Another year, another game in London as New England played St. Louis and once again talk about putting a franchise overseas in London. This continues the thinking of expanding the game internationally for what the NFL thinks will make the sport an international game.
But one must think…. Is this the right move for the NFL? With the increased talk of player safety at all levels of the game along with some NFL teams having issues filling their home team stadium’s, would the game hold up in the international sporting world?
As with any team that struggles in any sport, teams have issues getting people to attend the home matches. Putting a team in London means you have to compete with the national sport Soccer (or as they say Football). Overall, with the law of diminishing returns as the NFL loses it uniqueness to the British fans, less people will attend the games over the years with 8 home games a year. If this NFL team does not have a winning record, that will drive more fans away and all that will remain is the empty seats along with some worn out players that have to travel 3,500 – 5,500 miles for all roads games stateside.
Along with the above issues, there is one other thing to consider. How do you get the fans to attend your London NFL team instead of the established London Soccer teams? While most Soccer games in England are played on Saturday, there are a few “Good” games for Sunday. Who are the fans going to really care about? NFL or EPL? London alone has many winning established teams including but not limited to:
- QPR (Well… Maybe not a good team, but they are in London)
- West Ham United
You also have to compete with some of the established lower level teams that would further draw fans away:
- Crystal Palace
- Leyton Orient
With these issues present, the NFL should really question putting a team in Europe especially since the NFL has already had one failed venture with NFL Europe. Take care of your teams at home first, then think outside your domestic boarders.