The Seattle Seahawks straight-up dominated the Oakland Raiders yesterday at Wembley Stadium in London. There will be an early-morning game in London next week between the Tennessee Titans and the LA Chargers, and another game the following week between the Eagles and Jags.
NFL.com’s so all-in these London matchups that they’ve created a ‘London Games’ tab at the top of their homepage next to scores, stats, and highlights. The NFL was football to be a global sport and they see London, England as the ideal location to launch their attempt at global domination.
For what it’s worth, the games *do* sell out even if the stands are filled with A LOT of American fans who see these matchups as a fun way to pop overseas and see their team play in a new stadium. The hype appears to be there, and according to NFL executive vice-president Mark Waller, London’s on track to get its own NFL franchise by 2022.
In 2017, Waller first said it was ‘realistic‘ that a current NFL franchise could be permanently relocated to London within the next five years. Everyone laughed and pointed out how the travel times would absolutely destroy the team. But this week NFL EVP Mark Waller said he stands by that timeline when speaking to Sky Sports.
“I feel great about the time frame,” he said. “Everything we’ve seen from the demand on the fan side to the stadium infrastructure that exists, the government support that we have. All of the indicators are incredibly positive.
“The one thing we can never test for is whether a team based here would be able to cope with the incremental travel back and forwards. If and when it happens, that will be a learning we’ll get then. (via)
Oh, really? You can’t test for whether or not a team could cope with the back-and-forth travel for an entire f*cking season? You’ve never traveled abroad and been completely wiped out for 24-hours because your body doesn’t have a clue what time it is? That’s poppycock.
They know that players wouldn’t be able to handle the schedule and they (presumably) think that scheduling blocks of games, 4 home and 4 away, would cut down on the jet lag because players could just stay and adjust for large periods of time instead of being on the move every other week.
“I think the great thing here is that the market is ready, the fans are ready, the stadiums are ready. As and when our ownership decide that’s a move they would like to make, we’re ready to go.
“The fan response has been extraordinary, as you’ll see in the next three weeks with three sold out games.” (via)
Last weekend’s game was played at Wembley Stadium after it was rescheduled. It was originally set to be played at the new White Hart Land/Tottenham Stadium which has been plagued with construction delays. Tottenham Hotspur (COYS) is aiming to open their new stadium mid-December so look for games to definitely be played there in the future as it will be the newest and nicest stadium in all of England after it’s completed.
There have been swirling rumors for years that Jacksonville will be the team to get relocated which seems like a decent fit. Florida doesn’t need three teams. We’ve got the Bucs and Dolphins and that’ll be enough. I could also see the NFL moving the Titans. Would they really be missed by anyone?