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Old 05-28-2006, 01:37 AM   #1
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Default League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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
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Old 05-28-2006, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

That's just great!!

That means more teams getting screwed out of home games for the sake of making the NFL more Internationally appealing.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambridge
That's just great!!

That means more teams getting screwed out of home games for the sake of making the NFL more Internationally appealing.
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
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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...
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Monarchs

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

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Old 05-29-2006, 12:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
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.
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

I don't mind preseason games over there, but regular season games I don't agree with.
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Old 05-29-2006, 01:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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.
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Old 05-29-2006, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: League eyeing more games outside of U.S

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.
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