As we start to speculate about which teams are interested in playing a regular season game in London in 2015, add the undefeated Arizona Cardinals to the list.
Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill attended a Fan Forum in London the day before the Miami Dolphins defeated the Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium and told me that his franchise was very interested in playing in the UK.
Bidwill also came up on stage at the NFL on Regent Street Fan Rally and reiterated his willingness to bring his team to London, although he did stress that they would probably need to be an away team given the regularity of sell-outs at their own stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
That may be the biggest challenge facing NFL UK in the coming weeks and months as they plan ahead for 2015 because I have heard several teams – the Cardinals being the latest – willing to be an away team at Wembley. The others who have expressed an interest include the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Denver Broncos.
I have no doubt the NFL will get their home teams in place for 2015, but it does seem as if more teams are willing to throw their hat into the ring as the visiting club.
In the meantime, another sell-out crowd has sparked more talk of an NFL franchise and some of the big names in town over the weekend went away impressed with what they saw.
NFL legends have been lining up to praise British NFL fans this week. The likes of Terrell Davis and Andre Reed have spoken positively about the potential for a London franchise.
Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino said:
“This game has grown since I played in the American Bowl here in London in 1988 and it is great to see. We see so many fans, not just of the Dolphins and Raiders, but of all teams around the league and that is a wonderful thing.”
Categories: A Brit view of the NFL