The National Football League will have at least five games in foreign countries in 2018, with four in London and another likely in Mexico City. The NFL is also looking at Monterrey, where Major League Baseball will be staging three games in May of 2018.
The NFL has a lot of capital invested in London and it appears the league has found some 40,000 people dedicated to the product. That core of 40,000 was thought to be at the four NFL 2017 games held in London. That means in nearly a decade of trying to build interest in a city with nearly nine million residents, the NFL has managed to get less than one percent of the population to regularly attend games. The NFL is not abandoning London or England despite the fact the rest of Europe seems fine in cutting loose the island nation after English voters decided to get out of the European Union.
The NFL has been heavily involved in the construction of the English Premier League’s Tottenham Spurs building. The NFL has thrown about $13 million into the venue that is costing about $900 million to construct and there is a 10 year guarantee that the NFL will play two games a year or 20 games over the life of the contract in the facility. The first two matches will take place in 2018.
The Mexico series has been extended through 2021. Mexico City has been a good market for years. Jerry Jones has been selling his Cowboys in Mexico for a long time. The NFL has a Mexican fan base. The NFL also is looking at Monterrey, which is the most Americanized city in Mexico. The NFL may have games in other parts of the world in 2018. The NFL globally lags behind other sports. It is in desperately need of having London and Mexico to be successful.
By Evan Weiner For The Politics Of Sports Business
This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.