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 Thoughts on NFL International Expansion 
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Post Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
Valenti was talking about this on the radio the other week, and I think he's spot on. Within the next decade:

-The Bills will move to Toronto
-There will be a team in London, possibly the Jags

I don't really have an issue with that. I might if I was a Bills or Jags fan, but I would like "American Football" to become more popular internationally.


October 17th, 2013, 5:44 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
Toronto already has a team. I think the CFL will eventually contract down to 4 teams and be absorbed into the NFL.


October 17th, 2013, 10:41 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
Blueskies wrote:
Valenti was talking about this on the radio the other week, and I think he's spot on. Within the next decade:

-The Bills will move to Toronto
-There will be a team in London, possibly the Jags

I don't really have an issue with that. I might if I was a Bills or Jags fan, but I would like "American Football" to become more popular internationally.


personally i dont think its feasible until those areas develop there own leagues first. of course canada has CFL and the geography makes sense esp w toronto being a bigger market than buffalo and already having NHL and MLB teams. the london thing with the jaguars is the big thing. the nfl clearly is interested by renewing these intl games but as njroar pointed out in the other thread there are a lot of catching points and international laws.

i think the NBA if interested would probably be more successful if they put some teams in europe given that they already have some probasketball leagues there. of course there would be more scheduling/travel difficultues with 82 game seasons and back to back nights but perhaps it wouldnt be much difft than when baseball/basketball teams take west coast trips, etc


October 17th, 2013, 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
BillySims wrote:
Toronto already has a team. I think the CFL will eventually contract down to 4 teams and be absorbed into the NFL.


i dont think the NFL is that interested in Canada. if it works better for 1-2 american cities to move there teams there then fine, they ll accept but the league will never give a big push to expanding to expanding to canada. they are interested in $$$$ and that will be europe first, asia second.


October 17th, 2013, 6:43 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
I think some of you are missing the bigger picture. The NFL draws most of its revenue from the TV contracts. Fans like watching the games in real time. And since about 98% of the NFL fans are probably located in the continental US, you have to ask yourself how games played overseas will have on the scheduling. Will all those games have to be played in the evening over there so that they can start at the 1 pm or 4 pm start times here?

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October 20th, 2013, 3:40 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
m2karateman wrote:
I think some of you are missing the bigger picture. The NFL draws most of its revenue from the TV contracts. Fans like watching the games in real time. And since about 98% of the NFL fans are probably located in the continental US, you have to ask yourself how games played overseas will have on the scheduling. Will all those games have to be played in the evening over there so that they can start at the 1 pm or 4 pm start times here?


9 pm game there would still be 1 eastern wouldnt it? that could work. if you are on the west coast, TV starts showing the east coast games at 10 am so there is a wide window on when they could play those games. maybe they could go to triple headers with the earliest games being at 10am then 1pm then 4 pm and then the night 8 pm game? i dont see it as being a major drawback. if there s live football on TV people will watch it.


October 20th, 2013, 5:41 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
The Legend wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
I think some of you are missing the bigger picture. The NFL draws most of its revenue from the TV contracts. Fans like watching the games in real time. And since about 98% of the NFL fans are probably located in the continental US, you have to ask yourself how games played overseas will have on the scheduling. Will all those games have to be played in the evening over there so that they can start at the 1 pm or 4 pm start times here?


9 pm game there would still be 1 eastern wouldnt it? that could work. if you are on the west coast, TV starts showing the east coast games at 10 am so there is a wide window on when they could play those games. maybe they could go to triple headers with the earliest games being at 10am then 1pm then 4 pm and then the night 8 pm game? i dont see it as being a major drawback. if there s live football on TV people will watch it.


There is no way to run a full schedule there when the games would be competing with the Premier League. Those stadiums are packed and you see how games are moved around here because of baseball games in those shared stadiums, there's no way the #1 sport there would face any delays. No players are going to want to face 11pm or early am games on a consistent basis. The only option is tape delay and that's just ridiculous.


October 20th, 2013, 6:28 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
There's only a 5 hour difference between London and EST. That's really not a lot.


October 21st, 2013, 8:22 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
Blueskies wrote:
There's only a 5 hour difference between London and EST. That's really not a lot.


Add three more hours for games being broadcast to the West Coast, and around four to five hours of additional travel time for teams from the West Coast having to go to Europe to play a game. And you are talking about strictly London. What about other countries, other cities? I just think there is a bunch of logistics to overcome to make it work. Also, I don't think crowds in Europe will fill stadiums every week like they do here. As someone else stated earlier, the NFL won't supplant the Premier League as the most popular game in town over there any time soon. And since the NFL is a 'what have you done for me lately' sort of business, I can't imagine that the owners and investors will wait too long before shutting it down.

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October 21st, 2013, 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
Blueskies wrote:
There's only a 5 hour difference between London and EST. That's really not a lot.


i think the time is something that could be worked around. the real way to make this work is to popularize the sport on the local level. establish pee wee, middle school and high school level teams. UK Lion - any high school teams playing american football out there


October 21st, 2013, 11:09 pm
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
5 hours means early games need to start at 6pm, late games at 10pm with thursday, sunday night or monday night games at 1am.(Their time) But the time issue isn't the problem.

From August to May you have the Premier league that plays on Sundays starting at noon our time and into the evening. Those won't be moved. Then add the U21 and U18 Premier league, and the next tier down. American Football isn't going to replace soccer in Europe. So count Sundays out unless you want to try to compete with it, and you're asking for a loss of revenue from any club that moves there, not including building a stadium since they'd all be in use.

The logistics are a nightmare. Popularity world wide will never overtake soccer. There are so many leagues below the premier that it's the easiest sport in the world to break into (except in the US).

All of that and THEN add on the tax and pay issues and you see why it's all talk. It's easier for them to license the games over there like they have with Sky sports. They're after the TV money anyway, which is pooled for all owners. The one or two games a year can draw enough interest to demand they carry it, but it will never justify a full-time team unless they have money to throw away like they did with the World League.


October 22nd, 2013, 1:19 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
The Legend wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
There's only a 5 hour difference between London and EST. That's really not a lot.


i think the time is something that could be worked around. the real way to make this work is to popularize the sport on the local level. establish pee wee, middle school and high school level teams. UK Lion - any high school teams playing american football out there

It's not a high school sport and I'd be surprised if it became one anytime soon. The cost of the equipment etc is just too much.

The first opportunity most people will get to play is university - I played for my university. The standard is very low, though (people playing the game for the first time) - any US or Canadians who were in the UK to study were almost instantly the best players on the team. We had a running back who had an absolute blast - he went from also-ran on his high school team, to star player on our college team. Was quite amusing.

I think the NFL in the UK has to be a top down proposition, I don't see it working ground up. NFL Europe failed, and would be even more likely to fail now (why watch 3rd rate competition live (with the high cost) when you can watch first rate stuff in 60" HD?) IMO. The only way it works is if a top tier team is planted here.


October 22nd, 2013, 5:01 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
njroar wrote:
5 hours means early games need to start at 6pm, late games at 10pm with thursday, sunday night or monday night games at 1am.(Their time) But the time issue isn't the problem.

From August to May you have the Premier league that plays on Sundays starting at noon our time and into the evening. Those won't be moved. Then add the U21 and U18 Premier league, and the next tier down. American Football isn't going to replace soccer in Europe. So count Sundays out unless you want to try to compete with it, and you're asking for a loss of revenue from any club that moves there, not including building a stadium since they'd all be in use.

The logistics are a nightmare. Popularity world wide will never overtake soccer. There are so many leagues below the premier that it's the easiest sport in the world to break into (except in the US).

All of that and THEN add on the tax and pay issues and you see why it's all talk. It's easier for them to license the games over there like they have with Sky sports. They're after the TV money anyway, which is pooled for all owners. The one or two games a year can draw enough interest to demand they carry it, but it will never justify a full-time team unless they have money to throw away like they did with the World League.

We have a population of 63m - the same as Texas and California combined - all squeezed in to an area smaller than Oregon. There's absolutely no problem with soccer games taking place on the same day as NFL games.

Wembley stadium doesn't host regular league matches, just internationals and cup finals, so virtually no clashes to worry about there.

All kick-offs would need to be Sunday early games - 6pm start UK time. The crowd would come from over the UK, and Europe. Basically for a full season you need 640,000 (80k people x 8 home matches) hard core NFL fans across Europe (pop. 740m - or more than twice the whole USA) who are willing to travel to London and take a Monday off work to watch one live NFL game a year. Or 20k people who live in metro london (population approx 14m) who would take season tickets and 480k people across Europe willing to do one off trips.

I'd definitely go and watch the London team once a year, picking either them vs the Lions (if scheduled that season) or when the Lions were on a bye/playing Monday/playing Thursday.

Two games a year are now sold out - which suggests the numbers are at least a quarter of the way there. Whether there would be enough to get to fully sell out a season, I don't know. I think it could get close. The issue, as I've mentioned before, is that for most Europeans following the NFL requires dedication (time difference, $, coverage difficult to get hold of) so there are very few "casual" NFL fans. We're all hardcore fans of a team, who wouldn't change allegiance even if a team started in London. Whether that die hard fan base who just want to watch live NFL (regardless of team) once a year would carry 8 games a season for long enough to allow a proper fan base for the London team to develop would be the key question, IMO.


October 22nd, 2013, 5:13 am
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Post Re: Thoughts on NFL International Expansion
UK Lion wrote:
The Legend wrote:
Blueskies wrote:
There's only a 5 hour difference between London and EST. That's really not a lot.


i think the time is something that could be worked around. the real way to make this work is to popularize the sport on the local level. establish pee wee, middle school and high school level teams. UK Lion - any high school teams playing american football out there

It's not a high school sport and I'd be surprised if it became one anytime soon. The cost of the equipment etc is just too much.

The first opportunity most people will get to play is university - I played for my university. The standard is very low, though (people playing the game for the first time) - any US or Canadians who were in the UK to study were almost instantly the best players on the team. We had a running back who had an absolute blast - he went from also-ran on his high school team, to star player on our college team. Was quite amusing.

I think the NFL in the UK has to be a top down proposition, I don't see it working ground up. NFL Europe failed, and would be even more likely to fail now (why watch 3rd rate competition live (with the high cost) when you can watch first rate stuff in 60" HD?) IMO. The only way it works is if a top tier team is planted here.



well thats a start at least thats it there at the university level. maybe one of those university players ends up a gym teacher at a middle school or elementary level school and teaches his students how to throw a ball, play some flag football or someone starts up club levels for high school kids. it could grow. maybe it would be easier to have a top team there but i think there is something to have fans be people who played, appreciate and maybe more fully understand the game and the work behind it.


October 22nd, 2013, 10:18 pm
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