John York: London will eventually have NFL Team and Super Bowl

Team owner John York was recently in London promoting this season’s overseas match-up between the 49ers and Broncos on Oct. 31.  While talking before English fans York said,

“There is easily enough of a fan base over here to stage two games a season. I think eventually there will be a Super Bowl outside the U.S. I couldn’t tell you when that would be. I can see it both ways. I’m not sure what will be first, a Super Bowl over here or an NFL team, but they both seem likely to happen.”

York was not just rambling off his thoughts as he has insight as the chair of the NFL International Committee, so there is some substance in what he said.  I think if either one were to happen it would be a Super Bowl in London rather than an NFL team.  The NFL needs a team in Los Angeles first before it even thinks of not only having a team overseas but any new team in a U.S. city.  If a team were to play in London it would make sense for it to be an expansion team as I cannot see any current NFL teams relocating to England.  Plus if you are going to have your first NFL team based outside of the U.S. it would probably only work as an expansion team so the fans can develop a loyalty and die-hard relationship with the team that is their own.  But would an NFL team really work in London?  The now defunct NFL Europe only had teams based in the United Kingdom from 1995-2004, even though the league was in operation from 1991-2007.  It would make more sense to have a team in Canada where the Canadian Football League has been in existence since 1958, the league is still intact and is the second most popular sport in Canada behind hockey.  I wonder where the American football ranks in England’s most popular sports. Certainly not first as soccer is number one but is American football bigger than sports like cricket, rugby, tennis or golf?

Having a Super Bowl in London is more plausible but to even think of America’s biggest sport and single biggest sports game of the year to be in another country is hard to swallow.  This is our game.  How would English fans react if an owner of a club in the English Premier League said that the EPL championship game would one day be played in New York?

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