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Knight Rider
30 Sep 13 00:33
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Date Joined: 22 Jun 02
| Topic/replies: 7,474 | Blogger: Knight Rider's blog
I'm sure this has been discussed before but I'm not always on the forum.  What do people think?  Crowds won't be an issue, reckon they could sell out Wembley 8 times no problem even if the team sucked.  Two issues I can think of:

1) Scheduling.  OK they can give each team a bye week after they come to London.  What about playoffs though?  Play a Wild Card game in California then the next week in London?  Harsh.

2) Differing laws.  Tax rates are different in the UK.  Everyone would need a visa.  Work permits might be a problem for some of these young men with a chequered past.  Would take some concessions on behalf of the UK govt I think.

As the saying goes, where there's a will there's a way, and the money to be made on both sides seems like something of a win:win so I can see this happening.  Embrace change, don't be afraid of it. Happy

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By:
Wallflower
When: 30 Sep 13 00:45
Crowds won't be an issue, reckon they could sell out Wembley 8 times no problem even if the team sucked.

That is a big, big assumption.....it would fade away once the novelty wore off.

I really wish the whole nonsense would stop. It's like having an EPL team in the USA, who the hell wants it.....it just doesn't work, or fit. As was spoken about in another thread - most NFL fans in UK and Europe are die-hard fans of their own team - and wouldn't support a London team, if it happened it would be the younger generation.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 00:46
i dont think it would sell out, or come anywhere close.

the appeal of the nfl games now is its a novelty. its the proper american teams. a london team, ok "fryaaansheyes", wouldnt hold much appeal to neutrals after the initial gloss has worn off. its a new team, that will inevitably be crap. i wouldnt watch them on tv never mind pay to see them.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 00:49
now if you go its like wow this is cool. its the patriots. or 49ers. or whoever. and theyre over here! a london team would, for most people i think, seem like a fake hollow gimmick. theyd lose almost every game anyway. the only players that would come and play over here are the ones nobody else wants.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 00:51
to be honest, if there was a london team, i think most british neutrals going would support the other "proper" team. whoever they are. itd be a bit of a circus.
By:
Knight Rider
When: 30 Sep 13 00:52
Wallflower, I think you overestimate the "die-hard" fans.  It's a big difference being an armchair fan of a team from a city you have no connection to, and have probably never visited, versus a team in your country who you can go to watch every other week.  I bet you'd get loads of converts, even if some of them want to support both the London team and their favourite American team.  Plus you'd have those who don't "support" the London team but go to games anyway (much as they do now for the London games) and also those who like the away team.

Sideshowbob, it would be a proper NFL team, just because it's based in London doesn't mean it would be a crap team.  You know how the NFL is; even if we inherited the Jaguars they could be a playoff team within 2-3 years thanks to the draft & salary cap.  I actually think there would be a lot more demand to watch "our" team than neutral games.  It's only 8 games.
By:
HARRY22
When: 30 Sep 13 00:57
I have to agree with the knight rider, I don't see how it would wear off,the game is growing every year and as knight rider says it is 8 games each year,they would sell out for sure.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 01:06
not really every week though is it. only 8 games a year. all the players and coaching staff will be american. just dont see how it would feel vaguely british. ok there will be people at every game, if nothing else to see the other team, but after the initial surge of popularity i dont think theyd get as many fans there as they do now for the usa v usa games.

what makes you think the team wouldnt be crap? i know expansion teams can do well quickly, but none of them are in a foreign country the other side of the world. why would top players who have several offers on the table come and play here?
By:
Knight Rider
When: 30 Sep 13 01:09
Don't think it would be an expansion team, more likely an owner of someone like the Jaguars (who just bought Fulham btw) recognising a cash cow when he sees it.  Why would players join?  I don't know, why would they play in dumps like Detroit or Cleveland?   It's a job.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 01:13
possibly, but either way its effectively a new team. it is indeed a job, but my point is the london team would get all the crap nobody else wants. you said they could be a playoff team. why would players of that talent come and play here? if i was american, id rather play for any other team in the league than come here. id only come here if i got no offers anywhere else. be bloody hard to build a playoff team if everybody, or even most players, have that attitude.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 01:41
i think the only way it would work longterm is if they made it policy that all players have to be british, cept maybe 3 or 4 overseas (realistically american) wildcards. that would improve the current (pretty much non-existant) game over here and give british fans a real affinity with the team. ok theyd get thrashed at first but eventually theyd improve. and they would be our team, not an artificially planted team full of players with no connection to the country. nobody would really mind seeing a british team full of british players get thrashed. itd be fantastic when they scored a td and actually got their first win.

but id be amazed if anybody went for that. theyll go for the short sighted "lets build a team quick" option.
By:
Knight Rider
When: 30 Sep 13 01:50
lol, that's a charming but quite fanciful idea.  The players would have no affinity with London just like 95% of NFL players have no affinity with the city they play in.  It is simply a non-issue, they will play for whoever pays their wages.
By:
sideshowbob
When: 30 Sep 13 02:03
i didnt say any of the sort. but enjoy twisting my words. i said the fans would have an affinity with the team. like fans of every club of every sport have an affinity with the team. no players of any sport have an affinity with any team, they just move where the money is. i never said they did. do you know how to read?
By:
Knight Rider
When: 30 Sep 13 02:17
I was replying to your previous two posts.  You suggested they should fill the roster with British players (I feel this is charming but fanciful, given the standard of American Football in the USA) and also that players would only move here if there were no offers from other teams (I don't feel this is true, they will generally play for the highest bidder).  Not sure why you are getting so hostile, I simply wanted to start an interesting conversation.  That's the BF forum for you I guess.
By:
therhino
When: 30 Sep 13 09:26
No way, no how. It's all well and good giving the away team a bye after a trip to London, does London get a bye after every away game? Have a game or two there a year and be happy, I would love a game a year in Australia, the MCG would be sold out too. If any country were to get a team it would be Canada.
By:
DirkDiggler
When: 30 Sep 13 10:35
No, it's a stupid idea that will never work. Too many logistical issues, and the players won't want to play here. Let's face it, these young men can't handle life, or behave on their own soil. They'll never handle being away from family support.

It'll never happen, and it it does it won't work for long, the novelty will wear off fast, and die-hards won't switch allegiances.
By:
tonyagana
When: 30 Sep 13 11:12
It could definitely work. Money talks and Wembley even at 75% capacity for 8 home matches with the potential merchandising of a London franchise would be a massive cash-cow.

As pointed out above, given the draft and salary cap system you would fancy a playoff berth every so often which would boost the local appeal of the home team. Even as a 49ers fan myself I could see me going down to London at least once a season to support the home team.
By:
therhino
When: 30 Sep 13 11:50
Too many powerbrokers would scuttle it anyway. One owner may see a cash cow, what will the other 31 think of their team playing in London away? What British broadcasters will pick it up when weekend fixtures clash with football? If no one in England is watching on TV, how many in America are also missing out due to the time difference? Why is London the choice anyway when Montreal has a 65000 seat stadium and Toronto a 50000+ and that's existing, no development needed?

And the most obvious question of all, why would you go to London when Los Angeles doesn't have a team??? Or Las Vegas? The NFL hate Vegas, but if you're willing to consider as ridiculous an idea as this, you're willing to get over your silly hatred of America's gambling capital for the same reason - money. LA may be fickle fans, but I reckon a pro sports Vegas team is as close as you can get to a sure thing. I would be stunned if this got up, too many logical options elsewhere, although logic does not always overcome... Still, I'd be stunned.
By:
tonyagana
When: 30 Sep 13 12:24
There would be no fixture clash with football. The kick-off time would remain in line with all other early Sunday games (6pm in the UK). Part of NFL's appeal in the UK is that there is rarely any other live sport on from 6pm onwards on a Sunday. Obviously London would never be able to host a late game.

I believe the NFL have some sort of agreement in place with the Canadians to not take an NFL franchise there as they have their own league.

It does leave Vegas and LA as viable options but I believe these games in London are testing the water and so far have been an unmitigated success.
By:
Desmond Orchard
When: 30 Sep 13 12:27
I was there yesterday and it felt like every yank in London must've been there, along with a generous sprinkling of Europeans (mainly German from what I could gather), so it's not just the indigenous British who you could expect to make up the numbers.
It was my first live game (although I'm an avid TV fan) and as a veteran of big rugby games, I have to say the whole event was absolutely terrific, better than I could possibly had hoped. My only gripe was that they were just not geared up for the amount of people wanting to buy merchandise, running out of virtually everything Steelers and Vikings related, with queuing of 30 mins minimum. If you're going to make it work, you need to make it a lot easier for people to give you their cash!
Nonetheless, I live in N.Yorkshire and if we had 8 games a season in t'smoke, I'd be down for half of them, as a minimum.
By:
Knight Rider
When: 30 Sep 13 14:52

It's all well and good giving the away team a bye after a trip to London, does London get a bye after every away game?


I've thought about this, I reckon they'd just have to arrange the London team's schedule so they play all their home games in a row.  Could start with 8 road games, then a bye week, then 8 home games (or vice versa).  Or at least do it in chunks of 3/4, to minimise the times where they have a long flight between games.  They do similar in other sports, for example the San Antonio Spurs always play about 9 games on the road in February because their stadium is used for a rodeo show (they call it the rodeo road trip).

Body-clock wise they would be playing their games at 6pm in the UK same as they would on the east coast of USA so perhaps it wouldn't be too bad?

By:
DirkDiggler
When: 30 Sep 13 15:09
So they're going to alter the entire schedule and affect competitive balance so they can have a team in London, rather than LA?

SA play 82 games a season, not 16, it is not the same thing.

The whole idea is a fantasy and will flop, as soon as the novelty factor wears off, and players show they don't want to play over here, and they will, it with fail. How long before a highly touted young QB pulls an Eli and won't come to London and play?

You're asking young kids to move 5,000 miles away at the same time as you're asking them to adapt to the NFL and all of those challenges?

Crazy. These kids can't stay the right side of the law with all the support systems in place in a country and culture they're comfortable in, now you're gonna transplant them in London. It's insane The whole thing is nonsense.

The London team will soon find itself at a competitive disadvantage and it will lose heavily and fold.
By:
Wallflower
When: 30 Sep 13 15:35
What I keep asking myself:

(a) Why? Is there a problem that needs solving?  - No
(b) If a team moves would the gains be better than locating to another US city? - Definitely not. LA must be a priority
(c) What do NFL fans think - US-based that is....the ones who matter the  most? - Currently an irritant, no appetitie
(d) Sporting precedent, successful or failed? Can't think of one
By:
Swardean
When: 30 Sep 13 15:47
The NFL executive desperately want to grow their brand and although an LA team looks a sensible option, if one is established there or indeed in any other american city, the brand is not growing.  The fans in those cities are already NFL fans and already watch the sport.

They need new blood, new territories and new money.

Wembley would definitely sell out for 8 games a season, however the franchise would just need to be sensible about pricing and until a core fan base was established ensure it was competitive with soccer, et al.

Yes, lots of logistics to overcome, but if the NFL was determined, it would be nothing that could not be overcome.

For me living in the north west, I would still try to get to a few games... and they would likely become my 2nd team.
By:
d13phe
When: 30 Sep 13 16:10
it could work easily. they would sell the stadiums out no problem

i think it is sometime off though and i do think they are using it to get a good deal with LA.

I also think they would have no problems having Americans living in London. Its not far from the US really.
By:
inner city sumo
When: 30 Sep 13 16:32
Would they even need to live in London. The team would still require an operational base in the US for scouting etc- what about the possibility of the team literally flying in for games.
By:
d13phe
When: 30 Sep 13 16:33
yeah exactly

reckon the players would want to do a few years in london.

but could be run from the US.
By:
Wallflower
When: 30 Sep 13 16:48
Swardean only one attempting to answer the question :  "Why?".......even though I don't agree, or at least don't see the source of his logic.

The NFL executive desperately want to grow their brand and although an LA team looks a sensible option, if one is established there or indeed in any other american city, the brand is not growing.  The fans in those cities are already NFL fans and already watch the sport.

They need new blood, new territories and new money.



They need new blood, new territories and new money?  Do they really? besides plenty of new blood, new territories and new money on their own continent. I reckon the costs of getting London in place would dilute any additional revenue anyway....so its not a money option. LA is one of the biggest markets in the US (its a continent as much as a country)....if I was on the NFL executive I would be focused on growing the brand there first and foremost. Also, I could open increased risk to damaging the brand by having a London team.

Would anybody here if there were on the NFL executive be pushing for a London team ahead of an LA team - I wouldn't.
By:
d13phe
When: 30 Sep 13 16:53
Wallflower

LA have consistently messed the NFL around.

also talk of league going to 34 teams, so london and LA?
By:
GoBallistic
When: 30 Sep 13 16:57
I can't see how it could happen under the current CBA which runs for another 8 years - the players union is probably the biggest obstacle followed by finding three east coast teams that want to play in a division with a london franchise
By:
Ming_the_Merciless
When: 30 Sep 13 17:00
the London team could be run from say New York, no problem. They just jet in 8 times a year.

I went to watch the game this weekend and what I noticed was just how many other nationalities / Europeans were there to watch the teams too, I would be interested to know how many foreign credit cards bought tickets.... Great for tourism.

In my opinion the balance is fine right now but I could never say it wouldn't ever happen and the challenges are not insurmountable.
By:
Beaniash
When: 30 Sep 13 17:16
MING JUST STOLE MY THUNDER IN A WAY. I THINK ITS BEST THEY KEEP IT AS IT IS BECAUSE THE LONDON GAMES ARE NOT JUST FOR UK FANS THEY COME FROM ALL OVER EUROPE FOR THE MINORITY OF FRENCH, DUTCH,GERMAN FANS OUT THERE. MAYBE EXTEND IT TO 3 GAMES A SEASON MAX SOMETHING FOR US TO ENJOY AND THEN WE GET ON WITH OUR LIVES.

I CANT SEE MANY OF THOSE FANS TRAVELLING ALL THAT WAY FROM WHEREEVER THEY ARE TO WATCH A LONDON FRANCHISE I MEAN IF WE'RE HONEST I DONT THINK WEMBLEY WILL BE FULL EVERY OTHER SUNDAY IT WILL JUST TAKE THE FUN AWAY FROM IT ALL.
By:
Desmond Orchard
When: 30 Sep 13 18:28
I'm not so sure.
There were far more Steelers fans than Vikings there yesterday, but it was a Vikings 'home' game and it was remarkable how effectively the neutrals were turned into home supporters - to the point where every big play received a massive cheer, whereas the Steelers efforts received a much more muted reaction. It's amazing what can be done with a free flag, one-eyed stadium announcer and, of course, cheerleaders!
A London team would already have the tacit support of most there, throw in the magic and the razzmatazz and before you know it.....
By:
Swardean
When: 30 Sep 13 18:59
For the NFL overseas markets are the untapped potential. LA has 3 million population and yes they could fill stadiums but they are getting fans they have already won.

London or england has a potential market of 60 million with the possibility of European TV rights and huge merchandizing.

I am not convinced it will work but the owners can see the upside and the fact they are in London now, proves they are very keen to test the water.
By:
therhino
When: 30 Sep 13 21:40
KR, I think the San Antonio point is mute as 9 game road trips in the NBA are just a part of life, theirs is simply timed to coincide with another event. Not the same thing, playing 8 straight at home then 8 straight away completely throws the comp out of alignment. If you have to tweak the comp that much to get London in, then the juice ain't worth the squeeze.

LA have messed the NFL about, but they shouldn't give up, the 2nd biggest city in the country not having a team is an anomaly they need to fix, failing that, the entertainment capital of the country in Las Vegas not having any pro sports team is just too good to pass up. It's complete lunacy really going to London when there are 100% viable options at home.
By:
Wallflower
When: 30 Sep 13 22:07
Is there any franchise other than Jacksonville that one could see being moved to LA? (I know it could happen nearly any team e.g. Cleveland Browns).

Possibilities (all slim):

Oakland Raiders.......LA Raiders? once again
St.Louis Rams.........LA Rams? once again
San Diego Chargers....LA Chargers? once againLaugh
Minnesota Vikings.....were rumours before but died down again

My point is, one of these move to LA, Jacksonville goes to either Las Vegas or London. If its just Jacksonville then it's one move only Jags to LA.
By:
Swardean
When: 01 Oct 13 19:27
Las Vegas is an interesting one, it has a relatively small population (however it is a growing city) but has loads of tourists that would likely happily stump up for a game.  But is that what the franchise wants, lots of one off visitors?

Also, only 300 miles to Azizona, so relatively speaking not that far.
By:
orioles
When: 01 Oct 13 19:49
No.
By:
Gordon63
When: 01 Oct 13 19:50
personally I'm not in favour of the idea but some of the discussions below show an alarming level of naivety!

firstly vegas will probably never have a professional sports team

secondly - nfl players are workers like most of us here and if they have a choice (and the draft system doesn't give the new influx much of a choice!) of either playing the sport they profess to love AND earn a whacking salary in London (probably with lots of incentives paid direct from the NFL and not the franchise) OR sit at home waiting for the call which may never come, then I know which one my money is on

if a London franchise were placed within one of the East coast divisions then they can be in Miami, New York or Boston within 5 hours or less by private jet and with the time difference that's much easier than travelling from San Diego/Oakland/SF/Seattle to the East coast and yet somehow they manage! yes there is a potential problem when their schedule includes west coast stops but see below

the schedule could also be set so that a London franchise would play two or maybe even three 'away' games in consecutive weeks, again this happens fairly regularly now

as for attendances, i think there are sufficient tourists/residents in London each weekend from US and elsewhere (e.g. Japan/Canada/Germany/Australia) who would gladly attend - perhaps as many as 10,000 for each of the home games, OK that's off the top of my head but making the point

so in my opinion there are no over-riding reasons why it couldn't happen, depends on the NFL overall plan and considering how effective and profitable their business plan has been over the past 10-15 years, if they set their mind to it then it will happen
By:
orioles
When: 01 Oct 13 20:00
The players wouldn't come, and attendances would quickly dwindle. It would be extremely unpopular with the teams. The front end costs would be massive (I can just imagine that owners' meeting!) and the continuing commitment too much.

It would be a mess and I'm sure the NFL know it. The only reason they don't step on the idea is for PR purposes.
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