The NFL Goes Across The Water

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The NFL has five European games scheduled in October and November.

The National Football League is beginning its annual European trek with one goal in mind. Get as many pounds and euros as possible and have the commissioner, Roger Goodell, send out plaudits to consumers in London and in Germany and tell them the NFL is coming and that one day there will be permanent NFL teams in London and in Frankfurt and in Munich and maybe in Berlin. Around two decades ago, then National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern envisioned a European division once cities built NBA state of the art arenas. The NBA still has not established a European division. Even Goodell admits that putting together an NFL European division is not going to be an easy task.

“I think it’s possible,” said Goodell. “The debate we’ve always tried to work on is if you can do it competitively, and do it in a way where it’s fair, not only for that team, but every team. We really see football as a global sport, and we’re seeing that kind of reaction. We have five games in Europe this year, we expect to do more games in the future, we want to do games around the world, and we believe this is our next big frontier. We want to make sure our game is shared with a global audience.” Shad Khan’s Jacksonville Jaguars business will be playing two games in London starting with a game against Atlanta. Khan’s franchise will play in the two London stadiums that can host NFL games and that might lead to some speculation that London could support two NFL franchises. London has three games this year. Frankfurt has two games. The NFL’s European problem is simple, there is no American football support system on the continent. But the league is satisfied with pounds and euros heading its way.

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