NFL seriously considering answering London’s call

The juggernaut that is the NFL has been steamrolling for years and it looks a certainty that the league will have a team playing full-time in London soon.

The NFL game between Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium in London, on Sept. 28, 2014, was a sell out. Nicky Hayes / AP Photo
Powered by automated translation

The juggernaut that is the NFL has been steamrolling for years and it looks a certainty that the league will have a team playing full-time in London soon.

In 2007, when the league started staging regular-season games in London, the NFL’s international chief, Mark Waller, said it would take 15 years to place a team there.

This week he said things are going according to plan. “We’re at the midway point of that 15-year journey,” Waller said from London, where the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons will play on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

“I think we’re exactly on track.”

Interest abroad has skyrocketed. The Miami Dolphins versus Oakland Raiders in September attracted a sell-out crowd of 83,436 at Wembley and the other two games scheduled in London this season – today’s match and the Dallas Cowboys versus Jacksonville Jaguars next month – are expecting similar crowds.

But why stop there? If the NFL wants to slowly take over the world, it is time to think beyond England.

If it secures London, Waller said the league would look at other countries for possible franchises, most notably Germany or Brazil.

“It’s not that we’re going to be in 160 countries, it’s going to be very focused,” he said.

An obvious question is why the NFL is the only major American professional league that does not have a franchise based at their northern neighbour Canada?

And how about the other country it shares a border with – ­Mexico?

Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE