The NFL owners have passed a resolution aimed at getting more clubs to come forward as the official home team for games played at Wembley Stadium.
According to Daniel Kaplan, of Sports Business Journal, clubs who volunteer to give up a home game in order to play in London will receive an additional payment of $1 million in addition to the already-agreed financial reimbursements for lost revenues on gameday. That payment will be used to address additional costs incurred by the home teams for staging a game overseas in the UK.
BritViewNFL also understands that the NFL will have the right to assign a London home game to any team awarded the hosting of a Super Bowl within five years of that decision. That will come into effect in the next round of bidding for the 2019 Super Bowl. The venues for Super Bowls in 2015 (Arizona), 2016 (San Francisco), 2017 (Houston) and 2018 (Minneapolis) are also in place.
BritViewNFL understands that the 32 NFL owners voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of the resolution when meeting in New York last week.
The resolution also states that any NFL team playing in a temporary facility may be selected to give up one home game to London each season they are in that venue. This move only applies going forward and does not apply to the Minnesota Vikings, who are currently playing at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
In my opinion, these moves make complete sense as more and more games are being played in London each season. The NFL needs to make sure there are enough home teams and content to meet the obvious demand of the British fans.
And finding home teams could become a challenge as more games are played in the UK in future years. The Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and New York Jets expressed an interest in the International Series games, but stated that they would prefer to be the road team and not the franchise giving up a home contest.
These moves should ensure a larger pool of home teams from which to pick from in the future. The three teams giving up home games in 2014 have been the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jags are playing at least one home game in London through the 2016 season.
Categories: American Football in the UK