, To test the implications of a full season at Wembley, the NFL scheduled two International Series games over two weekends, followed by an England association football game, to see how the surface copes. The Chargers were based in the city from 1961-2016 before packing up and heading to the City of Angels. As the NFL season looms fans get ready to cheer on their home team. they definitely shouldn't struggle to find cheerleaders, Europe could house an entire division of teams, This has been something Portland has actively sought after since 2000, lackluster attendance and the city's inability to provide a new stadium. The Utah Utes and the BYU Cougars draw pretty large crowds for college teams. The cost to terminate the Panthers' agreement to use Bank of America Stadium after the 2018 season is relatively small, and the team's incoming owner, David Tepper, does not have any significant ties to the Carolinas and has been tepid in his support of keeping the team in the region, stating upon assuming ownership in July 2018 "Charlotte is a logical place (... but) you're asking me too much. The NFL could never support that. To overcome this, he speculated that the NFL might follow the example of other sports like basketball and baseball, where some teams play away games in back to back series of three or four games, allowing the team to stay in the US for this part of their schedule. The NFL's use of a salary cap would also make using financial incentives to overcome this problematic. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a huge advocate of global expansion, which would eventually lead to several additions to the NFL. Wembley Stadium, England's national association football stadium, was rebuilt and re-opened in 2007, and was the first venue for International Series games in that same year.  It has been speculated that the current (2012) US market was saturated, and so it was unlikely that an expansion team within the US would generate the NFL's desired growth without a fundamental change in their funding model, such as the introduction of pay-per-view TV, which was also seen as unlikely since the league's current broadcasting contracts run to 2022. If the NFL added a 33rd franchise, what might that team … As funny as it would be, Davis will never change their name, nor should he, but an angry Roger Goodell is a happy thought for fans. Over in Lincoln, the Cornhusker's "Sea of Red" has always demonstrated the passion for football in Nebraska. Football is already doing okay in Sacramento anyways in the UFL, where coach Dennis Green and quarterback Daunte Cullpepper reunited to lead the Mountain Lions last year. Back when NFL Europe was still operational, the Berlin Thunder enjoyed a steady growth in their fan base. The population is only 650,000, so the market doesn't seem very large, but the Galaxy's past success probably left a strong enough mark to leave fans waiting for another team. Those games drew crowds of over 100,000 people, with the most recent one being played in 2005 between San Francisco and Arizona, where 103,467 fans attended. , As of the 2014 International Series, 9 out of 10 tickets for the games were bought by people who live within three hours' travel of London, with 33,000 people choosing to buy a package ticket for all three games. , While the International Series fixtures have tested the effect on personnel of traveling east from the USA to the UK and then playing a game within a few days, because of the bye week it has yet to be established what the effect is when traveling the other way. By Julian Sonny. London would obviously love to have a team of their own and Goodell wants to make his move as soon as possible. Virginia probably doesn't have enough room for two teams, so it would be smartest to combine them into a statewide team. The NFL playoff schedule is expanding to 14 teams beginning with the 2020 season following the players approval of a new collective bargaining agreement. He reports that Cowboys games are televised frequently in Mexico and there have been regular season games played at Estadia Azteca in Mexico city. It has been suggested that the NFL's use of a draft system and a minimum age limit on players would come into conflict with the EU's laws regarding freedom of movement for workers and competition. Los Angeles has two teams. The term is most commonly used in … They are also drawing early interest from fans in bigger numbers, which is huge. It's over an hour and a half from Portland to Corvallis (home of the Beavers), and even a bit further to Eugene (Ducks).  Supporting the idea, the BBC contrasted the low attendances of some England football friendlies at Wembley, which reached a record low of 40,181 in 2014, surpassing the previous record of 48,876 in 2011, with the 80,000 crowds for the 2014 three game International Series. Through all of the changes with NFL Europe, the Frankfurt Galaxy stuck through it all and enjoyed the most success out of all of the teams. A 10-year restriction on having to play all home games at Wembley expired in 2017, although Wembley remains the regular home of the team. London's five year old Wembley Stadium provides a world class venue that any NFL team would be glad to call home. If crowds like that are attending the college games, imagine how well a pro team would do there. November 11, 2013. The fourth expansion team can go anywhere, but I would put it in Salt Lake City. The deal is designed to be flexible, i.e. If [they] realize that any of them could be traded to the London team, or could have a London-based team as their only option for ongoing NFL employment via free agency, keeping a team out of London would keep that from ever happening. Sacramento. 11 NFL Expansion Franchises You Didn’t Know ALMOST Happened - Duration: 12:09. They may only have an NBA franchise, but with a metro population of about 2.2 million people they could easily add a football team. It was their first season in Sacramento after moving from San Fransisco, and they were pretty successful in their inagural season. A Philadelphia team could slot right into the XFL, and with all 4 NFC East teams present, rivalries, interest, and ticket sales would all flare up. On May 4, 2020, the entirety of the scheduled 2020 International Series games, including the London games, were moved back to the home stadiums in the United States due to the international COVID-19 pandemic. Each existing team has to make five players from its roster available, and only one of those players can have 10 or more years of experience in the league. 0 of 12. If football does make a comeback in Japan, Tokyo's population of over 12 million people would easily support an NFL franchise. Norfolk just received a UFL team, the Virginia Destroyers, and they'll begin play right away in 2011.  Nonetheless, some speculation has led to keep NFL owners on alert if the UK goes into a recession following an exit from the EU.. The NFL estimates that there are over 22 million NFL fans in Mexico and if you didn’t know, Mexicans go absolutely ballistic for their sports teams. There are several possible locations for these new teams, both in the U.S and abroad, so here's a list of the top 20 NFL teams of the future. NFL Expansion: These 10 Cities Absolutely Need NFL Teams. , While still retaining the bye-week, as a test of the logistics, the first game of the 2015 International Series was the first time teams only traveled to London for the weekend, having previously spent a whole week in the UK.  That number had risen to 40,000 repeat customers for the four-game package in 2017. Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport there, but football is a close second. NFL expansion isn’t on the agenda, but the relocation game might not be over. Chicago.  The stadium's owners, the Football Association, are reportedly interested in using Wembley as the base of a London team, but it has been suggested by The Telegraph that they may struggle to accommodate a full programme of NFL games, as well as hosting the England national football team. There were some players that did well and came over to the NFL, like Jake Delhomme and David Akers, but overall the league's talent just wasn't very good. Since 2007, the league has held multiple regular season games in London each season as part of NFL London Games, allowing the league to test solutions to some of the challenges facing a hypothetical London franchise. New York has two teams. , The league has been encouraged by the fact that the International Series games were still attracting over 80,000 fans for a game like the Detroit Lions versus the Kansas City Chiefs on October 31, 2015, the teams which had the 24th and 31st best records in the NFL at game time, leading The Telegraph to observe that Middlesbrough vs Brentford would be the equivalent English soccer fixture on the day (based on their positions in the Football League Championship). Another potential issue is the natural grass pitch (following the first International Series game, the pitch was upgraded to a partly artificial Desso surface) – with previous England team manager Roy Hodgson having complained about the state of the surface after just two International Series games, claiming one player injured his ankle in 2014 because of the cut-up pitch. Join the discussion on XFL expansion in our Discord channel. With football even being more popular in the Lone Star State there's no reason to believe that the NFL shouldn't add one too. It also led to steady increases in actual participation in amateur games.  The talks between the Chancellor and the NFL from 2014 onwards were interpreted by the media as a willingness to offer support in the form of promises of tax exemptions. Rams? NFL continues to forge forward in U.K.", "NFL eye Tottenham's new ground as home for London-based American Football franchise", "NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars' Shahid Khan not sold on London move", "NFL extends Wembley deal to play two games a year until 2020", "Jaguars looking to build a permanent facility in London", https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/apr/26/fa-sell-wembley-fulham-owner-shahid-khan, "NFL Wembley: Seven years until London Jaguars? Raiders? Oregon's recent undefeated regular season run brought in great crowds of course, but the fans are still there this year. I'll call it stupidity." Donations can be completely anonymous. 7:21.  The NFL's UK operation has pointed to the success of the 1995 expansion team the Carolina Panthers having grown a fanbase in a previously untapped market to support the idea that a London team could do the same.  The issue of NFL markings still being partly visible during association football matches has also been criticized in the media. " Speaking at the start of 2016, he said "The fan base is big enough and passionate enough that it can support a franchise". Spain is and always will be a futball first country, but American football is enjoying steady growth there nonetheless. 24 or more clubs would have to approve of the decision. Typically, only one player who went on injured reserve can be placed on the list, but because the league would have made its injured reserve decisions differently in 2015 if an exp… Los Angeles is the most likely landing spot for the first new or relocated team, but it's only a matter of time before more changes follow. They both left town simultaneously about 20 years ago and nothing has yet filled the void. , As well as the issue of a home stadium facility, the league has also been considering where a London franchise would hold their training camp, which begins in late July and normally involves several players not yet formally signed to the club. The only thing I have a market on right now is a lack of knowledge. There were no players from that 2005 team that made big names for themselves in the NFL, which really was the issue with NFL Europe as a whole. A suggested workaround of the team being based in the US and simply flying in for games, Nixon said this was "not something that has been done before and it is untested". Speaking in 2015, Waller stated "we've never had real discussions about a shared market". Unlike the first go-around, the 2020 XFLclearly has a better game plan than the league did back in 2001. If the NFL were to add another team, ... Building an NFL Expansion Team: ... should the MLB or NHL ever need a new locale—the Arizona Coyotes still could wind up there in the near future… The NFL is aiming to establish a London franchise by around 2025, and has the active support of the British government. Los Angeles doesn't top this list because they've already had two chances at a franchise. With much of the United States and the world stuck in quarantine, we’re doing this a little earlier this year: it’s time for our third annual NFL expansion series. In a city where the Jazz dominate the sports scene, a change could be refreshing.  Last negotiated in 2011, the current version runs until the 2020 season. An expansion team is a new team in a sports league, usually from a city that has not hosted a team in that league before, formed with the intention of satisfying the demand for a local team from a population in a new area. Apparently a couple of Buffalo Bills regular season games over the years in Toronto won't satisfy the cities appetite for world class football. , In an attempt to gauge support for a London team, from the 2015 season the dates and times of the International Series games were adjusted to make them more closely resemble the home fixtures of a London team, as opposed to casting them as one off special events being timed in a fashion more convenient for a US audience. , Another issue considered is whether or not a London team would have an unfair competitive advantage compared to US-based teams, due to the extra distances away teams would have to travel to play them. 20: Rome Rhinos 1 of 21 Our 2020 NFL expansion series concludes with the NFL draft. If Britain's capital started to enjoy the success and profits of an NFL team, then all of Europe would want one.  In addition to the travel, it is believed this also presents a challenge in terms of potentially leaving away teams only a week to plan a foreign trip (in contrast to teams knowing the regular season schedule months in advance). If you have had some enjoyment from reading the 2020 version, please consider making a donation to help out our friend Jill and her family. Related: NFL Expansion: 5 Cities that Deserve the Next Relocation or Expansion Franchise. Besides, baseball is a bit less exciting as a sport. On November 3, 2015, the NFL also announced it had reached a deal with the Rugby Football Union to host a minimum of three games in three years at Twickenham Stadium, beginning from the 2016 International Series. Also, I noticed some people saying Las Vegas, but the NFL, just like the NBA, currently is totally against having a pro team (in the league with the highest gambling totals) in the gambling center of the U.S. . The NBA has three teams in Texas. They drew over 40,000 people for a game during the eighties (Civil War vs Oregon), but with the huge investment recently made at Reser Stadium Oregon has shown that they care about their football. Their Spring Game attendance was second in the nation this year, with over 77,000 in attendance according to ESPN's Tim Griffin. The IFL (Italian Football League) has grown since it first began in 2008, and has 10 competing teams in only it's third year. It's starting to look like Jacksonville could lose their team, but Florida absolutely can easily have another team in Orlando. , Given the size of London, it has even been suggested by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank that there could ultimately be more than one franchise located in London, although not before a team in another European country.. The IFAF endorsed JAFA (Japanese American Football Association) also works to keep youth football popular, which could lead to a restoration of the sport's popularity. and "Most players enjoy the experience of going over to London and from our perspective a team based in the UK could be viable – but only if the working conditions and health and safety aspects are satisfactory". Just like going north to Canada, heading south to Mexico wouldn't require overcoming huge time zone difference issues. The Commissioner can only resist the inevitable for so long though, as the allure of the country's gambling capital can't be avoided forever. Although mindful of the calendar, according to the stadium's managing director speaking in 2013, "Football is our priority but yes, I'm absolutely confident that if Roger Goodell wanted to have a franchise here, we could absolutely deliver on it. Most wouldn't guess it but their population is one of the biggest in the nation (over 1.3 million in the city alone). Countering one reason often cited as why the Jaguars would move, their low attendances, it has been argued that there are other franchises such as the Buccaneers with even lower attendances and less potential for growth in their own market in comparison. Norfolk would probably be the best location for a team, with a decent population of about 250,000 and a beautiful skyline to complement a possible stadium.  The deal also includes an option to add two more games in the same period. Yahoo News reports that the NFL is in huge demand in Toronto and it's only a matter of time until they make their move. So, there you have it, the NFL says Los Angeles is the city that right now ranks #1 for getting a team in the near future.  The arrangement practiced by the University of Hawaii football team, separated from the U.S. mainland by about 3,900 km/2,400 miles, has been suggested as the model to follow for playing blocks of two to three games, home and away. That's plenty of people to root on a team. What separates London from other international locations is that it has enjoyed the most success recently and it seems to be Goodell's favorite potential international expansion city. He has moved his team before, and he could move them again. The group's quest to bring an expansion team to Oakland began in June when Bobbitt wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing interest in applying to own a team. The Sooners always draw a huge crowd, over 83,000 on average since 2003 according to SoonerSports.com. The National Football League is the largest and most successful sports league on the continent.  As a result of the deal, the stadium was specifically designed for both American and association versions of football. It has been suggested this may be tested by scheduling one team to play back-to-back weekends in the International Series (as the notional home and away team). This eliminates the expense, currently over one billion United States dollars, of constructing a stadium for the team that meets NFL specifications. , On July 8, 2015 it was announced that the NFL had agreed to stage a minimum of two games a season for a ten-year period at Tottenham Hotspur's new stadium in Northumberland Park, which opened nearly a year behind schedule in 2019. it could involve two fixtures in one year and none the next. Japan is to California as London is to New York, so there is no reason that the NFL can't expand off of the west coast as well. Still, it's a good start for establishing interest to precede an NFL expansion attempt. San Diego, California. , In April 2018, Jaguars owner Shahid Khan placed a bid on Wembley Stadium in an effort to solidify the Jaguars' presence in the city; this offer was retracted in October 2018. This has been something Portland has actively sought after since 2000 according to the Portland Business Journal so starting a new franchise or relocating one within the U.S would be a lot easier for the NFL than trying to cross national borders. This seems to work well enough for places like Minnesota, Tennessee, Arizona, etc. A professional team would draw much bigger crowds and help revive the struggling economy there. In Orlando, the recently successful UCF Knights have drawn bigger and bigger crowds every year according to the school's newspaper, and they are only a Conference USA team. In the CFL, the Montreal Alouettes have enjoyed crowds of nearly 70,000 in big games (Grey Cup matches).  The Bills' lease has an exit window in the 2020 offseason (which it opted not to exercise) and expires after the 2022 season, coincidentally the end of the NFL's current TV contracts. It was only supposed to serve as a developmental league, but still, there wasn't much motivation for fans to go see teams. MLS is looking to add two more teams to reach a total of 28, and Austin FC is on track to be the next expansion team. Rome has three teams total, but Marines Lazio is the best and only squad of the three competing in the IFL. Cost and logistics concerns made this scenario unlikely, and the Raiders ultimately decided to renew their agreement with the Oakland Coliseum after initially stating they would not do so.. Oklahoma City is one of the fastest growing cities in the country according to the USA Today, with a population that has jumped 15 percent since 2000. Shouldn’t the Second City have a second one, too? The population of the metro area is just under three million, and with football being as popular as it is in the Golden State a Sacramento team could add fuel to the west coast rivalry fire. ESPN's Pablo Viruega beautifully lays out football's long history in Mexico. There wouldn't be any major time zone differences and the distance from the U.S is obviously significantly shorter. Ed Graney of the Review Journal reported that Roger Goodell was strongly against gambling and thus an NFL team in Vegas. If the elite NFL talent graced Olympic Stadium, those numbers could easily reach capacity every week. ", Game Plan: NFL Believes London is Ready for Team; 2022 Target is Doable, "London NFL team needs two million extra fans", "NFL plans permanent UK-based franchise 'in six years, "NFL expansion to London is 'extraordinary', says Leiweke", "London-based NFL team receives boost with Chancellor confirming he has held talks over a Wembley franchise", "NFL scraps all four London 2020 fixtures set for Wembley and Tottenham", "NFL 'monitoring' UK situation after Brexit vote", "Will Brexit Bench NFL, NBA In The United Kingdom? You can always count on the NFL to be hypocritical, just ask Hines Ward, and putting an NFL franchise in Las Vegas is being strongly opposed by Roger Goodell for hypocritical reasons as well. The city is regularly ranked on the best places to live and cities of the future lists, and could present interesting new opportunities for the NFL to ... it remains to be seen if the Virginia capital would consider doing so for an expansion team that wasn’t owned by the antagonistic Snyder. It has a retractable natural grass pitch over an artificial surface used for NFL games (which should allow both soccer and NFL games to be played on the same weekend), and with locker rooms of sufficient size to accommodate the 53-man size of an NFL team roster. The team could just be a nationwide team (Ireland Dragons), because even if there was a huge expansion there aren't any other cities large enough to have their own team. The impact of the Bosman ruling on players contracts is also unclear.  It has been noted that this approach may be problematic as it requires players to spend multiple weeks at a time away from home (whether home is in the US or London), something they would not have to do in a US based franchise. Over 18,000 people attended home games last year, an impressive number for a semi-professional team in a very young league. Estadia Azteca's huge capacity coupled with Mexico City's huge population of over 20 million leave no doubt that a football team would be extremely well off there. Benson also mentions that the sport was twice as popular in the 80's, so there actually is a potential fan base there.  According to Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank speaking in 2014, "The approach that the international committee and the commissioner have taken is, "Let's do London right, and then move from there to potentially somewhere else". , According to NFL.com, one possible way to achieve a London franchise in a way that overcomes the various issues facing a London operation, which has been considered by team owners and NFL executives, is the possibility of a shared franchise, with the team playing four home games in London and four in the US, although this was not considered ideal as it could potentially weaken the appeal given the split fanbase and ultimately not achieve critical mass, in addition it would be unlikely to be attractive to London fans if it were assumed in that scenario that any such team would always play its post-season games in its US base. Geographically being just south of the border, Mexico City is better suited logistically than London and would be ideal for international expansion. In the alternate universe that is MLS, this can still be considered a weird one. Expanding to Canada would be much easier than crossing the Atlantic theoretically. As well as the Jacksonville Jaguars, the fact that some other existing franchises have owners with knowledge of the British market due to also owning United Kingdom based sports teams, such as the Glazer family's ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers based in Tampa, Florida and Manchester United leads to them being suggested as potential relocation candidates. Portland could add a team to bridge the huge northern gap between Seattle and Minnesota. Should the league establish a team in London, it would become the first of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada to establish a franchise outside either of those two countries. , NBC Sports has speculated that "It's possible that the NFLPA simply will never agree to a London move. , Wembley is expected to remain as a main venue until at least the second game of the 2020 programme – with an option to extend it until 2025. Next weekend (Feb. 23) will be the first time the St. Louis Battlehawks wil…  Wembley earns an estimated £500,000 to £1 million per NFL game in profit; due to the debt incurred in building it, the BBC commented that maximizing the number of other events staged at Wembley is vital to the FA's financial health, believing the benefit of the consistent revenue stream of 8 NFL games a year would not escape their attention. The one thing that we’ve got to do more work on is how would it work from a team operational standpoint?" The most immediate likely candidate for relocation is the Carolina Panthers. Analogies have been drawn to soccer, where players from outside the European Union must be shown to be bringing something "special and different", and teams are required to comprise a minimum number of EU citizens. It shouldn't be looked over that all of those people paid ten bucks to see a glorified scrimmage.  For the 2018 season, the league aims to test the concept of one of the teams playing back-to-back games in London. The popularity of football rapidly grew in Germany's huge capital city despite the lack of popularity NFL Europe enjoyed as a whole.  This followed a 2013 comment that "Expanding to London by definition is a change in working conditions, placing the conversation squarely in the context of collective bargaining". The total metro area population exceeds 1.2 million and CNN Money ranked it as the number one city to start a business. ", "Sale of Panthers to David Tepper finalized", Raiders most likely to play in Bay Area in 2019 at the stadium of either 49ers or Giants, "Buffalo Bills face potential move with upcoming sale", "Buffalo Bills to remain in Orchard Park through 2023", "Why not London Bucs? The Expos didn't work out, but to be fair they weren't exactly fielding good teams too often (13 winning seasons out of 36, no World Series titles). , As of 2013, players appearing in International Series games were admitted on temporary working visas, a situation which would not be possible for players working a full home schedule, which would require visas to be issued by a UK government recognised governing body for the sport.  This may imperil any London team proposal in the future, due to the logistics involved with complying with the future health policies and laws possible to prevent a future pandemic. One interesting scenario is Al Davis moving the Raiders out of Oakland to Las Vegas. 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A state, that would officially include the entire population of most NFL cities and general! 82,000, falling shy of only Fed Ex Field and the popularity football. Orleans and Jacksonville are among those with relatively older stadiums and team leases expiring 2030! ’ ve got to do more work on is how would it work from a team yet enough for like! Is at a pretty perfect size 24 ] the architect, Populous, had previously designed 14 NFL stadiums [! To delve into too many attendance records, football is n't just as much as anywhere else the... The expansion of American football is a huge advocate of global expansion of American football much easier crossing.
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