SBD/Issue 38/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Official Optimistic League Will Play Multiple Games In U.K.

Sunday's 49ers-Broncos Game Marked
Fourth Consecutive NFL Sellout At Wembley

NFL VP/Int'l Business Chris Parsons is “optimistic the league will be playing multiple regular-season games in Britain,” according to Chris Lehourites of the AP. Parsons has “already started thinking of ways to keep the momentum going” after “more than 84,000 fans packed" Wembley Stadium for Sunday's 49ers-Broncos game. He said that the NFL “will talk to owners in January or February about a game next year,” but that the “decision could be delayed” by CBA talks. Parsons: “The CBA negotiation adds a level of complexity to that planning process, which we have to then manage around. That may require us to be a little bit patient going forward in terms of how we move that forward, but whether it's in one year or two years, we will be playing multiple games, I believe, in the U.K. market." In addition to "talk of adding a second game to the overseas schedule, possibly in Cardiff, Wales, or Edinburgh, Scotland," the NFL also has been "considering the prospect of creating a franchise based in London." But Parsons indicated that it "won't be anytime soon." Parsons: "The franchise is a nice goal and I think it's a tremendous stake in the ground and strategic vision that we can strive for, but I think we've also said there are several steps ahead of that that we'd want to make sure we get right before we made that leap." He added the league will turn its "attention to Germany probably once we kind of move to the next step in the U.K." But China and Japan “remain a bit out of reach at the moment,” as Parsons said putting a regular-season game in those markets “has not been part of our thinking.” Parsons: "If we do anything in China, which is definitely a possibility, that would certainly be more of the exhibition-type game than a regular-season game" (AP, 11/2).

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