England could play games around country if Wembley gets NFL team
Last updated on .From the section Football
England could play games around the country if Wembley gets an NFL team.
The Football Association is keen to boost revenue, while the NFL would like a team in London.
However, NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood said it is "still not at the stage" where London could sustain one of its franchises.
The Football Association is obliged to hold matches at Wembley until 2017, while the NFL has previously suggested it would like a team there by 2021.
England played at grounds including Old Trafford, Villa Park, Stadium of Light, St James' Park, St Mary's and Leicester before the rebuilt Wembley opened in 2007.
The national team's recent friendly against Norway drew a crowd of 40,181 at Wembley.
|England's last five home friendlies|
|3 September 2014: England 1-0 Norway (40,181)|
|30 May 2014: England 3-0 Peru (83,578)|
|5 March 2014: England 1-0 Denmark (68,573)|
|19 November 2013: England 0-1 Germany (85,934)|
|15 November 2013: England 0-2 Chile (62,693)|
The previous lowest crowd for an international at the new stadium was the 48,876 for a friendly against Sweden in 2011.
In contrast, the first of three NFL games to be held at Wembley in 2014 - Miami Dolphins' 38-14 win over the Oakland Raiders - was played in front of 83,436 fans.
The other two games - Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys - have also sold out.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Mr Kirkwood said: "We're very interested in exploring the idea of a British-based franchise and seeing if we can pull it off.
"Fan growth has grown considerably in recent years. But we've seen in all forms of sport, having something that's considered national really transforms your potential popularity."
However, he warned that there are significant issues to be overcome if the NFL is to have a London franchise.
"It's not just about the logistics of where a team might come from or whether it would be a new team, it's also scheduling, air travel, a tonne of other logistics," he explained.
"If we were to finish it off, it would be a big project realised."
Club England chief executive Adrian Bevington suggested on Twitter last month that it could be eight or nine years before the cost of rebuilding Wembley was recouped and England might be able to tour the country again.
"Wembley has to be paid for. The reality is that the FA has to put [an] events calendar on to do this. When [we are] debt free in 8/9 years, [we will have] more choice," he wrote.
Last year, Wembley managing director Roger Maslin said he was confident the stadium could stage a whole season of eight NFL games.
"Football is our priority. But yes, I'm absolutely confident that if the NFL wanted to have franchise here then we could absolutely do it," he said.
Says it all. They couldn't care less until the cash dries up.
Play the matches all over the country and make our national team accessible to all.
Then it can be seen to be an ENGLAND team not just a London Team
"England should play at Wembley, it is the national stadium and in the nations capital."
Shame then it wasn't the nation's capital that paid for it!
I live 50 miles from Wembley and i can get to Sheffield in the same time. There are some stunning grounds in this country to share the burden of internationals, especially up North.
England will do much better and have more enthusiastic fans at real football stadiums around the country. Arsenal could stage a London Venue, Manchester Newcastle up north, villa park in the midlands.
great news for real football fans.
"England should play at Wembley, it is the national stadium and in the nations capital".
Typical London centred tosh. This the "England" team we are discussing not the "London" team. It is right and proper that the team should play in other venues in England, and give all English fans the chance to watch, without having the expense of trekking to Wembley.
1) NFL here in the States is struggling. It has have empty stadium issues at Jacksonville - which will be the team to move, a bit like how Wimbledon moved to MK. It's horrid, but that would be the plan.
2) Football in the States is on a massive rise. MLS is selling out games.
So this story is ironic..
I don't think an NFL team would work in England. It might do for a while but then the novelty will wear off and people will realise they are just watching a softcore version of rugby and stop going
I can assure you that it is a nightmare to get to from ANYWHERE!
so we should first of all hire managers on the colour of there skin. are you drunk. managers working in a predominantly white ethnic country will on average be white. for instance. Norway/Denmark/Sweden have zero black managers. are they also racists???. whereas Nigeria have no white managers...racist also. People in sport excel through ability , not colour.
The 83,436 fans are probably regretting that they ever went to watch such utter rubbish.
This is not the USA and we do not want to be like the USA
Stop trying to force their rubbish onto us.