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Is it a Timeout for Possible NFL Expansion in London?

October 13, 2016

Regent Street in Central London was heavily draped in NFL advertising for the recent game between the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The National Football League (NFL), under the leadership of Commissioner Roger Goodell, has ambitious goals to double the NFL’s current revenue to $25 billion dollars by 2027. As the NFL has managed to jump from 18th to the 6th most watched sport in the United Kingdom in a matter of a few years, a team in London is becoming more and more of a lucrative option.

However, with the recent Brexit vote causing widespread uncertainty throughout the UK, leading to a drop in the economy, the NFL faces the dilemma of whether or not to continue to pursue establishing a team in London.

Prior to Brexit, a main draw to establishing a team in London was that London is easily accessible to fans living in mainland Europe, thus increasing attendance, expanding global reach and increasing overall revenue. With the uncertainty of how Brexit will affect the movement of people for those individuals holding a EU passport, the NFL might opt to delay establishing a team in London until clear terms are established between the EU and the UK after (if) article 50 is triggered.

Another option for the NFL is to establish a team in an alternative international city. For example, Mexico City, with a strong centralized fan base, has repeatedly been viewed as a viable option to place an NFL team if the Brexit terms are not favorable to the NFL.

In the end, the NFL is just one of the many organizations that has to wait and see how the Brexit vote plays out.



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