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London Calling: NFL Considers Hosting Super Bowl in the UK

 

The National Football League (NFL) is considering the possibility of hosting a future Super Bowl in London, a move that could make the already pricey event even less accessible for the average American fan.

This revelation comes as the NFL continues its push to expand its international reach, with the league’s commissioner, Roger Goodell, stating that a Super Bowl in London “is not impossible.”

As the Ravens celebrated their 24-16 victory over the Titans in the third NFL game in London, Goodell addressed the media. He emphasized that while the NFL currently prefers cities with franchises for its games, the idea of an overseas Super Bowl isn’t off the table. Hosting the Super Bowl brings significant economic benefits to the chosen city. For instance, the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami generated an economic impact of $571 million and created 4,500 new jobs, as per the University of Delaware.

However, the Super Bowl’s ticket prices have been a point of contention. In 2022, the average ticket price soared to $8,869, dwarfing the prices for other major sporting events like the Stanley Cup, the Masters, and the NBA Finals. Moving the Super Bowl to an international location could further inflate these costs. For instance, airfare to Phoenix for the Super Bowl last year saw a 25% surge in the first week of February, with average roundtrip flights costing $445. Comparatively, a nonstop ticket from New York to London for Super Bowl weekend 2024 is currently priced at $607.

The NFL has already chosen the Super Bowl host cities up to 2026, with Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Santa Clara, California, on the roster.

The push for international expansion comes as the NFL seeks new revenue streams. With ticket sales plateauing and television revenue nearing its peak, the league is exploring international markets. Recently, the NFL expressed interest in cities like Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo for future games. The league’s ambitious goal is to achieve a revenue of $25 billion by 2027, a 35% increase from last year. The NFL’s International Home Marketing Areas initiative and discussions about a potential franchise in London further underscore this global vision.

In a surprising twist, if the NFL were to relocate a team to London, the Jacksonville Jaguars are the frontrunners. Rumors have swirled about the team potentially establishing a permanent training facility in London, and their billionaire owner, Shahid Khan, had previously shown interest in purchasing Wembley Stadium.

As the NFL continues to expand its global footprint, it’s intriguing to consider how Europeans perceive this quintessentially American event. For a deeper dive into European perspectives on the Super Bowl, check out our article: “How do Europeans View the Super Bowl?”.

The push for international expansion comes as the NFL seeks new revenue streams. With ticket sales plateauing and television revenue nearing its peak, the league is exploring international markets…

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