It’s no secret that the NFL wants back into Los Angeles. The two questions have always been “Can we move a team there?” and “If we can’t, where do we put the other expansion team?”

On the latter, Roger Goodell says London.

I think that would ultimately be very unsuccessful. London couldn’t really maintain sufficient interest to maintain their World League team. The London Monarchs left London on a part-time basis, then completely, well before the league ultimately folded. They actually got off to a good start,but interest faded once the novelty wore off (unlike in Germany, where interest was maintained much longer because they actually enjoy football in that country). Which is why I am unconvinced by what we can learn by the success of the recent games the NFL has played out there.

So no, I don’t think a team in London would work.

But I hope the NFL puts a team in London.

Why? Because that will, after it fails, lead to another team in the United States. And that will be a team in San Antonio, or Portland, or somewhere else of note. If putting teams in foreign cities that are doomed to fail will help me achieve my vision of a 40-team NFL, so be it!


Category: Theater

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

14 Responses to NFL: To London and Back

  1. Mike Hunt Rice says:

    It has been said that there is no greater power than the power of love.

    As someone with a background in numbers, I would argue that there is no greater power than the power of 2.

    32 is a VERY convenient number. 34 would be tough to schedule. Of course if enough money is at stake, they will manage.

    I don’t see the NFL going to London if only because of travel considerations. London is EIGHT time zones away from half of the NFC/AFC West.

    The NFL will not allow a team to move to LA unless they pay a high relocation fee.

    In either case, the prime candidate is the Jaguars.

    • trumwill says:

      32 is indeed a great number. I also agree that 34 is a bad number. So, yep, they should go straight to 36.

      I hadn’t thought of the time difference. That’s a good point.

  2. Putting a football team in the UK doesn’t work given that there’s already a relatively similar sport, rugby, that’s already popular there.

    FWIW, other than LA, is there any other large city that screams for a team where the owners are guaranteed some degree of an increase in their profits? More teams are worse for the owners because it means another team that splits league-wide revenues ($X divided by 32 teams versus 30 for example), and it can reduce the value of other teams when it’s time to sell.

    • trumwill says:

      Los Angeles is probably the only one that fills that bill without a doubt*. I strongly believe San Antonio would pull its own weight (particularly since it would be pulling in from Austin, as well). I think Orlando, Portland, and others would also do well.

      Honestly, I’d argue SoCal-minus-SD could handle up to three: Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Bakersfield/Riverside.

      Bakersfield/Riverside is in a financial slump, of course. As is Las Vegas, which was previously very well-positioned for a franchise (and maybe still is).

      • Peter says:

        One odd feature of Las Vegas that would make it a challenge for any major sports franchise is that compared to other cities it has by some considerable margin the highest percentage of people working nonstandard hours.

        • Mike Hunt Rice says:

          Another odd feature of Vegas is that there is legal sports betting there. This is de rigueur in Europe, but unheard of here.

        • trumwill says:

          That’s a good point. Another odd feature is the sheer amount of tourist traffic they get. Which would be a boost.

  3. Mike Hunt Rice says:

    I have some comments on the comments over at OT that I would like you to pass along.

    In response to Kolohe:

    Hawaii is 2 time zones west of LA; London is 5 time zones east of NYC, so your math doesn’t make sense to me. Can you elaborate on it?

    In this case, Hawaii does make more sense than London. After all, starting Sunday, the time difference between London and NYC is the same as the time difference between NYC and Hawaii. Also, the PCL had a team in Hawaii for many years, as I’m sure Mike Schilling knows.

    In response to BlaiseP:

    The Giants also don’t have a majority owner. The Maras and the Tisches each own 50%. This is due to a family feud in the Mara family, so that branch of the family sold to the late Bob Tisch.

    This is against current NFL policy, but the Giants have been grandfathered in.

    Speaking of grandfathers, did you know that Kate and Rooney Mara’s great-grandfathers founded the Giants and Steelers?

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