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Knight Rider
30 Sep 13 01:33
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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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Report Knight Rider October 2, 2013 2:00 AM BST
That was a good article, thanks.
Report Glossy October 2, 2013 8:44 AM BST
You also have Toronto about whom there have been rumours for years; whether it be an expansion team or the Bills relocating there. Buffalo draws massive support from Toronto and the surrounding areas and even plays the odd home game there these days. What this would mean for the CFL would be anyone's guess. The Argonauts are one of the big players in the division and you do wonder whether a CFL and NFL could be sustained in the city.
Report therhino October 2, 2013 12:42 PM BST
Interesting article tucho in that they mention the Australian example of an extra allowance for Sydney. That is massive news here today, dominating the press as it has turned into a complete farce as Sydney have basically used the extra cap space as a means of signing marquee players, not as a means of squad retention as it was intended. The allowance will in all likelihood be scrapped with all the presidents of the other clubs outraged.  Will be interesting to see if the NFL are taking note of these developments are tread carefully in that area if the London thing gathers momentum.

Gordon - Vegas may never have a pro sports team, that's not to say that it shouldn't, and certainly a better option than the other side of the Atlantic. In a city that lives entertainment, not sure how an NFL team could possibly fail there.
Report therhino October 2, 2013 1:14 PM BST

Oct 1, 2013 -- 2:27PM, Swardean wrote:


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.


2 million people live in the metropolitan area, wouldn't rely on tourists, easily sustainable.

Report Larry Sellers October 2, 2013 1:19 PM BST
My gut feel is that it will never happen for the numerous reasons listed above although I'd like it to just to see how it pans out.

I love in London so would go to a lot of the games if not all. In terms of 'support' I'd slill be a Saints fan but would certainly have London as my 'other' team.

Can't see our cheerleaders matching up to the Saintsations though.  Our overly PC society would mean that we have to let in a load of fatties

imho
Report Knight Rider October 2, 2013 5:11 PM BST
One thing I didn't understand in the article was when he said Jerry Jones would want there to be a cost of living allowance.  Not sure what he means here as Dallas would surely be near the bottom of the league in terms of cost of living?  Texas has cheap real estate and no state income tax so I would imagine it would be the North East/California teams that would benefit from any such law. Confused
Report Gordon63 October 2, 2013 5:24 PM BST
therhino - ref your quote below, whilst it may be better option in your opinion (and many others) the anti-gambling lobby in US (yes it's huge, see poker sites for evidence) will ensure it never happens.  And for 'city that lives entertainment' certainly in the non-gambling related areas you won't find many better options than London

'and certainly a better option than the other side of the Atlantic. In a city that lives entertainment, not sure how an NFL team could possibly fail there.'
Report therhino October 2, 2013 10:04 PM BST
The lack of a Las Vegas team has nothing to do with the anti-gambling lobby. Pro sports in Las Vegas is perfectly legal, it already has a couple of pro teams in the minor leagues, but they are still pro teams. The reason that neither the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB are there is there own preference is and the fact that their stadiums are all rubbish and not to league standards. The only one close is UNLV's basketball stadium. Just need an owner to say yes to relocation and some development.
Report DirkDiggler October 4, 2013 12:52 PM BST
Crowds won't be an issue, reckon they could sell out Wembley 8 times no problem even if the team sucked


>>>Never in a million years.
Report Lix October 4, 2013 1:57 PM BST
yeah wembley holds 90,000. no way they sell out 8 times a year hosting a sh1t team like
the London Jags or whatever.
Report db1974 October 4, 2013 2:24 PM BST
TBH the attendance thing wouldn't be an issue IMO. You would get enough day-trippers from UK & Ireland & even mainland Europe to fill the stadium 8 times a year, not to mention a contingency of away team fans and original home team fans who would travel to London the odd time to see the game and take in a holiday as well.

It's the other logistical issues which will scupper this deal, not least the restrictive work practices which go with a closed shop such as the NFL. There is not a hope in hell of this standing up in court in Brussels.

Bill Barnwell did a good article on the problems (and possible solutions / work-arounds) earlier this year

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9615240/nfl-targets-london-franchise
Report DirkDiggler October 4, 2013 5:07 PM BST
The NFL aren't serious about a London franchise, it'll never happen.
Report DirkDiggler October 4, 2013 5:13 PM BST
yeah wembley holds 90,000. no way they sell out 8 times a year hosting a sh1t team like
the London Jags or whatever.


>>>They won't, simple as that, the novelty will wear off, the team will struggle to attract players, and it'll be a white elephant before you know it. It'll fail just like NFLE failed. 2-3 games a year, maybe even 4, they have an 'event' kind of a feel, 8 games every year does not. Then we're into the team having to wipe it's own face every single year, when it goes 2-14 and people are staying home to watch their own team instead, and people think 'Well, I went twice last year, it's expensive, i'll give it a miss this year'.

Hosting an NFL team 5,000 miles away from the rest of the league is an ENTIRELY different proposition from putting on a few regular season.
Report Swardean October 6, 2013 2:44 PM BST
It would sell out every game.  just a matter of sensible ticket pricing
Report DirkDiggler October 6, 2013 2:47 PM BST
It wouldn't sell out every game year after year when the team keeps losing and the players don't want to play in London.
Report Srichaphan or Ancic? October 6, 2013 6:52 PM BST
Why should there be? Would we accept Los Angeles Galaxy coming to play in the Premier League? If the UK wants its own American Football league, set one up!
Report Knight Rider October 6, 2013 10:59 PM BST
I don't think that's a great comparison really, there are barriers to LA Galaxy joining the Premier League.  Firstly they would have to start at the bottom of the English football pyramid, and secondly UEFA doesn't allow teams to just start moving countries.  The NFL meanwhile is a franchise-based league, they can start up a new team wherever they want and you don't have to get promoted through about 10 divisions to get there.  As for a UK league, that's been tried and it's clear people have no appetite for watching 2nd-rate stuff.

Whether it will happen I don't know but it's all about $$$ at the end of the day so if they can overcome the hurdles then they'll do it.  Surprised some people seem to be so passionately against it, almost offended at the mere suggestion!  Can recall a similar reaction when they first held a regular season game here and that's been a roaring success. I think a London franchise would be similar (and if not, they can always move it back to the States...teams move all the time).
Report Srichaphan or Ancic? October 6, 2013 11:48 PM BST
N in NFL stands for National. It shouldnt be allowed.
Report birdieforthewin October 7, 2013 6:06 PM BST
^ Oh you mean like the world series of baseball, contested by u.s teams and the bluejays?
Report Lix October 8, 2013 5:31 AM BST
chuck the welsh mob out the Premier League while yer at it eh Srich? Grin
Report therhino October 8, 2013 7:42 AM BST
Which Welsh mob?
Report d13phe October 11, 2013 9:42 PM BST
to expand the game over here they need to get back the Saturday night games

all the primetime games are 1.30 in the morning and normal people work the next day
Report TheVis October 11, 2013 11:06 PM BST
I too reckon the novelty would soon wear off and crowds would be thin.  It would no doubt be over-priced and Wembley is just to unattractive a place to get to, even if you live in London, nevermind say up north or in Europe.  Sport in London would be much better if there was a decent sized stadium right in the centre.  Can you imagine how fantastic that would be for the city?
Report orioles October 12, 2013 1:55 PM BST
It'll happen as soon as Star Trek transportation is invented.
Report DirkDiggler October 12, 2013 4:50 PM BST
They folks at NFLUK and SKY do make me laugh with their naivete.
Report Whisperingdeath October 12, 2013 4:59 PM BST
A London franchise is nailed on although I hope they don't call it London Jaguars.  London Daimler might sound better!

The US market is saturated to an extent.  Expansion on a global scale is the way forward for the money men.  Tokyo, Peking and what about Bombay the land of advertising except they will pirate everything!
Report therhino October 13, 2013 12:05 AM BST
The US market is not saturated when it's second biggest city is without a team.
Report james20 October 13, 2013 10:39 AM BST
'Crowds won't be an issue, reckon they could sell out Wembley 8 times no problem even if the team sucked.'

you cracked out son?? was at the pitt vikes game and there was TONS of seats avaliable think i read after the fact crowd was 83k? 7k open seats for prolly the best game that has been over.....

noway would it work, they cant fill it up with decent teams would they fill it up with the jags being the london team?? NO chance.....hell even if the denver broncos moved to london right now it wouldnt sellout 8 times over....

would never work on any front anyways....none of the players would want to live over here the money exchange would be massive....will never happen....the nfl is content with 2-3 games a year here and will milk it that way.....
Report Knight Rider October 26, 2013 8:41 PM BST
Goodell confirms he would like franchises in both LA and London.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9880622/roger-goodell-los-angeles-vs-london-nfl-wants-both
Report Knight Rider October 26, 2013 8:45 PM BST
I was just thinking with regards to point 2) in my opening post.  There are already Canadian teams in both the NBA and MLB, and the NHL straddles both countries.  Does anyone know the laws regarding visas for American players being traded to a team based in Canada, or vice versa?  Has the Canadian government ever denied a player residency due to having a criminal record or suchlike?
Report inner city sumo October 26, 2013 9:14 PM BST
I don't think Canada is an option for NFL bar the odd Buffalo game because of the CFL- I was under the impression the NFL were duty bound to respect its existence.
Report inner city sumo October 26, 2013 9:18 PM BST
http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/05/21/mlbpa-warning-players-with-crim...
Report Wallflower October 26, 2013 11:41 PM BST
...and Goodell (who is increasingly becoming pain in the ass) speaking in London would say, "we never want a team in London"Shocked...unlikely. Anyway, the good news is

1. Its not his decision
2. The logistics of it are just too much hassle for everyone involved to be worth it


I even wish they would just stop having these stupid Wembley games - it just doesn't feel right. Like soccer in the US (just something alien about the whole thing).
Report Whisperingdeath October 28, 2013 5:59 PM GMT
I dont think some of you guys see the bigger picture

$$$


A world game brings money from the outside, money that was not due to the NFL owners.  More TV and sponsorship from some of the biggest companies in the World.  They cannot expand the American market much more than they have already.  The English Premier League have shown the way with regard to TV in Asia but Gridiron is not a world game in the way football is hence limited franchises for cities like London, which, will be the the first and a stalking horse for other great cities of the world.  It's going to be like Rollerball!
Report therhino October 29, 2013 9:26 AM GMT
You are correct, Gridiron is not a world game like football is, it is a purely American and will never flourish outside of the US, just like Australian Rules will never flourish outside of Australia. A London team won't pioneer anything, will just serve as a model of what not to do.
Report RAPS October 29, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
^^

Can`t have that comparison at all.
NFL has (often fanatical) fans in every country in the world. It is broadcast live nearly everywhere and has leagues in most countries too.
AFL is simply unknown to the majority of the worlds population and I don`t mean just in the backblocks of China and India I mean it is unknown to most in places like France & Germany.
Report RAPS October 29, 2013 6:05 PM GMT
On the long commute - Other Pro Sports teams have longer trips to play games.

My local Ice-Hockey team here in Zagreb play in the Russian KHL and have to travel several times a year to Siberia and also Vladivostok which as you may know is just next to Japan.
Report therhino October 29, 2013 8:44 PM GMT
There is a big difference between a small minority of fanatical supporters and long term commercial success.
Report DirkDiggler October 30, 2013 10:49 AM GMT
It would fail and I hope it does.
Report themightymac October 30, 2013 3:22 PM GMT
Die hard NFL fans like us don`t even want a London game, let alone 3 a year or a London franchise which is sacrilege.

How many who attend the London game actually follow the game or even watch it every week on Sky? I may be wrong, but I would say that more than half just think it`s trendy to go and just go for the experience and a booze up.
Report CJ October 30, 2013 8:05 PM GMT
That's utter rubbish. (imo) :)
Report bigpoppapump October 31, 2013 9:39 AM GMT
I'm pretty sure there's no real logistical reason it cannot work. 

For starters London is not a lot further from NY than LA is from NY.

I would expect the team to base themselves in an East Coast location and the players would live at that Base (atlanta? New York?) for 10 months each year.  And for two blocks of 4 weeks (Sept and Nov or Oct and Dec there would be a series of 4 home games) they would be in camp somewhere on the home Counties for the Wembley games.  for the away games they would just fly from their base training HQ to wherever the game was.
The players are pros and play for whomever pay 'em, and it wouldn't even be a foreign gig (in a living overseas sense) because why would you live in London when work requires you to be here for as little as 2 months a year.  It's no hardship at all.
Away teams would just get a bye after the long flight (particularly if they were W Coast).

Play off schedules could be tinkered with (Thurs one week; to Mon the following week for example to stretch the gap in the event that a team has London followed by San Fransisco (say).

Salary Cap and Draft takes care of the quality thing in the long run just as it does for any team.  Long established teams have 2-14 seasons and then win the SB within 3 years.  Why couldn't London?

The NFL would be motivated to make it work (if they made the decision in the first place) and ultimately money talks.  And lots of money talks loudly. 

I'd buy three season tickets for 8 home games and I'm not a Jags fan.  I'd be prepared to fall in love with whichever team was here, as I suspect a lot of NFL fans would.  Being a fan of NFL teams is something I suspect a lot of Brits and European people are prepared to be flexible with (in a way they won't with their EPL team).  And you could sell it to yourself as your "second" team.
And there's be loads of One off tickets for Weekenders in London (Europeans) as well as away fans from the States here for work or just for a holiday based around the chance to watch their home tame play in London.

Don't understand the sacrilege comments.  Where's the traditions in loads of NFL teams?  The Ravens have now won two SBs and there was no such thing as the Ravens until the late 90s.  The Titans were the Houston Oilers, then the Memphis Oilers etc. 

I expect London would be hugely popular while it was a novelty and this would buy a lot of time for things to establish themselves on and off the field.  Then - when it's part of the norm, three or four years down the line, it's a test of the true size of the viable market.  I would bet they'd be well supported and ultimately have as much chance as any team of being successful...
Report DirkDiggler October 31, 2013 10:37 AM GMT
The players wouldn't come.
Report bigpoppapump October 31, 2013 11:37 AM GMT
come where?

This would be an East Coast based operation with two short trips to the UK each year to play the home games.  There would be money-fame-glory as per playing for any other NFL team.  Life and carrerwise It would be like playing for Atlanta, or NEng or NY or Miami.

New franchises always get players.  Why would this be any different?
Report DirkDiggler October 31, 2013 12:07 PM GMT
It's not really a London franchise then is it...
Report DirkDiggler October 31, 2013 12:08 PM GMT
I will p*ss myself laughing when it falls on its ar*e after 3-4 seasons.
Report HARRY22 October 31, 2013 3:29 PM GMT
The london games are a nightmare at he moment,usually all one sided but the biggest travesty is we lost the red button for the night.
Report DirkDiggler November 1, 2013 1:17 PM GMT
It wouldn't be long before the next Eli Manning said 'I'm not playing in London' - FA's would not choose to come to London either, they'd stay home. The whole thing is laughable IMO.
Report bigpoppapump November 1, 2013 3:49 PM GMT
er, well if they play their home games at Wembley it sort of is a London franchise.  That the players will be Americans who live in America doesn't stop it being a London franchise. 

this is a bit of an odd thread.  clearly some people don't want it to work, which is their right, but there's no practical reasons for not making it happen (if there were, then it wouldn't be an ongoing process) and nobody has any arguments to counter the idea of the logistics being feasible.  If they can play two games a year here, they can play eight...

It's also not true to say the games in London are rubbish.  Pitt/Min was a great game; still alive on the final play of the game after a high scoring spectacle.  Okay these are not two playoff teams this year, but so what?  Most teams aren't...

"the players wont play for a London team" is just not supported by any reasonable points.  Why wont they?  The money will be on offer and the players will take it.  Sports people very rarely make principled stands (some do) but there's no point of principle at stake here anyway; London is not Communist era Moscow, or Apartheid era Joburg.  It's hard to see the players making a stand on the grounds that a few betfair forumites think a London franchise is a sacrilegious abomination...
Report DirkDiggler November 2, 2013 12:01 PM GMT
There are plenty of logistical problems they have been gone over plenty of times. Most games so far have been trash. It's a London franchise in the same way the Starbucks n the Old Kent Road is a London franchise. It's completely different for one team to play 8 games a season here, rather than 1 every year. You just watch FA's turn down London in droves, London would be the last resort every time.

Who said the players will be making objections based on what Betfair forumites say?


If Eli Manning won't plan in SD, you can bet diamonds many more players will be dead against playing over here.
Report Knight Rider November 2, 2013 2:10 PM GMT
I don't think it was so much that Manning didn't want to play in San Diego, it's that he didn't want to play for the Chargers.  I know that sounds like the same thing but his main concern was that the Chargers were a horrific organisation rather than where they were located.  I suspect players would turn down London in droves if say it was the London Jaguars coming off an 0-16 season, but if they had a good team that looked like a Superbowl contender I just can't see it being a major consideration when you can still spend the majority of the year living in the States, whether during the offseason, during road games, or in a US-based minicamp.

Not really understanding the negativity here, it's like some people have a paralytic fear of change.  Personally I think it would be an exciting experiment and if it did "fall on its arse" after 3-4 years then I don't think the league would be any worse off than another 3-4 years of a Jacksonville franchise.
Report DirkDiggler November 3, 2013 1:49 PM GMT
It's a gimmick and it would fail, I see so benefit whatsoever to the NFL, or to my experience of the NFL with a London franchise. In fact, I am sick and tired of hearing about the International series  every single week on UK coverage. I know many people are, and dislike losing redzone to watch a lousy game like last week. Personally, I don't use redzone, but I can see why people were disgusted.

The solution for the Jackson Jags is not to move the team 5,000 it's to run their organization better. You do that by winning, not relocating to another country. The motive behind this is pure greed, not enhancing the NFL as a sport. I think people see this and that's a major reason why people are against it. The NFL is the best sports league in the World and pretty much perfect in terms of format already.
Report Whisperingdeath November 4, 2013 2:55 PM GMT
Dirk you have blinkers on and are a Luddite.

There is a revolution coming and you don't want to see it!

I am not saying the moral integrity isn't compromised or there won't be logistical problems and some mummys boy's won't want to live in London, the Capital of the World and Kensington is the Capital of Americans in London.  I could agree with many of your arguments and offer more to support your distaste for the idea but it is about the MONEY. 

NFL Franchise is coming to London. You just don't get it.  These greedy Millionaire owners want to become Billionaires.  They have milked America and they want more.  The world is a big market.  London first.

As for all your gripes I couldn't agree with you more but like King Canute, you will not be able to hold it back!
Report DirkDiggler November 4, 2013 3:15 PM GMT
I don't have blinkers on, I know why they've come up with this idea. I'm also not against change for the better, this is not change for the better. The NFL franchise can come to London, it will still be a miserable failure and the NFL will end up folding it. Tell me, how many more years and how many more awful one game off games before they actually bring a team over? 10? 20? - It is still all about building a market, not about having a team in London. I also think this a way of putting pressure on LA and other home markets to up their game.


They're already billionaires! not that that will stop them of course.


I cannot wait to laugh my ar*e off when it fails, I really can't.

And I cannot wait to see the look Neil Reynolds smarmy face it when it all goes t*ts up. IMO NFLUK is having its trousers pulled down by the NFL.


Laugh
Report Knight Rider November 4, 2013 5:31 PM GMT

The NFL franchise can come to London, it will still be a miserable failure and the NFL will end up folding it.


Not the end of the world, is it?  You claim that the NFL is the best sports league in the world yet it currently contains awful franchises like the Jaguars and Rams that are consistently poor and get low attendances, so why would a poor team in London with low attendances be any different?  As an absolute worst case scenario they'd be in a similar position to where they are now, and they can just move it on to whichever city wants to have a go next.

Report Whisperingdeath November 4, 2013 5:34 PM GMT
I just don't see why you think it would fail.

I share some of your apprehension and am not contesting the rights and wrongs of it.  I just think in this day and age it would not be impossible to get a Franchise organised to play out of London.  It's not like MK Dons.  The NFL and all the owners have a vested interest in making it a success so they have a toehold to paddle their wares.  I buy all my shirts at Goodwill, max $3, I am not making any Billionaires richer although the Packers are different in that regard.  These guys will bend over backwards and help with drafting players and scheduling games.

I do see a league where a number of major Cities might have a Franchise but like you do see the spread of the game being played globally although I am sure there would be growth initially.  It is not just the cost of the kit but what sane parent would want their kid to play a game at school where you needed a reinforced helmet to protect your brain!  There is hope for you yet Dirk!
Report DirkDiggler November 4, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
Not the end of the world, is it?  You claim that the NFL is the best sports league in the world yet it currently contains awful franchises like the Jaguars and Rams that are consistently poor and get low attendances, so why would a poor team in London with low attendances be any different?  As an absolute worst case scenario they'd be in a similar position to where they are now, and they can just move it on to whichever city wants to have a go next.



But an awful franchise would work in London right? It contains poor franchises because that's the inevitable consequence of competition, there is ZERO barrier to them improving and winning (unlike the premiership which is a virtual closed shop) - all that needs to change in STL and Jax, is the standings, get hold of the next Andrew Luck, hire the right coach.

Move it to the next city? LOL!!! so repeat the mistake in Paris or Berlin? - This gets even better...


I know,let's just leave things as they are!


Grin
Report DirkDiggler November 4, 2013 6:36 PM GMT
I just don't see why you think it would fail.

I share some of your apprehension and am not contesting the rights and wrongs of it.  I just think in this day and age it would not be impossible to get a Franchise organised to play out of London.  It's not like MK Dons.  The NFL and all the owners have a vested interest in making it a success so they have a toehold to paddle their wares.  I buy all my shirts at Goodwill, max $3, I am not making any Billionaires richer although the Packers are different in that regard.  These guys will bend over backwards and help with drafting players and scheduling games.

I do see a league where a number of major Cities might have a Franchise but like you do see the spread of the game being played globally although I am sure there would be growth initially.  It is not just the cost of the kit but what sane parent would want their kid to play a game at school where you needed a reinforced helmet to protect your brain!  There is hope for you yet Dirk!



............Seen it all before, NFLE, London Monarchs, Britball etc (used to go and watch) in end end it was all short-lived gimmickry, once the novelty wore off, it withered on the vine, same thing would happen again. I don't see a league like that happening, because you know what? In Europe I have already seen it fail over a SIXTEEN YEAR PERIOD. SIXTEEN YEARS, and it never went from anything more than a niche sport that is supported by a truly devoted and fanatical fan base, this is the same audience as back in 1982 when it all began on 4 and I listened AFRTS (or FARTS as my brother and I used to call it) in my bedroom floor endlessly trying to get a better signal on the 'wireless'...

Here's the incarnations - WLAF - World League - NFL Europe - NFL Europa - made no difference. It folded, and it folded because of a lack of interest.

30 years later, the game is where it always was, in a tiny niche, with zero penetration of British culture, and that's where it will stay, and i'm happy with that. All I am interested in is as much coverage as possible, and we've got that, expensive as it is overall.


I'm happy that the great unwashed masses aren't interested in the NFL or NCAAF, I don't want them belching so to speak all over my sport, go and watch soccer!!!!


Laugh
Report Wallflower November 4, 2013 7:05 PM GMT
What frustrates me is the idea that London would be the similar to another American city, it just the distance and some logistical problems. Well its not, its much more than some "logistical" problem. Some examples....

No. 1 - Unlike an American city, players can't be based there realistically, distance, tax reasons etc - try getting it past the NFLPA. That is very different - no proper sense of "home" team and "home" players
No. 2 - When in the US during the NFL season - anywhere you go, its howbout' dem Eagles, "hey da bears" etc etc, wherever you happen to be - the news stations carry the news about their NFL team as the first item in the sports news. Its part of the fabric of the city/society; that could not possibly be the case in London - they have their own sports and and their own teams. You won't have breaking news - e.g. London "Jaguars" trade for say, Russell Wilson.....that would have an American city's sports fan buzzing. In London it would be reported sometime after some footballer's wifes's tweets. There is no space (ie. time, media attention) for a major sports team, and if its not major then it fails
No. 3 - Don't underestimate the dislike in the public and media about many "things" American including American sports - there will be much negative publicity to deal with that wouldn't be the case in a US city

I could go on (and onGrin) but these are just some examples - my point is it dilutes the NFL brand and it is far from just an organisational and logistical issue.

I think I said earlier I wish Goodell would just stop this nonsense, along with his wish for a longer 18-game season and possibly 2 more teams, expanded play-offs etc. He is one serious pain in the h0le.. The NFL is damn near perfect as it is - 32 teams - the symmetry of it, length of season, about the right number making the play-offs.
Report DirkDiggler November 4, 2013 8:24 PM GMT
Great post. Huge dislike amongst Brits for US sport, to really get traction, attention and time and money and coverage and everything else is going to have compete with football and draw some of that audience away, it's never going to happen.
Report Knight Rider November 5, 2013 3:41 AM GMT

But an awful franchise would work in London right? It contains poor franchises because that's the inevitable consequence of competition, there is ZERO barrier to them improving and winning (unlike the premiership which is a virtual closed shop) - all that needs to change in STL and Jax, is the standings, get hold of the next Andrew Luck, hire the right coach.

Move it to the next city? LOL!!! so repeat the mistake in Paris or Berlin? - This gets even better...


I didn't say it would work in London, I'm just saying I don't think it would be any worse than in Jacksonville or St Louis.  If a London team drafted the next Andrew Luck and hired the right coach then I'm sure there would be lots of interest in them too.

And by the next city I meant in the USA.  If London doesn't work then they can simply move it back to an American city and the London team can be consigned to history with the Houston Oilers, LA Raiders, LA Rams, Cleveland Browns (Mk I), St Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Colts and so forth.

Report bigpoppapump November 5, 2013 9:40 AM GMT
That the geographical problems can be overcome (modern flight making London as accessible as LA) does not mean the argument for a London franchise is also based on a false assumption that it would be just another US city in other cultural/sporting ways.  The cultural challenges are real, as pointed out above.

The whole point of cracking new markets with an existing product is that it's easier than making a new product for your existing market.  (Other methods of expanding a business being increased penetration of your existing market with your existing product, or of course, bringing a new product to a new market which is very tough indeed).  So what's the point of this diversion into the murky world of my wife's MBA marketing module?  It's to point out that London is not assumed to be a ready-made market where the NFL would immediately have the same resonance that it has in Chicago, or Cleveland or wherever.  You do not have to assume the culture is already there to bring the product and hope (plan?) for success.  When the first computer-tablets were made there was "no market" for them; their production made the market.  The existence of the product generated the interest.

NFL to London is a gamble - bring the product to a place where there's already some demonstrable interest - and hope to grow the interest.  So that in ten years those how-bout-dem-Jags? conversations are part of the sporting culture...

It's a straw-man argument to say it cannot work because things like the London Monarchs or the euro league failed.  They were not the real thing (by a very long way).  The real NFL coming to London would be a very very big deal for them and for us; and with a lot of vested interest in its success it would not be left to wither and die.  Not to guarantee success, but if anyone thinks Americans cannot effectively market some of their home grown products into new European markets then they haven't been paying attention the last 70 or so years...
Report Whisperingdeath November 5, 2013 11:51 AM GMT
I see where you are coming from Dirk!

My sport is cricket and when in 2005 I overheard two women talking about the lbw law in the pub I thought the game I love was finished and then the IPL came in to make it even worse.  20 over thrashes are not cricket.  I love Test Cricket but this 20 over stuff has it's place and has improved cricket in general. My sympathies for your dirty little secret but it will still be a minority sport here.  You will just have to chew your bottom lip in disgust when people are talking about it on UK media.

I think the NFL have learned they cannot grow the sport.  It is completely impractible.  There will always be deviants who want to play Gridiron because it is different but there are plenty more who want to be part of the excitement of it who will never pick up a football.  That is the draw...new money...new prey.

The real success will be in keeping London going and growing into a winning franchise.  I am not underestimating the difficulty here but Chelski won the League after 50 years and so did Citeh oh and Blackburn Rovers!

Wallflower,

I don't think the team needs to be based in England, dumb as it sounds ( players ).  They can have a one month training camp here for publicity, one month for games and that still leaves one month for more games and the avoidance of Resident in the UK for Tax Purposes.  Office Staff can just as easily work from a London HQ!  Fcek me Philip Green manages to get his wife to receive his money! and That True Brit Lord Rothermere has all sorts of Off Shore Trusts!

I take you guys point about an already " perfect " sports vehicle, game, sport, whatever.  It works and is effective so why change?  The sport itself on the pitch is the same mano a mano, just harder armourLaugh!  It is off field that the changes are being made.  I don't think they will ruin the sport you love.  Whatever, success or failure it will happen.
Report DirkDiggler November 5, 2013 4:39 PM GMT
The real NFL coming to London would be a very very big deal for them and for us;



I don't think it will be, this country is not, and will never be interested in the NFL.
Report bigpoppapump November 5, 2013 5:09 PM GMT
It would be a big deal for those interested, was what I meant to say.

They'll measure success by seats and merchandise sold; and assuming these go the right way in time success will be measured on the field by results.  The Q in the thread - would a London Franchise work - doesn't require mass cultural adoption for it to be deemed to have worked.  London is not a US city don't forget...It's always going to be different, even if the NFL franchise succeeds financially and in a sporting sense. 

The naysayers here are right in the sense that if you set impossible to meet benchmarks (Everyone in Britain has to be an NFL fan - or the NFL replaces EPL as the lead item on the sports news) then you can always say something hasn't measured up.  I don't think you're seeing this for what it is - a money making exercise.  It's a business exploring a new market.
Report TheVis November 6, 2013 10:51 AM GMT
I don't think the concept would work, but I think many players would love to be over here if there was a London franchise.  Living/working in one of the great cities of the world will have many more attractions than half the hick towns that current franchises are based in.
Report therhino November 7, 2013 12:49 AM GMT
Don't think living in London would hold much appeal, if any, to most NFL players TheVis. Further away from family and friends than any other team they could play for. Family and friends trumps London any day of the week.
Report d13phe November 7, 2013 8:28 AM GMT
its only 20 weeks every year for a few years and they would get paid hansomely.

They are NFL players, it is just a way of life to live away from your family and friends for a period of time every year.  Many retire in their 30s
Report bigpoppapump November 7, 2013 8:58 AM GMT
It's 8 home games/8 away.  No way they base themselves in London given 8 away games.  East Cost HQ and mini camps in England for 2 (or 3) series of home fixtures.
Report TheVis November 7, 2013 12:41 PM GMT
therhino - being away from family and friends in London will be seen as a bonus for many Laugh  They might even circle amongst some nice young chaps and chapesses rather than the syte they are often getting up to in their own back yards.  Cool
Report therhino November 8, 2013 11:09 AM GMT
Why does everyone assume they would be based in the US? How many professional sports teams are based in one place and play their home games on the other side of a pretty big fk off ocean? The model is already a mutant.
Report DirkDiggler November 10, 2013 11:33 AM GMT
Why does everyone assume they would be based in the US? How many professional sports teams are based in one place and play their home games on the other side of a pretty big fk off ocean? The model is already a mutant.


......Exactly, having the team US based, were that to happen, just proves it isn't viable from the outset. By definition if you have to fly in to play home games then it's not home team or a true franchise.

Or rather it would be a franchise in the same way that every Starbucks in London is a franchise.
Report Knight Rider November 12, 2013 4:27 AM GMT
What other type of franchise is there? Confused
Report bigpoppapump November 12, 2013 1:52 PM GMT
Found this definition:

1. A privilege or right officially granted a person or a group by a government, especially:
a. The constitutional or statutory right to vote.
b. The establishment of a corporation's existence.
c. The granting of certain rights and powers to a corporation.
d. Legal immunity from servitude, certain burdens, or other restrictions.
2.
a. Authorization granted to someone to sell or distribute a company's goods or services in a certain area.
b. A business or group of businesses established or operated under such authorization.
c. A brand name under which a series of products is released.
3. The territory or limits within which immunity, a privilege, or a right may be exercised.
4. A professional sports team.
tr.v. fran·chised, fran·chis·ing, fran·chis·es
To grant a franchise to.

So I assume we are talking about a blend of 4 (A pro sports team) and 2 (the right to sell a brand in a certain area; the NFL being the brand; and London being the location).

No mention of where the employees live.  So I guess it could still be a London franchise, if they play their home games here, and are called the London Somethings?  Even if the players live wherever they find reasonably practicable for domestic and professional reasons.  JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. 

I mean WALOFS.   If you don't like the idea of a London team fair enough; but the idea that where the players live is important is fkin bollox.  Who cares where they are when they're not on the pitch?....
Report Wallflower November 12, 2013 3:33 PM GMT
.."but the idea that where the players live is important is fkin bollox.  Who cares where they are when they're not on the pitch?...."

Ehmm, no its not, in fact its far from it. One of my points in a previous post was that there would be a potentially "negative" media and downright anti-US sentiments to be dealt with which makes it a very different from setting-up in a US location.

Players flying into play, not living or really involved locally only aids the naysayers, and those who want to see it fail would just add this to their ammunition.

So while its not a show-stopper on its own, its certainly not "fkin bollox" - and yet one more thing counter-measures may have to be considered.
Report bigpoppapump November 12, 2013 4:10 PM GMT
there'll be people who love the idea, and people who ignore it. There's not going to be some negative groundswell of opinion in the public at large against the activities of a minority sport, playing 8 games a year at Wembley.
And the promo activities will be done when the players are in town to do the matches.

My old feller used to go home on t'bus with the star left winger at York City in the 1950s, but you think that's a necessary prerequisite for fans these days in any sport?  come off it.  Millionaire sports people (who are domiciled in the UK) may as well live on another planet anyway.  They're whisked in, play the game, do their little clap of the fans at the end and fk off back to the gated community where they live...Why does it matter where that is?  They're not queuing up next to your missus in Asda on a saturday morning are they?
Report Wallflower November 12, 2013 5:50 PM GMT
You're kind of missing the point...... its just one of MANY issues that makes London different to locating in a US city.....it's another example of why it is far harder to make it feel like a "London" team, and part of the fabric of the city.

The season so short, being another; and then flying in would just add to the whole perception of it being US-based NFL "mercenaries" HAVING to play in London because it might be more profitable to the owners. It won't become part of the identity of the city - like sports teams (franchises) do in US cities (and Arsenal, West Ham, Liverpool, Celtic, and whoever are "part" of the cities in this part of the world).

What's also very unusual is that the likelihood of their local NFL base will be hardened supporters of teams from other cities, that they have supported for many years and not any London team.

I'm not saying problems can't be overcome - but I just don't think really is worth it - but what is absolutely certain is that there are many many issues that are unique to a possible London franchise that you'd wonder, why bother. For me it will be like death from a thousand cuts before it even got started.

But these issues combine to have the effect that it would not "feel" like a London team, with a "London" identity. This is really what the big big problem is when comes to marketing and continued interest when the novelty wears off.
Report Wallflower November 12, 2013 5:53 PM GMT
So, how do you make it a "London" team, with a "London" identity? Solve that problem and you might have a way forward - if not, forget about it.
Report Knight Rider November 12, 2013 6:29 PM GMT

You're kind of missing the point...... its just one of MANY issues that makes London different to locating in a US city.....it's another example of why it is far harder to make it feel like a "London" team, and part of the fabric of the city.

The season so short, being another; and then flying in would just add to the whole perception of it being US-based NFL "mercenaries" HAVING to play in London because it might be more profitable to the owners. It won't become part of the identity of the city - like sports teams (franchises) do in US cities (and Arsenal, West Ham, Liverpool, Celtic, and whoever are "part" of the cities in this part of the world).

What's also very unusual is that the likelihood of their local NFL base will be hardened supporters of teams from other cities, that they have supported for many years and not any London team.

I'm not saying problems can't be overcome - but I just don't think really is worth it - but what is absolutely certain is that there are many many issues that are unique to a possible London franchise that you'd wonder, why bother. For me it will be like death from a thousand cuts before it even got started.

But these issues combine to have the effect that it would not "feel" like a London team, with a "London" identity. This is really what the big big problem is when comes to marketing and continued interest when the novelty wears off.


So let me get this straight.  They would struggle to get people interested because if the players don't live in London year-round then it wouldn't feel like a London team with a London identity.  Yet there are already all these "hardened" supporters in the UK of teams from a different country in a city they've probably visited and have no connection to? Confused

If there's one thing we know from the NFL London games with people all wearing their team jerseys, and people on here saying "we" when talking about their favourite American sports team, it is that fans do not need a rational reason to support a team.  Many of them probably just started by liking the name or the kit or a certain player.  If the team is called London and plays in London then that puts them miles ahead of the other 31 teams when the next generation are picking which team to support.

Report Wallflower November 12, 2013 10:53 PM GMT
Its just ONE of MANY reasons why locating in London is a far more difficult proposition than it being in another US city? I'm happy to list a lot of them if you like.

Do you honestly believe its just a geographical or logistical issue?
Report Knight Rider November 13, 2013 2:07 AM GMT
No I understand that; if you go back over the thread there have been some informative posts covering all of the logistical issues.  I was simply countering the point you specifically made in that post and explaining why I think your logic is self-evidently contradicted by the fact that many Brits are "fans" of a team from a city they have never been to and have no connection with, so I don't see why they would snub a London team on the basis that it's not "London" enough for them because the players don't all live in the city throughout the year.
Report therhino November 13, 2013 9:58 AM GMT
It's fairly split down the middle between those in the affirmative and those including me in the negative. For those in the former, does anyone actually think it is a better idea for the NFL to introduce a London team as opposed to Los Angeles or Las Vegas? Or even Portland or Birmingham (Alabama)?
Report bigpoppapump November 13, 2013 11:45 AM GMT
London would obviously be a very different idea to a previously tried or entirely new US City. There's no way of proving if it's a better or worse idea, but going for something radically different is a way to make a step change (ie crack a whole new market, which is what this is all about) in a way that a new US city wouldn't be.  Clearly they try new US Cities every few years.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


On the social connection thing - you're missing the big point.  The team has to exist first, before those intangibles you want to see can exist.  So it's just hot-air at this point to say an NFL team can never feel like it belongs in London.  Nobody knows until they try.  Build it and they will come...  ;)
Report Whisperingdeath November 13, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
rhino,

Of course it is a better to introduce a London team than LA or Las Vegas!

The whole point is foreign dollars!  There is money outside the USA.  Look at the EPL and television money from Asia.

What do you naysayers think the point of a London franchise is?  To spread the great game of Gridiron for the masses to play?



$$$  TV money and International Corporate Sponsorship perhaps like F1 $$$
Report therhino November 14, 2013 6:56 AM GMT
A better idea needs to be achievable Whispering. Gridiron achieving F1 status and revenue worldwide is a pipe dream, and using the EPL TV money as a comparison is more than a stretch. Plenty of money to be made in LA and Vegas, far less risk. No precedent for this in sports if it gets up, so it is a very bold move. Massive gamble, not sure the juice is worth the squeeze. I would continue down the road of sending a few games a year over to London, and work to get all the big local markets sitting idle active. Can always look at this in 5 or 10 years if there is still momentum, and if there isn't, it was never going to work anyway.
Report Whisperingdeath November 21, 2013 4:54 PM GMT
Hi RhinoWink,

LA did have a Franchise but it went back to Oakland ( where it belonged! )  I saw a game there ( Oakland )! Lots of bad asses, reminds me of homeLaugh!  The fried chicken place in Oakland had a metal grille between customers and staff!  Me and my mate were well impressed with that, although where we come from it is the grille usually protects the customer from the staff!

A mate of mine was thrown out of a nite club head first down the stairs by the bouncers for fighting.  The bloke he was fighting with was so outraged that he asked my friend if he wanted to go back in and fight the bouncersLaugh!

I had to move my allegiance from raiders to Green Bay on sexual grounds as my gf is from Wisconsin!

A Las Vegas Franchise would be wicked for The rest of the World Team!  We could come over for a long weekend every now and again!  I am sure Treausre Island would front me tickets!
Report therhino November 25, 2014 1:44 PM GMT
Good ole thread bump.

Is there still a push going on for a team in London or did it die before getting off the ground?
Report Whisperingdeath November 25, 2014 2:44 PM GMT
How old are you Rhino?

Have you ever seen Rollerball? It's a portent.
Report therhino November 26, 2014 12:05 AM GMT
I am 34. Nope, never seen it.
Report Whisperingdeath November 26, 2014 6:53 AM GMT
Rollerball


Premise

In the film, the world of 2018 (referred to in the tagline as “the not too distant future”) is a global corporate state, containing entities such as the Energy Corporation, a global energy monopoly based in Houston which deals with nominally-peer corporations controlling access to all transport, luxury, housing, communication, and food on a global basis. According to the tagline, in this world, “wars will no longer exist. But there will be...Rollerball.”

The film's title is the name of a violent, globally popular sport around which the events of the film take place. It is similar to Roller Derby in that two teams clad in body armor skate on roller skates (some instead ride on motorcycles) around a banked, circular track. There, however, the similarity ends. The object of the game is to score points by the offensive team (the team in possession of the ball) throwing a softball-sized steel ball into the goal, which is a magnetic, cone-shaped area inset into the wall of the arena. The team without possession of the ball is defensive and acts to prevent scoring. It is a full-contact sport in which players have considerable leeway to attack opposing players in order to take or maintain possession of the ball and to score points. In addition, each team has three players who ride motorcycles to which teammates can latch on and be towed. The player in possession of the ball must hold it in plain view at all times.

Rollerball teams, named after the cities in which they are based, are owned by the various global corporations. Energy Corporation sponsors the Houston team. The game is a substitute for all current team sports and for warfare. While its ostensible purpose is entertainment, Mr. Bartholomew, a high-level executive of the Energy Corporation, describes it as a sport designed to show the futility of individual effort.
Report therhino November 27, 2014 12:45 PM GMT
Thanks. I think...

So I take it the London movement had died a natural death and no one has anything to report?
Report Whisperingdeath November 27, 2014 2:58 PM GMT
nothing to report!

the men with the money will deal with it. it is coming. have you read 1984 Rhino?


The point I was trying to make cackhandedly is this.  Back in the 1970's tv was still in black and white for many people!

Top players  ( UK footballers ) may have been earning a hundred pounds a week. Many earned above average wages, just.

By the mid 70's we saw American sportsmen earning hundreds of thousands a year ( certainly some more than $100,000 ).

If you look at America it is like a Europe but with one language.  Europe was far behind but the signs were there.  Eventually the best in Europe would want to compete with each other and small men with big ego's in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Munchen and London etc would want to be top men.  These top men in Europe have now had their way and they are squeezing the life blood out of the game. Fortunately they are not making money out of it yet!

NFL is not a sporting contest. it is a money making franchise. A bit like the Mafia splitting up territory if you like. No competition. If you visit places like Wisconsin everybody wears a Badgers or Packers shirt. Can you imagine walking through a high street of a small town where 1 in 5 or 1 in 10 wear the same football top?

Once these powerful men have their way and destroyed the local competition they will settle their differences in Europe. Eventually the great cities of the world will want a seat at the table. Tokyo, Mumbai, Berlin, Cape Town, Joburg, Bejing, Manilla, Rio....etc...who will want to miss out on the party?

If you think NFL is going to remain in North America I suggest you will join the dinosaurs. The writing is on he wall Rhino.

Not saying it will be easy but London would be relatively easier to set up because of common language and decent time differences. It may be a way off but they are testeing the market and it is screaming SELL US MORE! and that my friend is what it is all about...filthy lucre....The Yankee Dollar......coming to a place near you soon!

Watch Rollerball!
Report CJ November 29, 2014 1:19 PM GMT
It's coming and it will be successful. The NFL is getting bigger and bigger by the year. Anyone who thinks it's a fad is living in cloud cuckoo land. We've been watching dud teams turn up in London for some time now and it's not killed the thirst for it.

The US really loved the early kick off ATL v DET, viewing figures were very good, & that way they get to show a breakfast game on the schedule. Personlly i love Green Bay, but i'd definitely buy a season ticket and run with London as a 2nd team.
Report dlarssonf November 29, 2014 2:03 PM GMT
I think they NFL is getting bigger too but I must be living in cloud cuckoo land because I don't think a London team will ever happen. Been honest I also hope it never happens, would much rather all teams be us based
Report TexassportsagentBuzz November 29, 2014 2:52 PM GMT
I don't think it will happen either unless they abandon the salary cap or a whole bunch of top quality British players suddenly appear.

Imagine how much they would have to pay someone of Calvin Johnsons talent level to move thousands of miles away from family and friends.

Maybe it will happen but it will be a 0-16 or 2-14 franchise for many years with half of the fans supporting the road team.
Report CJ November 29, 2014 3:15 PM GMT
Top sports stars move to cities all over the world. Moving from NY to Seattle would be no different from moving from NY to London. I just don't see that being an issue. It's not like they'd have to travel by Ryanair.

London with an 80k stadium (which charges top $) will have the resources, no question.
Report therhino November 30, 2014 3:48 AM GMT
Great thread. Great debate this one whatever camp you're in. Strongly in the negative, keep in the US. Watching Alabama vs Auburn right now, great game. I'll eat my hat if the state of Alabama couldn't support an NFL team, these people are feral for it.
Report Whisperingdeath November 30, 2014 3:45 PM GMT
I am not a Septic but maybe Bama don't want an NFL Team!

College Football is huge and as well attended as NFL. They have an agreement to play on Saturday with NFL on Sunday.

The purpose of a London Franchise is not to spread a love for the game but a boost for some already rich people.  The naysayers seem to ignore this argument and focus on it will never happen, nobody will want to play for London, statistically it is impossible all of which are fatuous!

Why would the NFL come to London?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ( or maybe eurosWink )
Report Knight Rider December 1, 2014 3:19 PM GMT
I don't think it's died a death just because it hasn't happened yet.  Here's an interesting recent article by Nate Silver (there are some related ones if you follow the links):

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-nfl-should-expand-to-london-but-first-canada-mexico-and-la/
Report DirkDiggler December 19, 2014 12:29 PM GMT
It may well happen but it will fail over time.
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