Home Business Insights & Advice Has London lost its opportunity to receive an NFL expansion team?

Has London lost its opportunity to receive an NFL expansion team?

by John Saunders
8th Apr 20 3:21 pm

The NFL has spent much of the last 20 years trying to cultivate a fanbase from around the globe by playing games outside of the United States. London is one of the cities the NFL has made a priority playing games nearly every season in the English capital since 2007. The NFL will return to London once more in 2020 and BetMGM gives fans a bet bonus to wager on the gridiron games at Wembley Stadium.

London isn’t just a city in which the NFL continues to play regular season games. The city has been rumoured as a potential home to an NFL expansion franchise. The NFL has 32 teams but could expand the league by adding a franchise in London with Tottenham Hotspur Stadium being the team’s home venue.

There have also been rumours of a current NFL team relocating to London. The Jacksonville Jaguars, owned by Fulham Football Club owner Shahid Khan, could be the franchise that moves across the Atlantic due to the owner’s connections to London.

Despite the NFL making advances toward London as a potential new home to a gridiron franchise, it looks increasingly likely that the capital could miss out on gaining a team.

Mexico City could make sense

Mexico City could usurp London in the running for an NFL franchise. Like London, Mexico City has hosted NFL games with the league playing games south of the America-Mexico border in three of the last four seasons. Mexico City will also host an international game in 2020 as the Arizona Cardinals venture to the Estadio Azteca. NFL fans can use the Draftkings promo code to wager on the international games and bet on the teams they believe will win.

While London makes sense for an NFL team due to the common language that most Americans and British NFL fans speak, the logistics of organising travel from the US to England does not. Teams from the US would potentially struggle to adapt to playing games in England due to the time change and distance. Meanwhile, the London franchise would likely spend a number of weeks staying in North America to cut down on travel costs. The London team would need a training base in the US to call home.

Mexico City offers a slightly closer destination for visiting NFL teams. It also enables the league to tap into the Mexican sports fan demographic in both the US and Mexico. With a large number of Mexican-Americans living in the US, a franchise in Mexico City could potentially give those fans a team to support.

One of the most significant reasons that Mexico City could be selected ahead of London would be due to the time zone. Teams wouldn’t experience the same jetlag as they would travelling to London. Of course, any team located in London would have a major advantage due to the time change when teams come from the US to play.

Both cities feature NFL-ready stadiums, however, the two potential NFL team homes do have their problems. Long-term fan interest is the most obvious and could be the ultimate reason one of the cities doesn’t receive an NFL franchise.

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