme to implant a new team when the league is thriving financially.

Since we are visiting Sanford Stadium this Saturday, I was really interested in some of the financial burdens associated with building a new stadium. According to nfl.com, the last two stadiums to open, MetLife Stadium and Cowboys Stadium, cost more than one billion dollars. On top of that, the team would have to decide how to finance that, which is a whole other issue.

If a team in London ends up being a reality, it will be interesting to see how Americans react and how Londoners will balance their love for soccer and American football. Maybe the two can live in harmony. We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Relevant links:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/steelers/2013/09/27/london-vikings-steelers-uk/2853731/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/sports/football/hype-machine-in-overdrive-nfl-pops-back-to-london.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a5c85c/article/nfl-stadiums-go-from-boom-to-swoon-in-span-of-a-decade

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi, Stranger! Leave Your Comment...

Name (required)
Email (required)
Website