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NFL hints at taking Super Bowl offshore

NFL hints at taking Super Bowl offshore

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has revealed that discussions have taken place regarding the possibility of hosting a future Super Bowl in London, England, as part of the league’s efforts to enhance its international presence.

Goodell, while addressing a fan forum in London to promote the regular-season game between Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans, acknowledged that while such a move is not imminent, it’s being explored.

“It’s not impossible, and it’s something that has been discussed before,” Goodell said.

“I think that is not out of the question. But at the end of the day, I think right now our formula will stay the same about playing [Super Bowls] in cities that have franchises.”

The upcoming three Super Bowls are already slated to be held in Las Vegas (Allegiant Stadium), New Orleans (Caesars Superdome), and Santa Clara (Levi’s Stadium). However, starting from the 2027 edition, the NFL will have the flexibility to stage the marquee event outside the United States.

The NFL reported earlier this year that it has approximately 14.3 million casual fans in the UK and Ireland, and it has expressed its intent to establish a London franchise around 2025.

Organising a Super Bowl in London presents logistical challenges, including potentially shifting the game to an evening kick-off in the city to ensure that US viewers can watch it in the afternoon.

The NFL is currently hosting five international regular-season games this season, in London and Frankfurt, Germany, as part of its global expansion strategy.

The London series kicked off with Jacksonville Jaguars facing Atlanta Falcons at Wembley Stadium on October 1, marking the last season of the existing deal that allows Wembley to host one game per season. The Jaguars played against Buffalo Bills on October 8, and the Titans faced the Ravens on October 15, both games held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London, thanks to the partnership between the NFL and the English Premier League football club, which extends through the 2029-30 season.

In Germany, the NFL will continue its games through to 2025, with current Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs playing against Miami Dolphins on November 5 at Frankfurt Stadium. Subsequently, a match-up between New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts is scheduled for November 12.

These games are part of the International Home Marketing Area (IMHA) program, in which various NFL franchises have been allocated countries to help promote the league’s brand on a global scale.

The NFL has embraced the goal of expanding its international presence, granting IHMAs to 18 of its 32 franchises across eight countries, thereby increasing its appeal and fanbase on a worldwide stage.

The countries included in this initiative are the UK, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Spain, China and Australia. Some franchises now have access to multiple countries, with the league’s executive vice president, Peter O’Reilly, indicating that regular-season games in Spain and Brazil are on the horizon as soon as next season.

Photo Credit: Mark Botham

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