Craig: Would London be a good home for an NFL team?

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 28, 2013 - 11:42 PM

Commissioner favors it far more than athletes who have endured the logistics.

  • 11
  • Comments

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rshacklefordSep. 28, 13 6:20 PM

A team in London would fail even more spectacularly than a new stadium in MN.

wecandoitSep. 29, 1312:16 AM

Goodell is an idiot. He can't even get a team into Los Angeles. The NFL should go back to NFL Europe and keep players there for the whole season.

loop80Sep. 29, 13 2:34 AM

Goodell is indeed an idiot to even suggest this. The NFLPA should boycott the league if it even considers this. This is how logic goes. Problem: long plane rides and jet lag. Solution: play in USA for 2 games, then London for 2. Problem: Now, instead of being away from their families for one week, they will be away from them for two weeks. Currently, players get to reside with their families. Does Goodell think that players will live with these major inconveniences? Goodell should be tarred and feathered for even bringing up this possibility. If he wants to set up a European NFL to play its season over there and play a World Super Bowl, fine. But don't expect players and coaches to submit themselves to inter-continent play.

pericoSep. 29, 13 7:57 AM

Trying to force a new franchise to exist 3,000 miles away in a country with little cultural connection seems like an odd strategy to expand the game. A better candidate would be Mexico, a country more than twice the size of England with 120 million citizens and 1.79 trillion dollar economy. Mexico also regularly shows NFL games with Spanish language commentary provided by ex-NFL players.

ericgus55Sep. 29, 13 9:01 AM

Expanding into Europe is not a good idea. Even if all of the European labor laws could be overcome (age limits, draft, etc), which is doubtful, free agents with options wouldn't likely want to sign there because of the additional travel and stresses on their families. To make it work, the London team would probably have to have an exemption from the salary cap (extra 10% perhaps) to compensate for the additional travel expenses for their families and the higher taxes. The real hurdle, however, will be the EU and its labor laws, because the NFL gets an exemption from anti-trust laws in the US, but getting such an exemption from the EU would be much harder. As a once-in-a-while novelty, it could work (although I'm not a fan), but it's a very bad idea to permanently locate a team there. What if they actually made the playoffs (in a #2 or #3 seed) and the travel would have to be handled on short notice? It would be a mess when the stakes were the highest.

ericgus55Sep. 29, 13 9:06 AM

Expanding into Mexico is not a good idea either. Yes, Mexico City has a large population and supports soccer, but soccer tickets cost a fraction of what NFL tickets cost. It's fine for a once-in-a-while thing, but the ticket-buying base isn't likely there for ten games a year (including preseason). Also, free agents with a choice wouldn't likely sign there.

since61Sep. 29, 13 9:53 AM

I doubt if there is any intent by anyone to put an NFL franchise in London (they haven't even been able to put one in LA). The purpose of games like today's is to goose NFL TV ratings in Europe.

minneg56Sep. 29, 1311:13 AM

NFL Europe was one of the biggest flops in pro sports history. If it was even a MARGINAL success NFL would still be trying to squeeze every last ounce of juice from the that lemon! I wonder how European municipalities would react to the likes of Wilfs of the world who'd come in and DEMAND a place to do business for free? They'd play 'second an third fiddle' to 2nd division soccer and rugby sides! Football (with more exciting rules) can't even make it with our 'collision happy' Canadian neighbors!

loop80Sep. 29, 13 4:07 PM

Mexico? Let's put a bunch of 20-yr-old's in a country with easy access to illegal drugs, a country where the violent criminals behead groups of people and dumps them on highways, where the law enforcement and government are rife with criminals. Oh, yeah, GREAT idea!

kennyrogersSep. 29, 13 6:04 PM

Absolutely NOT! There are too many teams the way it is. Florida doesn't need three teams and Charlotte and Green Bay are too small to support a team. Contract those three teams and the NFL will prosper even more.


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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
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Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
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Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
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