Is a foreign based team playing in the National Football League?
This may not be a far-fetched idea as the NFL is setting its sights on globalizing the league and playing regular games overseas. The NFL has done this in the past and they are keen on continuing such practice in the hope of landing a foreign-based team in the future.
As part of their foreign expansion policy, the NFL has recently signed a 10-year agreement with the Tottenham Hotspur to play at least two regular season games of American football each year at their new stadium at White Hart Lane. The focus on London has been part of their goal to grow the game internationally and perhaps have a London-based team in the future. The NFL has been playing at Wembley since 2007 generating crowds of more than 80,000. The NFL is scheduled to play three more regular games there until the end of 2016.
The league’s partnership with London started in 1986 when the Dallas Cowboys traveled for an exhibition game against the Bears. In 1993, they played a preseason game with the Detroit Lions from Wembley Stadium. In 2014, Cowboys played with the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.
In a report that was published in Bleacher Report, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell barred his plan of bringing the NFL games to China as well as to Germany. “The size and influence of China in the global marketplace can’t be ignored. We have fans and potential fans there,” Goodell said.
If plans push through, this will be the first time that an NFL game would be played in China. The Seahawks and the Patriots were supposed to play an exhibition game at Worker’s Stadium in Beijing in 2007, but the league called if off.
The Los Angeles Rams are reportedly being eyed to play a home game in China in 2018 against an NFC East team based on their 2017 results. The NFL is also eyeing a game in Germany in 2017.
Aside from London, Japan has also hosted NFL games in 1992 and 2000, respectively.
Photo Courtesy: Thomas from UK/Wikimedia Commons.org