The NFL is becoming an international sensation. It is gaining fans at a rapid rate in England - but should an NFL team move there? English writer Jamie Sewell explores the benefits and drawbacks.
If an NFL team is going to move to London, it is most likely going to be the Jaguars. As they are being the "home" team at Wembley for the next three years, it seems like a permanent move could be on the cards.
Last season, the game between the New England Patriots and the St Louis Rams was a sellout, with 90,000 people in attendance. This year, the NFL has become so popular overseas, they've had to bring two matches over.
Both have sold out.
With an increasing influx of players from England going to American colleges in the hope of playing in the NFL, it seems the sport is a massive hit.
While not as big as some sports in the UK, such as football, it seems certain the Jaguars (or whoever) would be able to sell out stadiums week in week out. Furthermore, the NFL going international would be huge for marketing.
If the NFL could boast a team in England, the income boost through merchandising and ticket sales would be unprecedented. It could even make the NFL go global.
After the Jaguars 2-14 season, something needs to change - so why not the location? Free agents and coaching staff would be excited at having the chance to work with the first ever European NFL team, which would enable the Jaguars to enrich their squad and make a rise upwards.
Furthermore, with sellout crowds each game, and a huge amount of merchandise being sold, the Jaguars would create lots of money. The more money an NFL team has, the more signing bonuses they can offer players, and tempt them to move there.
Of course, there are downsides. Would travelling from England to America eight times a season (more with the playoffs) really be fair? If the Jaguars did make a superbowl, would having it in America be an unfair advantage?
While these (and many more) questions are tricky to answer, one question is a lot easier.
Yes, there is a big enough fanbase for a London team; And yes, we do want one.
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