View Full Version : League eyeing more games outside of U.S

Ohio Steeler
05-28-2006, 01:37 AM
DUESSELDORF, Germany (May 27, 2006) -- The NFL has proposed playing two regular-season games outside the United States starting in 2008, league officials said.

Mark Waller, head of NFL international development, said the proposal to play abroad was put to team owners in Denver. It came after the 49ers and Cardinals played last October before a regular-season record crowd of 103,000 in Mexico City.

The owners will discuss the issue again in October. The games would be played in Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, where five of the six NFL Europe teams play.

"I will say the reception we got from the owners was incredibly positive -- all the questions were on the practical issues," Waller said.

Plans were also announced to add two more teams to the six playing in NFL Europe by 2010. Last year, owners gave the league a five-year operating license -- ending years of threatening to pull the plug on the operation because of the cost.

"It now gives us a platform to grow the game internationally with a concept of clarity," Waller said.

Outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue said developing the game internationally may rank as one of his top five accomplishments during his 16 years in charge.

"I feel the international initiatives we made, along with the owners, may become more significant over time," Tagliabue said.

The league's effort to make an impact internationally began in 1986, when NFL teams began to play preseason games overseas.

The German cities of Hanover and Leipzig are the leading candidates to get NFL Europe expansion clubs as the league concentrates on Germany. The Amsterdam Admirals are the only current NFL Europe team located outside Germany.

NFL Europe would then be split into two four-team divisions with the schedule expanded from 10 to 12 games. The league hopes to develop local stars for NFL Europe, as well as international stars in the NFL.

"It's clearly critical to the future of the game internationally," said Jim Connelly, managing director of NFL Europe

05-28-2006, 04:56 PM
That's just great!!

That means more teams getting screwed out of home games for the sake of making the NFL more Internationally appealing. :jerkit:

tony hipchest
05-28-2006, 05:12 PM
That's just great!!

That means more teams getting screwed out of home games for the sake of making the NFL more Internationally appealing. :jerkit:
maybe its the saints targeted to have a few of their home games be away games. why stop now? they do have reggie bush (the man of international appeal) it can be an equal trade off for letting him wear the #5

05-28-2006, 06:52 PM
This is great for the league, but horrible for the players and fans.

I think the league MORE than compensates for the loss of revenue, so the owners are happy, but that doesn't help the rest of us...

Livinginthe past
05-28-2006, 07:09 PM
Who would have thought the Germans would be so Football mad?

I remember years ago we had a team in London, cleverly called the 'Monarchs', and they were about for 7 years until interest faded.

We had crowds of 40,000 to some games.


The problem of course, it trying to sell something that is clearly a 2nd class product, its not as if even 5% of these players are going to go on and prosper in the NFL.

The only way that Football will truly take off in Europe and across the world is if the teams that play there are able to compete with the American teams - im sure you can imagine how unlikely this would be.

Still, id love to see a game over here - Pittsburgh v New England would be ideal...as long as Pittsburgh were the 'home' team :cool:


05-29-2006, 12:06 PM
This is great for the league, but horrible for the players and fans.

I agree. As a season ticket holder, I hate the idea of having to give up a home game (out of only ten) so Helmut Von Steuben can watch a football game. It's called an airplane.

05-29-2006, 12:54 PM
I have a friend in Germany and we often talk about this. The NFL Europe is fairly popular in Germany specifically but doesnt get much coverage. Its comparable to the coverage that Soccer gets here. During the season they get one or two NFL games a week even in the playoffs. And during the NFL Europe season they get about the same. Having at least a pre-season game there would be good I think to just get some exposure for the game. And possibly lead to increased coverage. The game isnt going to grow in Europe untill it gets some decent coverage. Then once they understand the game better it might be more popular. Alot of the concepts even as simple as a draft they dont have there so its hard for the game to grow

05-29-2006, 01:34 PM
I don't mind preseason games over there, but regular season games I don't agree with.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-29-2006, 01:39 PM
Who cares if the rest of the world loves the NFL. Sure it would be good for the league. But its not like the NFL is hurting. I don't want the Steelers to give up a regular season home game to play over in Germany, England, China or where ever.

05-29-2006, 02:09 PM
I would love to see them have Pre-season games in other places, all it does is increase the exposure and in the long run increase the talent pool and make the game better (see Soccer for proof) as far as regular season games, if it is a team that is drawing as bad as the Cards were I have no problem with it.

05-29-2006, 05:02 PM
The NFL wants games outside the USA, just give me my ten home games and I'll be content.

05-29-2006, 10:28 PM

1) As a season ticket holder, I could only get 7 tix that year so some guys in a country that I've never been to, nor that I care about, can get the chance to see the Steelers play. These people have little interest in football, if they even know what it is.

2) The city and the team will lose whatever the revenue is from that game. Right now, Pittsburgh isn't in the position to lose $0.01, let alone what they would make off of just 1 Steelers game (don't underestimate the amount of money).

3) If you think your team is at a disadvantage flying from East to West coast, then coming back and hurrying to get ready for a game the following Sunday, imagine the jet lag they'd suffer after a 22hr plane flight from Sydney Australia.

4) What is the objective of this? To put an NFL franchise in a foreign country? Do we really want to dilute the talent pool and have the Tokyo, Godzillas in the mix? Do we really care what people outside of the US think about our football? What is the point of marketing and promoting to them at the expense of our current fans?

5) Who is going to pay for this? You had better beleive it will come around to the end user. The ticket prices will probably go up slightly, the NFL will probably ask for a higher cut in the profits of merchandise... Sure it may be small to the end user, but it still just hastens the inflation of the NFL.

6) What's the point? Where's the benefit in this? Are they hoping to be able to sell DirectTV and NFL Network subscriptions globally? Are they trying to sell merchandise globally? Are they going to try to expand the league globally? None of that is really intriguing to me.

So once again........you want to watch an NFL game (preseason or regular), get on a plane and fly to the states. Don't screw over the fan that has been feeding the team and the league as a whole.