NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on NFL Network that since the NFL has done so well in Europe this far, there’s no reason a franchise can’t call London home in the next five years. He didn’t specify if that means an existing franchise expanding or if Europe would get a new one.
“We couldn’t be happier with what we’re seeing,” Goodell said. “We actually couldn’t be more surprised by the tremendous demand for NFL football in London, in the UK in general, and frankly in Europe. So it’s not something that I think is 15 or 20 years away. It could be five or 10 years away.”
Even though the NFL started playing in London in 1986, Goodell thinks it was the switch to regular season games being played there in 2007 that set the foundation for having a team there some day.
“The fans want to see more NFL football, and they want to see the real thing,” Goodell said. “They don’t want to see the ‘friendlies’ as they call them over there, which is preseason games. So we changed our strategy eight years ago and said, ‘Let’s play regular season games.’ And our clubs have responded very favorably. They’ve enjoyed the experience. So we’re anxious to do more of it. I see us continuing to play more games there, to focus on our television coverage there and expanding that, our other business efforts including licensing and sponsorship.”