"NFL Charms Wembley" - A Brit's blog

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by tedylb, Oct 26, 2009.

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  1. tedylb

    tedylb Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    From Paolo Bandini of the Guardian:


    An online poll run by Fox Sports last week found that 58% of its readers felt London should host nothing more than a pre-season game. In the comments section of the accompanying article some readers protested that there had not been an option to vote for the UK to get even less than that. ESPN.com's senior writer Len Pasquarelli is just one of a number of leading commentators who has declared himself "against" the idea of hosting regular season games in the UK.

    The reasons for such hostility are manifold and in great part not dissimilar to those cited by opponents of the Premier League's Game 39 proposals. But, if one common complaint does not stand up, it is the suggestion that the league's ability to sell out these games rests solely on, as Pasquarelli put it, "curiosity" among Britons. There is a core of knowledgeable American football fans in Britain that existed before 2007 and who have continued to ensure that – as a one-off at least – this game sells out.

    That core may not be as large as it was during the 1980s, when Channel Four's coverage of the NFL sparked huge interest, but it is also far less transient. It also appears to be growing. According to Alistair Kirkwood, the managing director of NFL UK, Sky has seen the ratings for its NFL coverage grow by 55% compared with the same period last year while Channel Five has seen a 75% increase.

    Britain's own amateur American football leagues – while still some way short of their 1980s heyday – are also thriving. The British American Football League's spokesman, Ken Walters, described the sport as "arguably the fastest-growing in Great Britain"β€š saying it had experienced a 30% increase in participation.

    "The more games that we do here, the more people will see this is built on sporting credibility, rather than just razzmatazz, and we won't be seen just as a circus coming to town," said Kirkwood today. "I'm convinced we've got a bright future."

    Just another NFL Sunday at Wembley? That is exactly what the league was hoping for.

    And: when asked how the NFL picks which teams play in London:

    The truth is that a large part of it has to do with which teams are willing to give up a home game to come over here. I couldn't tell you the full process they go through, but I was talking to Alistair Kirkwood, the managing director of NFL UK, during half-time and he was telling me that whether or not we get two regular season games over here next year depends in part on whether they can persuade two teams to make that sacrifice.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2009
  2. oldskool138

    oldskool138 In the Starting Line-Up

    #75 Jersey

    Just like soccer is the fastest growing sport here in the US. :p
  3. SEA_Pat

    SEA_Pat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Lucky they didn't hire Ken Walter. If the reporter had snapped the question at him, he'd have punted it out of bounds for 25 yards...
  4. Jared

    Jared On the Game Day Roster

    #75 Jersey

    What does the team giving up the home game get in compensation? I imagine they are somehow paid.

    As for who might give up a home game? How about Colts @ Jags? Home team has a weak fan base, and you get another premiere team. It'd be easy to compensate a team who is probably not making as much money off of home games as someone like the Cowboys, Giants, Pats, Steelers, etc.
  5. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    tedylb: I added the link to the article you quoted.

    Please be careful about that in the future. More than two short paragraphs used without link attributuion puts Ian's website at legal risk.

    Thanks for your understanding.
  6. unoriginal

    unoriginal In the Starting Line-Up

    Yep, they get a guaranteed sellout instead of a home blackout. Plus the potential merchandising intake from exposure to a new market.
  7. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    I bet more Americans know who Brandon Donovan is than know who won the NHL MVP last year.

    (Which was a revelation to me yesterday when someone here posted that it was some guy from the Bruins???).
  8. A.C Vegas

    A.C Vegas In the Starting Line-Up

    #11 Jersey

    i don't know i went to the site after a google search they have like 3 levels of leagues and a lot of team
  9. oldskool138

    oldskool138 In the Starting Line-Up

    #75 Jersey

    Who are the Bruins? :confused:

  10. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    BTW: "The notion of staging a Super Bowl in London has been publicly mooted by league officials."

    Now that's the one idea I actually LIKE.

    Why not do the Super Bowl overseas?

    It's supposed to be in a neutral stadium.

    The teams sequester themselves for a week and are told to stay in their hotels.

    The participating teams' fans are going to travel and make a holiday out of it anyhow.

    Why the hell not? (Plus, it would give the Pats an advantage since Northern Europe would have wintry conditions in February - - which is the one reason why the NFL would never accede to it).
  11. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

    You mean Landon?

    The NHL is a niche sport but ice hockey is still m ore popular than soccer in northern cities like Minneapolis, Buffalo, Detroit, Boston, etc.

    Here in Buffalo, the kids are excellent at hockey, boys and girls, and they play teams from Toronto regularly. It's no accident that the #1 choice in the world from the last draft grew up playing in Buffalo.

    So, yes, Soccer is more popular in the US except for northern cities where ice hockey is still pretty big. All of New England, upstate NY, parts of Pa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Minnesota, Chicago area. Those are the hockey hotbeds.
  12. oldskool138

    oldskool138 In the Starting Line-Up

    #75 Jersey

    Wembley Stadium has a retractable roof.
  13. Big-T

    Big-T Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #51 Jersey

    It doesn't fully close, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has a retractable roof though.
  14. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey


    Talk about slipping on a banana peel!

    That kind of screwed up my own point! :D :D :D
  15. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Aside from Massachusetts (barely) and Colorado those are the dying/losing population parts of the U.S.

    And even in Boston or Chicago, the local hockey team is a distant (and falling) fourth place.
  16. Eugene Chung

    Eugene Chung Practice Squad Player

    Hockey has certainly had a tough go of it since the lockout. While certain bigger markets seem to have strong followings, the popularity still seems to lag a little bit behind other sports. However, hockey has seen a big uptick over the past couple seasons. (See Update: Impressive Growth of Television Ratings, Corporate Sales and NHL.com Traffic Highlight Continued Business Momentum of the NHL(R) Through First 100 Games of the 2009-10 Regular Season | SYS-CON INDIA) Ratings and attendance are up according to the figures and that's with DirectTV taking Versus out of its lineup. Still a long ways to go.

    And I don't follow the MLS too much, but it's impressive to me that cities like Toronto and Seattle are outdrawing their baseball counterparts.
  17. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

    Chicago (where I am now) certainly. NE? I'm not so sure. The Bruins attendance is awful.
  18. Eugene Chung

    Eugene Chung Practice Squad Player

    Awful is pretty strong. B's are at 95% paid attendance this year. NHL Attendance Leaders - National Hockey League - ESPN

    Granted, actual attendance (and this is purely a guess on my own end), is probably around 75%-85%. I know that NESN's hockey ratings are up (don't have the exact number) and that the 2nd game of the year was the highest rated Bruins opener for NESN in 25 years. Like I said before, still a longs way to go before it gets to the NBA level.
  19. Scouse Patriot

    Scouse Patriot 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    That patronising attitude towards British fans gets on my t!ts.
  20. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Couldn't agree more. I'm agreeing with a Scouser. What is the world coming to?
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