- 02/01/2012, 11:52AM ET
MagicSpecs said 02/02, 05:00 AM
It has long been a goal of NFL to expand and grow the sport to new markets. And, for the good of the sport, rightly so. As part of this initiative, 2012 will see the sixth NFL regular season game played in London.
The St Louis Rams have agreed to 'give up' one home fixture in each of the next three seasons in favour of hosting a game each year at Wembley. In 2012 they face the New England Patriots, who will play at Wembley for the second time after their 35-7 victory over Tampa Bay in 2009.
Invariably, as the event nears media reports of an NFL franchise relocation (usually Jacksonville, Tampa Bay or St Louis themselves) or expansion into Europe is peddled and hyped. Here I say "Poppycock". It will not happen. And here is why:
1) There is no suitable and available venue to host 8 home games.
2) There is no suitable way to provide London with a team, through expansion or relocation.
3) Whilst there is a fanbase to fill Wembley 4 years out of 5, there is not one to sell out 8 home games a year.
4) There is no more TV money to be made in the UK by having a UK-based team.
5) America just won't like it.
I hereby rest my case. All the best.
Grue said 02/02, 10:23 AM
I like the challenge here. Since your case is rested, please allow me to take three arguments to debunk.
The NFL wants an international presence. The NFL generates billions of dollars. The NFL has billionaire owners, at least one has the goal establishing a strong European market immediately. You're telling FanNation that a group of billionaires will never get something they want.
Think like an owner not like a fan.
Cliche: Never say never. You made the topic so you recognize the probability of a UK franchise. Billionaire owners, like Stan Kroenke, do not have the same decision criteria as fans. Teams are investments. What seems rational for a fan or player is less important to a billionaire investor. If a billionaire is willing to take a risk because he believes it will increase that value of the franchise, he will.
Fact: America loves football. The vast majority of Americans do not travel to games. They watch on TV. The UK is 5 hours ahead of the East Coast so an owner knows moving to Europe means every home game is on prime time US television. Average TV revenue per game is probably higher than US teams. On TV, location doesn't matter.
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