London Calling, The NFL Is Listening Very Closely

What is going on in London?


The National Football League’s three game London home stand wraps up with the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars game. The National Football League ownership group has a very clear intent in scheduling matches in London. Expand the brand with the hope of establishing a permanent franchise in the city, derive a major revenue stream from TV and merchandising and perhaps get enough interest in the game that youngsters will forgo soccer or cricket and play American football and develop into college then NFL caliber players. But the bottom line is that NFL owners see money, lots of pounds in London.  One other item, Jacksonville owner Shahid Khan may want to make more than just one visit a year to London. There are rumors that Khan, who has a good number of years left on his lease with Jacksonville to play in the city owned stadium would like to play four games a year in London.

Just how does Khan break his Jacksonville lease and play half a regular season home schedule in London? That’s the multi-million question. The NFL management group claims that it would like to establish a full time London franchise in the foreseeable future. The league has poured money into the Tottenham Hotspurs new facility which has not yet opened because of safety issues. The NFL management group is very bullish on the future of American football in London but the league is still trying to figure out how to export more games elsewhere. There will be a game in Mexico City on November 19 and will feature the Kansas City Chiefs playing the Los Angeles Rams. Mexico is a bit different from England in terms of selling the NFL. The NFL sponsors a youth flag football league and some Mexican schools offer a form of American football in phys ed classes. The NFL likes pesos and pounds just as much as American dollars.