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London pushing for NFL franchise – SportsUntapped.com
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Added September 28th, 2015 by Ian

London pushing for NFL franchise
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Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, England, says he’s pushing for an NFL franchise in his city and would like to see one granted within the next few years. The world’s most famous football league currently plays a few regular-season games in London each season, but Johnson said he’s working hard on getting the city its own team. The NFL realizes it has a great fan base in London and recently signed a 10-year deal to play games at the new stadium of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. We also heard of Tottenham striker Harry Kane recently wanting to join NFL as kicker

Tottenham currently plays their home games at 116-year-old White Hart Lane, but a new multisport venue will soon be built. Johnson, who was elected mayor of London back in 2008, appears to be a big NFL fan and realizes a franchise would further boost the local economy and create more jobs. The NFL held its first game in the English capital in 2007 and it was an instant hit with fans. The league put on three contests at the famous Wembley Stadium in 2014 and they all attracted sold-out crowds of over 80,000 spectators. The ticket revenue alone for those three encounters was reportedly at least $32 million.

Since the NFL games have been selling out in London, the league decided it would be a good idea to sign the 10-year deal with Tottenham. The soccer club’s new stadium is scheduled to open its doors in 2018 and the NFL will hold at least two games per season there for 10 years. The football league raked in $7 billion in revenue last season which was split up between its 32 clubs. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has often spoken about expanding to London, but hasn’t put a time frame on it. It’s possible that one of the existing NFL teams could be relocated to London, or the league may decide to expand by one or two franchises.

Mayor Johnson said the NFL and Tottenham collaboration means London is a step closer to being granted its own team. He recently told the press, “We are already working very closely with the NFL. We believe that staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive program of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense. Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London.”

When the new 61,000-seat Tottenham stadium is built at a cost of about $615 million, it will contain facilities and dressing rooms that have been specifically designed for NFL teams. It will also feature a retractable grass playing surface for soccer which has an artificial surface beneath it for football. This means the stadium will be ready for a franchise when and if London is awarded one. The first game to be played in London this season will be on October 4th at Wembley where the Miami Dolphins will square off against the New York Jets.

 
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