NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the NFL will keep playing games in London, but moving a team there isn’t in the cards.
Goodell said today that the fans in London are as supportive as fans anywhere, and the stadiums in London are great for American football.
“We’ve been extraordinarily pleased with the reaction we’ve gotten to playing regular-season games in the UK. The fans there are really fantastic. They’ve shown passion, they’ve shown the same type of knowledge and interest in our game that we experience right here in the United States. So I don’t think it’s a question of the fan base or their enthusiasm for it. I also don’t think it’s a question of viable stadiums,” Goodell said.
So why not move a team there? Goodell says it just doesn’t work logistically.
“The issue for us still is, Can we do this competitively for the team that is based there, but also for the 31 other clubs? That involves scheduling, it involves a lot of other matters that you don’t want to compromise. And until we can get comfortable on that I don’t think we’ll be NFL-ready in London,” Goodell said.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the NFL keep moving more and more games to London, to the point where eight games a year are played there. But that would be eight games involving 16 different teams. The league doesn’t envision a team playing in London full time.