"Will an NFL team be based in London? Yes, it will," LaCanfora concludes. "Will the Jaguars definitely be the team to call London home? I'm not willing to say that just yet, but... I'd be putting quite a few quid on the London Jaguars."
LaCanfora is as respected and credible an NFL writer as any, and his 2,100-word speculative piece on the Jacksonville Jaguars possibly moving to London is full of anonymous quotes and carefully worded inside information. It's incredibly fascinating, but who has time to read 2,100 words about the Jaguars? Let me break down LaCanfora's most important points for your executive summary:
- Earlier this week, commissioner Roger Goodell announced he wants to play three NFL games in London every year. He wants the Jaguars to play two of these. It's an open secret that the league wants to put a team there permanently. Do the math, Jacksonville fans.
- LaCanfora quoted a high-ranking (anonymous) league executive as saying the NFL "pretty much flat-out said, 'We want to have a team in London -- our goal is to get a team there and make this happen."
- London is selling out their NFL games very reliably.
- The NFL likes the Buffalo Bills playing a couple games per year in Toronto. The Bills are not a candidate for London relocation.
- English Premier League soccer is making way bigger money on international exhibition games than the NFL is on their international games. The NFL is insanely jealous of this.
- NFL TV ratings are seen as being at peak point. The league thinks that going international is the best way to keep getting filthier rich.
- There will not be an expansion team. There are already 32 guys sharing revenue, and they do not wish to share revenue with even one more guy.
- London has exponentially more advertising value, sponsorship, and possible corporate loge seating clients than Jacksonville ever will.
- Travel can be handled. The Jags could play away games in consecutive weeks, for instance, and stay in the U.S. long term for multiple-week "away" visits. The 49ers traveled extensively to the Eastern time zone last season, and they did pretty well.
- It means more money. That's the only thing that really means anything.