Recent talks of getting the NFL in Los Angeles has me beginning to wonder if it really matters that the NFL is in LA. The NFL has a product that is not matched by any other professional sport. There are small market teams and large market teams and not only do small market teams contend with large market teams but they consistently win divisions and conferences over large market teams.
Plans to build the infrastructure in Los Angeles have been floating around for a while now and more recently a new stadium plan has been released in the midst of the recent push for LA. Building a stadium will either drawing a current team to Los Angeles or attract someone to start from scratch.
The NFL has been considering the options of either moving a team such as the local and former LA team, the Raiders, or the team that will be going for sale soon, the Bills. The other option that they could possibly look at is to expand the NFL and create a new team in Los Angeles. If they were to add a team into the NFL they would have to expand elsewhere. London?
London would be the best option for the NFL. It would be more important for the NFL to expand over the pond to London than into LA. Although LA is a “sports city,” it is a market much like New York where they would have to contend with two NBA teams, two MLB teams and a NHL team, and in New York, sometimes both the Giants and the Jets get lost in the mix.
The London and all of Europe is an untapped market that is currently demanding more football! Not Futball. The NFL has been playing games there since 2007 and has received tremendous popularity. As of recently Rodger Goodell has receiver a lot of demand for American Football in Europe. There is only one downside to this move over the ocean, having a college kid get drafted to a team across the country is one thing, having them drafted to a team in a completely different country is another and may not appeal to everyone.
At this point in history, the NFL is at the top of the sporting world. The Super Bowl is the most watched sporting event every year, they have been concerned with the viewership of the Pro Bowl although it is always higher than any game of the World Series. Moving to Los Angeles should be a secondary issue behind moving towards a global game.
A global game would take the NFL into the same scene as soccer and FIFA. Being on the same scene as FIFA may be intimidation at first but if you are the head of a professional sporting league, you would be an idiot not to be interested in being a global game, and London is that step into the global scene.
If you are the NFL, FIFA should be where you want to be. There are internal problems with FIFA, but just take that out for a minute. When you watch the Summer Olympics every four years you watch swimming, you watch basketball, you watch women’s soccer but you and the rest of the world never look forward to or watch soccer in the Summer Olympics. That may seem like a bad thing at first but just think back to two weeks ago and you will remember why. FIFA has it’s own Olympics in the World Cup.
We have the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl every year. The Super Bowl could become the new World Cup. The Super Bowl is the pinnacle of all American sports. Who is to say that that couldn’t be the case on the global stage? The possibilities are endless and it all starts with a decision that Rodger Goodell says we may see made in five to ten years.
What is more important, the NFL in LA or London?