NFL Looks at London & Los Angeles Franchise Possibilities
By Community | January 9, 2014
National Fooball League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell has increased the speculation over a potential London and Los Angeles franchise by suggesting the organisations are considering both possibilities.
League owners are also considering expanding the play-off format to maintain competitive fixtures towards the end of the regular season.
Goodell is encouraged by the huge success of the International Series games at Wembley Stadium, and he admitted continued support could earn London its own NFL team.
The regular-season games have taken place at Wembley since 2007, and the national stadium will host three games in 2014.
Goodell admitted there is a strong case to base a franchise in London, while he also wants to see a team return to Los Angeles for the first time since 1995.
Each game at Wembley as attracted crowds of around 80,000, and Goodell said: “I think it’s possible if we continue to have success in London that we would have a franchise there.
“I don’t know which of Los Angeles or London will be first and I’m not sure I care. I’d like to see if we can be successful in both ultimately.”
The NFL play-offs feature 12 teams under the current format, and Goodell hinted that introducing extra teams into the post-season would help reduce the number of meaningless late-season games.
“That is under serious consideration,” he added. “One of the great things about the NFL other than it’s unscripted is that every team starts the season with hope.”
Goodell was speaking in New York ahead of the first cold-weather Super Bowl on February 2, and he revealed that other cities with cold climates will be given the chance to host the showpiece.
“This is obviously innovative and it’s something new but it’s also unique because it’s New York,” said Goodell.
“Every city can’t host a Super Bowl just because of the sheer enormity of this event. And it’s not just a football game.
“We have a week full of events, we probably have well over 150,000 coming in to the New York region for this event.”