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NFL Close To Securing Three London Games For '14, While Push For Permanent Team Continues
Published September 24, 2013
MAKING THE PITCH: In London, Robin Scott-Elliot cites English FA officials, whose organization owns Wembley Stadium, as saying that the facility is "willing and able to host any prospective London-based NFL franchise, and could do so alongside the 'priority' demands" of soccer. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has become "increasingly keen on establishing a franchise in London, having been impressed by the success of the one-off matches staged there." Maslin yesterday said that the "demands of staging regular American football games were not a problem for the stadium, or the pitch." Maslin: "We would be very happy to facilitate NFL at Wembley. We can hold games every couple of weeks, absolutely" (INDEPENDENT.co.uk, 9/23). Maslin said, "I am absolutely confident if Roger Goodell wanted to have a franchise here we could absolutely deliver on it." The AP's Rob Harris noted the NFL's two London games this season "sold out within hours." Maslin said that that is "a sign of the rising popularity of the NFL in Britain." NFL Senior VP/Int'l Chris Parsons said that the "'core fan base' in the U.K. is now more than 2 million." Parsons said having a full-time London franchise is "clearly an option" for the NFL. But he "cautioned that there are no immediate plans" (AP, 9/23).