Can the NFL work in London? American Football in England?!


Ninh explains: Can the NFL work in London
There’s been a lot of talk recently with the NFL moving an American Football team to
London, England?! After several years of highly successful games being staged at Wembley Stadium
(and yes, I was there) there’s many debates as to whether a team will move to London or
not. To answer this question, we need to ask two
further questions: 1) Is it commercially viable to operate a
team in London? 2) Will they actually do it?
Is it commercially viable to? Every game staged at Wembley over the last
few years has been a sell-out, so it seems that us Brits actually like American Football.
Contrary to popular belief by Americans, there is a huge fan base for the NFL here in England.
And a team in London wouldn’t just be supported by Londoners, but by the whole of the UK and
possibly even Europe. Dallas are America’s team, and London might
just be Europe’s team. And that’s just the fans. Think about the
money from gate receipts. £25million in ticket sales for the three
games hosted in London this year. If the NFL was in London already, they’d
be #3 in the ticket sales chart! And that’s not including the crappy Wembley
food, copious amounts of extortionate alcohol and tacky souvenirs that were peddled across
not just the stadium, but the entire city of London.
Even more money gets made by the TV companies showing the NFL.
Channel 4 and Sky earned massive ratings and massive revenue from advertisers during the
three games this year, and Sky generally earns significantly more as they show games from
across the entire season. The team most likely to make the move is the
Jacksonville Jaguars. They struggle to sell out their own stadium
but have had no problems doing that over here they already have a consistent fan base in
the UK and their owner Shahid Khan also owns Fulham Football Club, which is just 6 miles
away from Wembley Stadium. Even the government wants in on the NFL. Chancellor
George Osbourne has publicly stated that the government would welcome an NFL team, but
not that he’s an American Football fan of course. He’s just after all those American
Tourist dollars that will roll in every week. There’s no question that there’s huge
demand and short supply over here in England. An NFL team is commercially viable.
Now the question becomes: Will they actually do it?
And the answer is: probably not. There are 8 main reasons standing in the way
of an NFL team coming to London. Starting with
1) The City of Los Angeles. It’s no secret that LA wants a team back
in the city. They’re even building an NFL ready stadium just in case. Why move all that
way across the pond, when you’ve got a ready-made American market with an American Stadium,
American-sized junk food and an American Audience. Speaking of which …
2) It’s a bloody long way away. Anyone who’s been on a transatlantic flight
will tell you that it’s tough going. Having to do that every week and then try to play
your best football wouldn’t be easy. The distance between San Diego and London is a
staggering 5,478 miles. These kind of long haul distances cause problems for both teams,
as that’s the distance that both teams would have to cover at least once if they were in
the same division. It’s bad news when your helmet travels more distance than you do when
going on holiday. 3) The players and staff.
Convincing the players, coaches and executives to trade in sunny Jacksonville for cold horrible
rainy London is a hard sell. The money isn’t green, there are no Dairy Queens, it’s always
raining and players and coaches won’t be seeing friends and family for weeks on end.
That’s enough to make Bill Belichick frown even more than usual … if that were at all
possible. 4) Raising the salary cap.
Due to the high rates of taxation in the UK, and that evil chancellor trying to take all
your money, you’d have to pay the players more to offset the high taxes and high cost
of living in London. This means raising the salary cap for just one team. Something which
I’m pretty sure none of the 31 other owners would want.
5) Jacksonville fans. Okay so they don’t sell out their stadium,
but the true die hard Jaguars fans might have something to say about their team moving not
only to a different city, but a different country altogether. One that isn’t driving
distance away. 6) The England National Football Team.
The national team and their fans already hate the NFL for “ruining their pitch”. The
grass at Wembley Stadium has always been atrocious and regular American football use on a field
that was designed for football is going to cause some headaches. Even though that entire
stadium was paid for with taxpayer money, the national team would have final say over
when an American Football team could play there. Because heaven forbid England actually
win a game on that high-cost-crap-quality-grass-surface at Wembley.
7) Logistics. It’s not just the players and coaches that
have to make the trip. Converting a multiuse stadium every week to host American Football
one day and Football or Rugby the next isn’t easy. And then think about the road team who
has to ship all their equipment, training supplies, illegal steroids and secret mistresses
is going to be hard work. Games will almost always have to be played at 9:30 on a Sunday
morning to make the American Audience back home watch the games.
8) Football will still be king. Many sports have tried and failed to dislodge
the national game from the top spot. In fact, no league comes anywhere near the Premier
League for attendance and ratings in the UK. It’s a hard task convincing people to stop
watching Manchester United and watch the New York Jets instead. I mean, Jets fans don’t
even want to watch their own team! Of course, there’s lots of other problems
associated with having a US franchise in London. Different laws, customs problems, security
issues, TV ratings back in the US etc. And because of these problems, it’s unlikely
that London will have an NFL team soon, certainly not before Los Angeles, and probably not before
a host of other suitable cities. But who knows? Where there’s a will, there’s always a
way. If you have found this video entertaining
or informative, please comment rate share and subscribe. It takes me ages to make one
of these things and good karma is much appreciated. Did I miss something out? Or do you disagree?
Like the video and start the debate below! Ninh Ly, www.ninh.co.uk, @NinhLyUK

100 thoughts on “Can the NFL work in London? American Football in England?!

  1. Number #6 and #7 aren't that big of a problem here in 2017, Tottenham's new White Hart Lane has the England national team debacle covered.

  2. It should be a Great Britain team across the whole of Scotland, England, and Wales rather than just a team for London. Take games to Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and other cities in the UK. .

  3. If the Jaguars moved to London they would be in the AFC so they would only have to cross the Atlantic not the country so it wouldn't be as far as San Diego. They would probably play new England. P.S I hope they make the London Team and the Mexico city Team.

  4. Here's a hypothetical expansion idea that probably won't happen in the near future:

    • Merger with CFL (10; 9 existing franchises plus a team in Halifax)
    • 8 New Teams (2 International; 6 Domestic)
    • All divisions expanded to 6 teams
    • Ravens moved from AFC North to AFC South (any alternatives?)

    NFC West
    1. Seattle Seahawks
    2. San Fransisco 49ers
    3. Los Angeles Rams
    4. Arizona Cardinals
    5. Calgary Stampeders (CFL)
    6. Utah Pioneers (New)

    AFC West
    1. Los Angeles Chargers
    2. Las Vegas Raiders
    3. Denver Broncos
    4. Kansas City Chiefs
    5. Vancouver Lions (name change? or just a separate designation to avoid confusion with the detroit lions) (CFL)
    6. Portland Beavers (New)

    NFC North
    1. Minnesota Vikings
    2. Green Bay Packers
    3. Chicago Bears
    4. Detroit Lions
    5. Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL)
    6. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL)

    AFC North
    1. Pittsburgh Steelers
    2. Cincinnati Bengals
    3. Cleveland Browns
    4. Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)
    5. Winnipeg Bombers (CFL)
    6. Toronto Argonauts (CFL)

    NFC East
    1. New York Giants
    2. Philadelphia Eagles
    3. Dallas Cowboys
    4. Washington Redskins
    5. Montreal Alouettes (CFL)
    6. Nova Scotia Schooners (CFL)

    AFC East
    1. New England Patriots
    2. Buffalo Bills
    3. New York Jets
    4. Miami Dolphins
    5. Ottawa Redblacks (CFL)
    6. London Monarchs (New)

    NFC South
    1. Carolina Panthers
    2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    3. Atlanta Falcons
    4. New Orleans Saints
    5. St. Louis Stallions (New)
    6. San Antonio Oilers (New)

    AFC South
    1. Indianapolis Colts
    2. Tennessee Titans
    3. Houston Texans
    4. Jacksonville Jaguars
    5. Baltimore Ravens (Transferred)
    6. Mexico City Aztecs (New)

  5. I have to disagree I believe there is a market in the U.K for American Football. 🏈 It is just a matter of preparing season Games so that the traveling teams across the Atlantic especially those coming from the west coast can have a rest period to recuperate from time and jet lag. I feel that the NFL growth in the U.K can eventually possibly spread across other European countries. At least that is my thought as an American.

  6. What if there was something like this:
    The NFL will have its teams and play each other until one team comes out on top in the super bowl
    Then the, lets say European football league will play each other for their super bowl
    After these matchups, the two winners will play each other.
    Eh?

  7. why dont they just open a Football league in europe i mean in germany we got a whole lot of fans(for 16 division 1 teams and a whole lot of lower division teams too) and it looks like Britian got too and spain and france got allot of fans so why dont just someone open a "Europe Football league" or something like that then the americans dont have to travel all the way over here the fans in europe could just watch there own teams…

  8. It sounds like Hotspur is very interested in franchise a NFL team these days. Now their new stadium will be designed for both Association and American Football in the same time……Hardly I think it is just made for holding once-a-year NFL UK series.

  9. Great video, I find your videos to be amusing and informative, can you do a video explaining how the salary cap systems (hard cap, soft cap, and luxury tax) in North American leagues work? And whether or not it will be feasible or applicable in European and/or South American football leagues? The pros and cons of having a North American salary cap system implemented in European and/or South American football leagues.

  10. Honestly, before the NFL should consider creating an overseas franchise, they should promote the popularity of the American Football outside the USA by doing the following:

    a.) by playing more preseason games outside the US(not just UK);

    b.) by supporting the IFAF American Football World Cup through airing it in NFL Network;

    c.) by having its games shown in other countries even on tape delay;

    d.) by creating a tournament wherein the champion teamsof the American football leagues around the world compete against each other which includes the Super Bowl champions of the NFL, the national champions of the US NCAA, and Grey Cup champions of the CFL;

    e.) by creating an international tournament like the World Baseball Classic wherein either NCAA Division I players and NFL players are allowed to compete(They can have two US teams, one is composed of NCAA division I players while the other is composed of NFL players);

    f.) by having exhibition matches between NFL teams and the different national american football teams of the world;

    g.)by helping in efforts in making American Football an Olympic sport by collaborating with IFAF(the international sanctioning body of the sport) and with the US NCAA.

    They tried putting up NFL Europe and it just folded since the sport is not that popular outside the US. If the NBA, NHL, and MLB (leagues with larger international fan base than the NFL) did not attempt to have a franchise outside North America even if they have the higher probability to succeed due to their international appeal being more established, how can the NFL succeed when their popularity is more confined in the US compared to the other leagues?

    They should raise international awareness and interest for the sport first, otherwise they will just lose millions, if they attempt to create an international franchise since their fan base outside the US is not that establIshed.

  11. Honestly, creating a new team or moving the Jaguars in Oakland(after the Raiders leave in 2020), San Diego, and St. Louis or in Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma are better than London. Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis had NFL history and they are already tested when it comes to having a fanbase, the reason for that their teams left them is not because of poor fanbase but because of failure to negotiate a construction of bigger stadiums. Texas, Alabama, and Oklahoma are known to be football states in the US.

    If you are the NFL why would you put a team in a foreign place where awareness and interest about the sport are low while the risks and expenses are high when there are locations that is tested due to its history of being an NFL franchise or where football is very popular and the risks and expenses are lower?

    Any US city or state within the mainland are better options than London since American football is either a past time or religion in most US states and cities while in the UK the sport is treated like a show or a novelty–just like the circus and WWE.

  12. For now I would just say continue to build on whats there. No need to rush things and make the jump to a full fledged team especially with all the red tape in the way of making it a reality. For now just increase the number of games perhaps? Like to 8? In that regard for fans of the NFL over in London you are at least getting the same amount of games to purchase tickets to as home game fans do. Sure you wont get a say on who comes and plays in your stadium but there is more opportunity for fans to get to see at least 1 or 2 teams they like, and the NFL can continue to make more money on teams that can't sell out their own stadiums like Jacksonville or Detroit.

  13. You need to update your video. Looks like Kahn is going to buy your Wimbley stadium. Now what? I'm in Jacksonville and hate the idea of losing our team to anywhere leave alone "across the pond" nothing against London mind you. Love you blokes to death but we worked and waited years and years to get a team and now we may lose them. Ain't a lot we can do about it so we wait and hope for the best. Cheers!

  14. Im surprised they even have NFL games in London. Anytime Europeans see people talking about the NFL on the Internet they lose their shit and go on and on about how American football sucks and that its stupid that we call it football and that football/soccer is the best sport ever blah blah blah!!!

  15. Who cares they are not welcome in America any longer. We want the USFL back at least they respected America and our veterans. Good bye NFL!

  16. I'd love too see an English or European football team but there are other states, Mexico an canada still waiting

  17. I have no doubt it will happen. Football is perfect for a London team because you only play one game a week. Other sports like basketball would be impossible with a team in England due to amount of games.

  18. For me, I feel like saying, "Can the CFL work in America?" Just like the British watching American football more often, Canadian football is becoming big in the United States.

  19. Last year I was flying from Berlin to London the day before a Wembley NFL game. The plane was packed with American football fans going to the game. There is a lot of American football across Europe right now – Germany and UK especially. With smart city selection, I think a revived NFL Europe would do well as a developmental league. With opportunities to cultivate local talent and increase local fanbases, eventually it could grow into something self-sustainable.

  20. You could also talk about Super Rugby, as that league consists of teams in NZ, Australia, Japan, South Africa, and Argentina. That proves that a team in London would be more than viable

  21. Why don't they just play at Twickenham rugby wears the pitch out as much as American football and it has a capacity of 83,000

  22. There was a Football team in London, they were the London Monarchs. And nobody remembers them because nobody actually cared. The same way nobody cared about the Frankfurt Galaxy, the Barcelona Dragons, the Amsterdam Admirals or any other of the NFL Europe teams.

  23. This is unbelievable!! There are actually no Dairy Queen's in the UK! Shocking…..simply shocking! Seriously though Ninh you do point out some interesting factors as to why or why not the NFL should expand to London.

  24. The NFL would be better suited for expansion team Toronto Canada the biggest city in Canada already has a football stadium Rogers stadium will be perfect for NFL team

  25. I love Football ⚽️ but the NFL have a huge fan base in London, I can tell because they sell out! But I think they should build a stadium specifically for the NFL games in London! American Football messes up the natural grass surface of Wembley stadium which it has been the home of the England National⚽️ team, people in England will always choose ⚽️ over 🏈

  26. I liked the NFL developmental league being in Europe. It made for some interesting teams and rivalries. The travel problem would be too great to overcome to have an active franchise in London. Maybe, let the Jags play two home games in London per year, split the baby.

  27. for a Transatlantic team, just look at the Toronto Wolfpack. Division champs and undefeated in 25 straight games. a sure bet to make the top flight of Rugby

  28. Travelling 5,000 kms!!! Professional Australian Rules Football AFL is played across the whole Continent.

    Perth to Brisbane is 4,000 kms. Throw in some of the more remote areas of Australia and China.

  29. Might as well just start a fifa like organization in the us to look over leagues and start a uk league call it the United football league or something UFL and to go along with the NFL and CFL lot of work but I’m sure the sport would blow up start kid leagues and high school leagues and university teams to build up local prospects basically start a football culture in the uk lol

  30. You say the NFL actually makes money from London games, but it's almost nothing comparatively, not enough to stay in the black.

  31. I think it's just a matter of time before London gets a team. Where there's a will there's a way. The climate certainly won't be a problem. If that were ever a deciding factor Seattle wouldn't have a team. The travel can be dealt with by timing the flights so all the players can sleep during the flight. As for the stadium, I wouldn't rule out a new one being built. Money talks and the there are plenty of folks with deep pockets that would be interested in owning a team.

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