The league has just one reliable European market, London.
According to Brett Gosper, who is the person who heads up the National Football League’s European strategy, the league is very interested in putting a team in London, England. But Gosper concedes that London is not getting a franchise anytime soon. Europe is a target for the league and the NFL would like to expand its marketing on the continent but it is a slow go. The NFL will hold games in London and in Germany in 2023 but getting into other countries may take a while. France and Spain are places of interest for the NFL. Paris, France along with Barcelona and Madrid in Spain would seem to be three areas that the league should look into. But it will be a game here, a game there, no European division for quite a while, if ever. London is shaping up as the key.
“We’ve even heard the commissioner talk about having a division in Europe, the commissioner talked about having two (London) teams. He thinks this market could support two teams, which it could, that Germany could support two teams,” said Gosper. “In some ways, it’s probably an easier logistical thing than having one team come into London, which will create all sorts of logistical challenges. Having a whole division here playing through the season, until the playoff period, might be an easier lift. In other ways it’s a much harder lift because you’ve got to find four teams.” Gosper added that a European division was “a fair way off” and was unlikely to happen “in the next five years”. The NFL knows what it has in London, two stadiums and some interest in the product. But the NFL viability in the rest of Europe is unknown. Munich and Frankfurt, Germany are two markets that the NFL is exploring. Identifying other markets is an ongoing process.
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