NFL European Division Seems To Be A Pipe Dream

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This will not happen overnight.

There was a rather strange story that seemed to materialize out of thin air about the National Football League expanding and the new teams would all be in Europe in a European division. A.J. Perez of the website FrontOfficeSports, wrote that an NFL owner told him during the league meetings in Arizona in March that expansion to Europe is coming. “We don’t know if it’s going to happen in two years, five years, or whenever, but there’s going to be an international division.” NFL owners have fallen in love with London and Germany. There are two stadiums the NFL uses for international play in London and the league plans to play games in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. That would be three cities. The NFL has political and business connections in London and is developing political and business connections in Germany. There does not seem to be any practical way the league can get started in Europe with expansion teams by 2025. There are no owners on board yet, no stadium deals done, no real local TV deals done. There is an awful lot of work to get the league started within five years.

The NFL is certain that Paris or Barcelona or Madrid might be the next logical place to set up shop on the European continent for international games. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has teased Europe saying he could envision a four-team division with two franchises in London sometime in the future. That was the same dream National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern had two decades ago. That did not happen. Basketball is well developed in Europe and Europeans have been playing in the NBA for years. The NBA European outreach started in the 1960s. American football is not well developed in Europe and that is a problem facing the National Football League.

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Evan can be reached at evan_weiner@hotmail.com

FILE – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan on the field before an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough, File)