British-based Franchise - a Real Possibility?

10/10/13 in NFL   |   rich_jones95   |   3 respect

The NFL this week announced that 2014 will see three regular season games held at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; General view of Wembley Stadium during the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsWith the first of two 2013 International Series games held in the United Kingdom just last week, the debate regarding the chance of a franchise across the Atlantic is at an all-time high.

Six years after the Dolphins and the Giants did battle in the first ever regular season game outside of North America in 2007, a sell-out crowd once again turned out at Wembley with 90,000 people witnessing a 34-27 victory for the hosting Vikings over the struggling Steelers.

This year, the intensity of the occasion reached an all-time high, with the NFL hiring out Regent Street in the centre of London to create a weekend-long fanzone to promote the sport.

Factor in visits from a number of high-profile players such as Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Allen and Donte Whitner for fan events in the months leading up to the International Series games and it is clear the NFL has a serious interest in the overseas market.

American based fans may not like the idea, but Roger Goddell and his team are obviously aware of the potential benefits of branching out to Great Britain.

Being a UK-based NFL fan myself, this is a subject which I 
Sep 28, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; General view of the NFL on Regent Street block party in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
obviously have a vested interest in. There could be no better time to be a fan of the sport in England, and the chance of a full-time franchise here is a tantalizing prospect.

Yet is a London-based franchise a distinct possibility or merely just a pipedream?
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