"There’s been discussion about potentially having a franchise in London. I’m very optimistic." These are the words of Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank in this week's edition of the Monday Morning QuarterBack by Peter King.
The topic of a London franchise keeps on cropping up and it is undisputedly gaining momentum with the higher ups in the NFL. Roger Goodell is giving England's capital more and more regular season games and the Great British public is snapping up tickets like Piranha in a bad Hollywood horror-flick.
Three match-ups are scheduled to be played at Wembley in the 2014 season - none of them high profile games - and they sold out before you could say 'Jacksonville again.' Oakland Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins in a battle of awful QB's - sold out. The 4-12 Falcons take on the 7-9 Detroit Lions - sold out. And to top things all off, those fine Brits get treated to the Jaguars against the Cowboys - yet again, sold out.
That is admirable to say the least, how many off those games would be completely full if they took place in Jacksonville, Oakland or Atlanta. Lets just say they'd be staring a local TV blackout fully in the face.
The verve with which London fans snap up tickets is incredibly promising from the league's stand point. They're willing to come out time and time again to pay top-pound for games a lot of teams fans wouldn't.
If London became a franchise right now, going on statistics from their past games they would become the 2nd best supported team in the NFL - only behind the Cowboys and ahead of the New York Giants by 4000 odd fans. They average 83-84,000 at the home of football in England for the American form of the game.
Many are anxious about turnout if the team is poor. Sure bad teams attendances suffer, but at the moment we have zero evidence about how fickle the fans would be.
Take a look at soccer. Fans of their teams are undying in support. If the London whatever get anywhere near that level of commitment then we could see Wembley stadium packed out for some time to come.
Blank ended his interview in MMQB saying that the move could happen sooner than they think. Well for football fans in London, it can't come quickly enough.
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