View Full Version : NFL Talking about London Superbowl

04-24-2009, 10:21 AM
NFL in talks on London Super Bowl
By Tim Love

The NFL has had 'substantive talks' with officials in London about holding the Super Bowl in the city, a senior league official has told BBC Sport.

While commissioner Roger Goodell has previously admitted an interest in bringing the game to London, this is the first confirmation of discussions.

"We've spoken on what it would take to host and for us to bring it over," said events vice-president Frank Supovitz.

"The city has all the facilities needed, and in great quantity."

Supovitz was talking in New York City where the NFL Draft will take place this weekend.

"We have had very substantive conversations with the city of London. We've got to the point of exploring the bid document," he added.

"I don't think it's an unrealistic prospect at all" - Mark Waller, NFL Head of Sales

Visit London, the capital's official visitor organisation, confirmed that it was pursuing a long-term ambition to bring the Super Bowl to the city.

"Ever since the NFL began playing games in London we have been in discussions with the NFL about what is involved in staging Super Bowl from the host city perspective," said commercial director David Hornby.

"It continues to be something we discuss on a regular basis, without there being any specific timetable or plan in place."

The venues for the next three Super Bowls have already been decided with Dolphin Stadium in Florida, Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas and the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana putting together successful bids.

But London has become the focal point for the NFL's desire to expand the sport globally, and bringing the sport's showpiece event to the city appears to be a real possibility.

Mark Waller, NFL Head of Sales and Marketing, said: "The NFL is a global property, has a global audience, and London is an incredible city from a sports fan's perspective. I don't think it's an unrealistic prospect at all."

There is certainly good reason for the NFL to believe that a Super Bowl in London would create sufficient interest for the game to be a success.

In October 2007, the NFL staged its first regular season game outside of the Americas, with over 80,000 fans at Wembley watching the New York Giants defeat the Miami Dolphins.

Last year, 83,000 supporters turned out to watch the New Orleans Saints beat the San Diego Chargers.

Visit London estimate that the match brought about 20m to the city with 7,000 team employees, sponsors and their guests crossing the Atlantic.

Tickets for this year's game in October between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots sold out more quickly than for the previous two contests.

However, if London is to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world, it will not be for quite some time.

"It won't happen in the next three or four years because we know where the Super Bowls will be, but these are exciting opportunities for us," Supovitz said.

BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/american_football/8016358.stm)


Interesting. American Football's a fast growing sport over here and the Superbowl would certainly raise the profile but it has a massive way to go before overtaking Football (soccer). I don't see this as much more than a marketing stunt of epic proportions and I don't imagine it's going to be too popular in America...

Don Vito
04-24-2009, 10:27 AM
Hell no thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. If you want to get other countries involved with the NFL thats fine but its still Americas game, the Super Bowl shouldn't be played anywhere but here.

Calvin & Kevin
04-24-2009, 10:34 AM
American football fans would be PISSED if they did this. I mean like millions and millions of people, hella pissed off. I get Goodell's push of the game overseas but this would be a major mistake.

the decider13
04-24-2009, 10:36 AM
I just saw this and I'm already super pissed off. If this happens , Goodell needs to go. He has no idea how much it would anger people.

edit: 1000!!

04-24-2009, 10:38 AM
I am only against it because whatever city hosts the SB makes a lot of money and I would prefer to improve the economy of an American city.

04-24-2009, 10:43 AM
that's not why we american football.

04-24-2009, 10:45 AM
NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooo

there is no way the owners would pass this unless they are going to make a **** load in their pocket.

04-24-2009, 10:48 AM
How man fans from America would travel to London to see the game? How many foreign travelers travel to see the Super Bowl now? This move could pay off big for the NFL if there is a big turnout to a London game, but what does that do to fans here? If London goes big then you know there will be a Paris Super Bowl, then a Berlin one, then one in Barcelona, etc. How far are you willing to go before you start to lose your big audience? This is a wait and see move for me. If they hold this it won't have any personal bearing, because I won't be attending a Super Bowl unless it's in my town anyways. It'll just be another Super Bowl at a far off site that I wouldn't go to anyway.

04-24-2009, 10:52 AM
that's not why we american football.

******* beat me to it. I would definitely protest that.

(Sorry my European friends)

The Great Jonathan Vilma
04-24-2009, 10:53 AM
The fact that this is even in discussion is a complete joke. I'm not even going to get into it, but this is just terrible. Goodell would need to get the boot if this happened. I'm Canadian, but i totally agree that the SB cannot be played anywhere but the United States. I'm also attending the Jets game in Toronto this year, but the less global expansion the better IMO. Not the best financially, but as a fan and how it affects the players who need to go on these trips, i don't agree.

04-24-2009, 11:02 AM
that's not why we american football.

this basically sums it all up

this is just a bad idea

04-24-2009, 11:05 AM
I agree with not playing the Superbow; in London or anywhere outside the US but to say the less global expansion the better is wrong IMO. There more global fans there is equals first of all more money. Secondly all NFL players with the exception of a very few are American. If people from other countries started playing American football then inevitably there will be more quality players in a number years who could improve the quality of the league. Just like what is happening in Australian Rules, many Gaelic footballers from Ireland are going over and can only make the game better and likewise could happen in the NFL.

04-24-2009, 11:08 AM
I don't care where it's played, I just care who's playing. I'm not likely to ever go to one anyway (really don't want to). As far as I'm concerned, the Super Bowl is always played on the TV in my living room...
The Cliff Condo Cosy Beach (http://pattayaluxurycondos.com)

04-24-2009, 11:11 AM
Hell no thats the dumbest thing I've ever heard. If you want to get other countries involved with the NFL thats fine but its still Americas game, the Super Bowl shouldn't be played anywhere but here.


04-24-2009, 11:15 AM
The NFL tried giving them football before, in 1991-1993, it was World League of American Football. Then in 1995 it was World League, then eventually NFL Europe/NFL Europa. In fact, London had a team: the Monarchs... guess this whole European experiment worked out... oh, wait.

04-24-2009, 11:16 AM
No thank you. I'm planning on getting Super Bowl tickets around that time. I will not pay for a $3000+ for a plane ticket to London.

And also, this isn't the IFL, this is the NFL. If Europe wants to have a football league, then fine. But it would just be a stupid move to take it overseas. The English can go play their Crickett and Rugby and beat eachother bloody before they get a world championship in their town. **** you Goodell.

The Unseen
04-24-2009, 11:23 AM
Wouldn't the game have to be played in the early morning in order to have the 6:20 kickoff time? For that reason alone this is a stupid idea.

04-24-2009, 11:25 AM
I think there is a 12 hour time difference...

04-24-2009, 11:28 AM
I'm British, a diehard NFL fan for 25 years and live within 20 mins of Wembley Stadium. I have also attended both regular season games in London.

Having said that this is an absolutely terrible idea and a complete non-starter for a whole host of reasons.

Time difference and weather are two HUGE negatives. If they won't have a cold weather Super Bowl in America then why the hell would they fly teams at least 3,000 miles (and 6,000 if you are a west coast team) to freezing cold, wet, miserable London.

During the Pittsburgh v Arizona Super Bowl it snowed a blizzard in London and the whole country came to a standstill for a week.

It would also mean the game kicking off at 2pm EST or 10am PST. A traditional 6.20pm EST kickoff is 11.20pm in the UK so you are looking at a 3am finish???? Now try getting those 85,000 fans home - and Wembley is in a terrible area.

And I haven't even mentioned how terrible the turf is at Wembley. Its had to be relayed 6 times because of its poor drainage in less than two years. Man Utd and Arsenal managers - Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger - heavily criticised the surface as soft and spongy just last week and it was blamed for causing two very serious injuries in a rugby match. The NFL match in 2007 was ruined as a spectacle as the Giants and Dolphins players struggled to keep their balance on that awful surface. It was like watching them play on ice skates.

Keep the Super Bowl in America.

NFL fan in London.

04-24-2009, 11:31 AM
I think there is a 12 hour time difference...

There's a 5 hr time difference. I just don't see the visability of playing it abroad though. Teams are already complaining about having to play one game every year outside America and thats only two teams a year. It wont happen

04-24-2009, 11:32 AM
Good points from BoKnows. Weather, field conditions, and time difference should all be deal breakers.

The Unseen
04-24-2009, 11:32 AM
11:20 is still way too late.

04-24-2009, 11:38 AM
As a staunch pro-American my first inclination towards this is a heavy no. But the more I think about it, the more it actually seems like a cool idea if done properly. My idea would go something along these lines:

Once every ten years, the Super Bowl is played in an international city. We keep the vast majority in the states, obviously, but once in awhile it might be kind of a cool gimmick.

The travel for the players wouldn't be a factor, obviously. They have two weeks to get there, get settled and adjust to the time change. Plenty of time. Plus, its not as if they're coming back to the states to play again anytime soon after.

The start time of the game could be something like 9 pm London time. I believe that would translate to something like 4 pm Eastern Time (I may be off by an hour). But who cares, a late afternoon start time might be preferable for the states anyway. Allows people to have fun, get together, but not have to stay out until 11:30 on a Sunday like they do now.

In terms of hurting the local economies. These events are a small fraction of the tourism revenue for the areas they're usually played (New Orleans, Miami, Arizona, etc.) I don't think it would be too great of a factor if it was only once a decade.

The NFL tries it once, if its a miserable failure, then they don't do it again. If its a huge success, then they do it once in awhile. Mix it up too, give one to Mexico City, Toronto, Vancouver (I'm discounting the far east, Tokyo, for example, because I don't know how well that would work with the time difference...)

Just a thought.

04-24-2009, 11:56 AM
**** London. If they want to go to a game come to America. ******* foreigners.

04-24-2009, 12:00 PM
awful idea because it penalizes the teams

04-24-2009, 12:08 PM
awful idea because it penalizes the teams

how so?

It's hardly a penalty if both teams have the same conditions.

04-24-2009, 12:10 PM
**** London. If they want to go to a game come to America. ******* foreigners.

Am I included in that outburst?

Gay Ork Wang
04-24-2009, 12:12 PM
id so try to get a card

04-24-2009, 12:22 PM
I am against the idea but I see some guys stupidly over-reacting here (like RAVENS/WIZARDS/ORIOLES). Being against the idea doesn't give your the right to be a jackass.

04-24-2009, 12:24 PM
FYI I was just joking.

04-24-2009, 12:36 PM
id so try to get a card

Hold the phone. What's a card? A ticket?

04-24-2009, 01:02 PM
Hold the phone. What's a card? A ticket?

A red card?

04-24-2009, 01:43 PM
Most awful suggestion I've heard for a long time. The Super Bowl has to be played in the US

04-24-2009, 01:50 PM
Wow, I'm not even american and that would piss me off. Goodell would pretty much be flipping of all the U.S. fans.

04-24-2009, 01:53 PM
Biggest bunch of ******** I've heard in awhile if true.

04-24-2009, 02:41 PM
You just dont take the big piece of chicken away from daddy, you just dont. Real bad idea (much like the Chris Rock reference :().

04-24-2009, 02:50 PM
Can the NFL fans impeach Goodell if this happened? Man, so much negativity towards Goodell since he came on.

04-24-2009, 03:34 PM
this would help economically i guess, taking money from foreign countries (are there bigger stadiums?) but this would be the downfall for fans in the US.

04-24-2009, 04:17 PM
I don't understand the idea of taking games overseas when teams from East divisions are whining so much the NFL is protecting them from having to travel to the West Coast.

04-24-2009, 07:17 PM
This is an absolutely terrible idea. Like said before in this thread, they have tried football in Europe before, and it hasn't worked out, so why try to push it there more and more and take the biggest American sporting event out of America.

04-24-2009, 07:48 PM
this would help economically i guess, taking money from foreign countries
That's very incorrect. The people that see the most benefit from hosting a Super Bowl are the hotels, restaurants, bars and car rental companies.

jay cutler's #1 fan
04-24-2009, 08:04 PM
This doesn't effect 99.9999% of NFL fans. You watch the game on TV. It could be played in Australia and it wouldn't effect your enjoyment of the game.

Just more ethnocentric b/s.

04-24-2009, 11:22 PM
Straight up: **** this ****. I wouldn't watch. I would boycott. I'd even think about it if the Pack were in the game. Ultimately giving in though.

Gay Ork Wang
04-25-2009, 04:38 AM
Hold the phone. What's a card? A ticket?
yea a ticket.

04-25-2009, 04:41 AM
I'll tag along, if you don't mind, Renji.

04-25-2009, 06:19 AM
I'm English, but this is a ridiculous idea.

1. The Super Bowl should be played in the US.
2. London's weather in February is miserable.

04-25-2009, 11:44 AM
What the **** is wrong with Goodell?

04-25-2009, 01:27 PM
this would help economically i guess, taking money from foreign countries (are there bigger stadiums?) but this would be the downfall for fans in the US.

I highly doubt the NFL making a little bit of money on tickets from some European fans will help the economy. And I certainly doubt it offsets all the revenue lost in the town it would be held in.

04-28-2009, 10:34 AM
The more I think about this idea, the more I dislike it. And, after more thought, this idea has cemented my negative opinion of Roger Goodell.

Goodell got the dream job when he became NFL commish. He inherited the most popular sport in the country. Hands down. And, the NFL was made that way by the great commissioners of the past. The likes of Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle. They both left there marks and contributed to the greatness of the NFL. So, Goodell comes in is immediately ego driven to make his own mark. But, what's left to do? Those overachieving assholes before him expanded the league to a perfect number, established a salary cap to ensure a competitive balance, and made the NFL a money machine for the whole country....

...Oh, I know! Let's make the NFL big in Europe too. We'll play regular season games there. And if that doesn't force feed American football to 'em enough, we'll try to get a Superbowl there. It's like he came up with sweeping changes he could implement, but, never took the time to determine if these ideas were actually good. He just wants to be "the guy that introduced American football to Europe." It can be his lasting impression. And, it wouldn't hurt if some big TV contracts and merchandise sales came from it too. But, in the process, he'll alienate the fans that really made the NFL what it is today. There are really countless reasons this idea is questionable. But, let's try to count them anyway:

1-It's referred to around the world as "American Football" for a reason. It is our sport. The Superbowl is a National Holiday. NATIONAL Holiday.

2-Can't overlook the economic boost to the host city. The city that hosts the Superbowl turns into the center of the world for 2 weeks. Because of the American obsession with the Superbowl. Turning it into a page 2 story for London would be a waste of an opportunity to give an NFL city a much needed boost.

3-Climate. This is a big one. Play the game in London, and it will likely rain...if we're lucky. It might snow. So, the culmination of our season could be a sloppy game viewed through think fog and controlled by weather.

4-Climate...again. And what about that? We have no shortage of NFL cities that would love nothing more than to host a Superbowl someday. But, they never have because it has always been understood that the Superbowl is to be played in fair weather and be won or lost by the teams on the field. NOT by the field the teams play on. So, how do you tell great NFL cities like Philadelphia, Seattle or Chicago that we're gonna play the big game in bad weather...but it's gonna be in London. At best it will annoy these cities for a year. At worst, you have a never ending debate over who should and should not be able to host the Superbowl.

5-And, you can't discount the fans of the participating teams. What if it's a year like last year. You're a fan of a team like the Cardinals your whole life. They finally make it to the Superbowl, and you have to go to London to watch it?

6-Time zone change. Self explanitory.

7-There's more. I'm sure of it. But, this list SHOULD be enough to kill this stupid, half-baked idea.

04-28-2009, 10:51 AM
It's an awful idea, and I really can't see it happening to be honest.

As most people have already said.

Weather, time difference, and turf are the biggest problems with it.

Our weather sucks, pretty much all year round, we're fortunate if we get hot weather for 2 months. The time difference would mean a late kick-off if it was at it's normal kickoff time for the states, and then you have the turf, which is probably one of the worst fields I have ever ******* seen for a stadium that cost as much as it did.

04-28-2009, 11:45 AM
I would tend to agree about all the factors mentioned by UK. The bigger issue is that the NFL sells out the home arena mainly to corporate sponsors. I don't see the corporate dollars helping to make them money in the UK. The NFL will never be bigger than Wimbledon or soccer or cricket or rugby. Having it over there as a novelty once a year is nice, but there is no team loyalty from the UK, and the corporate sponsors will not be there to get it done.

04-28-2009, 11:47 AM
That being said, moving training camp or preseason stuff to the UK would be interesting. There are facilities there, plenty of money to be had from the gate (because it's a novelty), plus the weather is milder. Would be interesting to send a team over there (like the Pats or the Cowboys) for training camp.

04-29-2009, 12:59 PM
this is this best idea anyone has ever had in the whole word. hahah. i know most people would hate the idea, but i would give me a shot at going the the super bowl. wembley stadium is only like 10 minutes from my house and it would be so cool to have the greatest game in all of sports to be placed so close to home. love the idea

05-02-2009, 10:51 PM
still Americas game
I think that is right,but i will hope superbowl carry all over the world

Matthew Jones
05-02-2009, 11:33 PM
What happened to the NATIONAL Football League? I can understand playing a game there during the season, but come on, the Super Bowl?

05-03-2009, 12:36 AM
i will hope superbowl carry all over the world
Very few people outside the USA give a **** about the NFL.

05-03-2009, 12:45 AM
If they'll play the FA Cup Final over here, only then should we consider it.

05-03-2009, 02:05 AM
I can't say I'm surprised.

The number of "average" nfl fans who attend the Superbowl is becoming more and more marginal. If you're willing to drop $3,000 dollars on nosebleed seats, you can spring for plane tickets. I can appreciate the sentimental argument, but it doesn't really mean anything. Football is inextricably America's game, and the expansion of the game onto the world won't really change that, especially one so small as this. The NFL knows the British would jump at the spectacle of the Superbowl and it would be biggest impact move they could make into the European market.

I wouldn't expect this very soon, not without upping the number of annual games played in England considerably. That said, for someone who is resigned to watching the game on television anyway, the first Superbowl in England would actually probably be a blast to watch.