November 4, 2015
IS THE NFL’S EFFORT (TO INCREASE INTERNATIONAL INTEREST) WORTHWHILE? IF SO, IS THE NFL GOING ABOUT IT THE RIGHT WAY?
I’ve attended an NFL game in Wembley, and also the Regent Street festival the day before. It was fun for me, but I don’t think it will work as anything other than a novelty there. It really seemed like most of the folks in the stands were Americans. The NFL tried very hard to establish a “home” team for the game. However, I don’t see them being able to lure a good team into being the home team in these games, as I can’t see any successful team wanting to give up a home game to play in London. I guess they could make it mandatory. A better shot for it to eventually work might be if they were actually able to relocate a team there.
Generally, I support the NFL’s effort to increase international interest, for the same reason I would support any business’s effort to grow internationally. I’m a little surprised the NFL hasn’t expanded its recent outreach beyond London, but if London’s the spot, I would love to see an expansion/relocated team there. I would love just as much to see MLB or the NBA place a team outside North America (and I believe some creative thinking could make it work), but the NFL’s one-game-per-week schedule is much more conducive to the travel such a plan would necessitate.