A permanent residence? Fans weigh in on potential London NFL franchise

UK fans of the 美国橄榄球联盟 flocked to North London for the two 2021 London Games this monthbut could the capital city soon become a permanent home to an 美国橄榄球联盟 专营权?

Typically awash with the white of Spurs, 的 Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was transformed into a rainbow sea of jerseys as the Atlanta Falcons beat the New York Jets last week, before the Jacksonville Jaguars clinched a dramatic last-second victory to beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Now into their 14th year of hosting duties since the first International Series game at Wembley Stadium in 2007, London has long been touted as a potential residence for a first non-US franchiseeither via the relocation of an established franchise or as a new expansion team.
    Today’s victorious home team the Jaguarswhose owner Shahid Khan has invested interest in London as owner of Fulham football clubhave committed to playing one overseas game a year as the designated “家” team and have subsequently been tipped as most likely to make a move across the Atlantic.
      Ultimately the decision will rest with the powers that be, but nobody with a ticket to the London Games over the last two weekends can doubt the size of the UK’s NFL appetite.
        But what do UK football lovers think about a potential London franchise? CNN Sport spoke to fans to find out.
        A general view during the NFL London match between Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

        Planning pain

          Logistics, logistics, logisticsthere was a running theme in the responses.
          For new fans — 也许. For current fans — 绝对不,” said Cleveland Browns fan Tom Middleton when asked about the prospect of a London franchise.
          Logistically I can’t see it being feasible due to constant travel and having to pack up millions of dollarsworth of equipment on a week’s notice. One game a year in London or Mexico for four to six teams a year is a job worth doing, merely for exposure.
          Surely a London team would need to get to and from the US and UK every other week? Their fan base could be lacking at both endsUS fans are unlikely to start supporting a new team, let alone a UK team, and many UK fans already have allegiances or do not possess an interest in the sport.
          In my opinion, the formation of an NFL team is going to be harder than any other sport. You’ve already got 53-strong rosters offirst team players”, but add in the need for practice squads, qualified and experienced coaches, facilitiesit is a huge ask.
          Just this week, the NFL reiterated its stance on promoting its global appeal, announcing it was in discussions with three German citiesDüsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munichabout hosting regular season games.
          I really want it to be a good idea, but there are logistical issues,” said Andrew Gamble, founder of NBA and NFL podcast the British Playbook, outside of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
          I think support is promising but I’m concerned about whether the novelty will wear off, particularly as a London team would not be competitive for the first few seasonseven with compensatory draft picks,” 他加了.
          Fans arrive ahead of the NFL match between Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars.

          Allegiances

          England sports fanbases are notorious for their diehard loyalty to their teamsan unconditional allegiance no better illustrated than via Gamble and Middleton, 二 “long-sufferingArsenal fans.
          A glance around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and its technicolor array of jerseys this weekend would suggest many UK fans have already sworn their NFL loyalties; would a newlocalteam tempt them to switch sides?
          “绝对不,” Middleton said.
          I am fully invested in the Browns and their playersI cannot imagine the idea of a new team wanting me to change allegiance from the last 4-5 years of being involved in the sport.
          I feel as though my commitment to the NFL team is only slightly less strong than my allegiance to Arsenal, whom I have supported my entire life.
          “然而, I would say the idea of a London NFL team reminds me of Red Bull Leipzig in the Bundesligatheir formation generated an incredible amount of backlash and disgust but you look now at their games with full attendance and they’ve clearly formed a fan base out of their success.
          Whether or not a London team can replicate that in the NFL will be interesting.
            Gamble was more welcoming, but likewise said he would never divert from his first love.
            I would absolutely support a London team, get season ticket, the worksbut if they play the Patriots, I know who I’m backing,” 他说.

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