<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-P36XLWQ" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

NFL in ‘constant’ discussion over London franchise

League’s head of Europe and UK Brett Gosper says team would be “next phase” of European strategy.

25 Apr 2023 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • Gosper says plans for London franchise not imminent
  • Spain and France most likely international markets to next host regular season games

A London franchise is “the next phase of the strategy” for the National Football League (NFL) as it continues to build its presence outside of the US, according to the league’s head of Europe and UK Brett Gosper.

The NFL has held games in the English capital since 2007 and last season saw the city stage three games – two at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and one at Wembley Stadium. The continued interest from fans in the UK has led to suggestions the league could launch a new London-based team and Gosper revealed regular discussions over the potential move were being held.

“That would be the next phase of the strategy is to have a franchise here,” he said, speaking at day one of this year’s SportsPro Live at the Kia Oval in London.

“It’s a discussion point within the NFL on a pretty constant basis. Nothing is imminent here and I always say that.”

Gosper added that there had been talk about having an NFL division in Europe. The league’s commissioner Roger Goodell had already mentioned the potential of London supporting two franchises, as well as introducing a European division.

Gosper’s comments comes after the NFL played its first ever regular season game in Germany last November at the Allianz Arena, the home of German soccer champions Bayern Munich. The country will host two games during the 2023 NFL campaign.

“We’ve even heard the [NFL] commissioner [Roger Goodell] talk about having a division in Europe,” Gosper said. “[The] commissioner’s talked about having two teams. He thinks this market could support two teams, which it could, that Germany could support two teams [sic].

“In some ways, it’s probably an easier logistical thing than having one team come into London, which will create all sorts of logistical challenges. Having a whole division here playing through the season, until the playoff period, might be an easier lift. In other ways it’s a much harder lift because you’ve got to find four teams.”

Gosper, however, maintained that launching a European league was “a fair way off” and was unlikely to happen “in the next five years”. He added that establishing a new franchise on the continent in that period could be “possible”, but reiterated that plans were not imminent.

“There is certainly that ambition within the NFL to take the next step, which is to have a presence outside of the United States at some point in time,” Gosper continued. 

“I can’t give you a timeline on that, but I can definitely say there’s an ambition.”

Gosper again cited Spain and France as the next European countries likely to host regular season games, having highlighted both markets last year. Currently, the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins have ‘home marketing rights’ in Spain. No teams are active in France but Gosper expects that to change soon.

“Those are the two most likely markets,” said Gosper. “This could take a number of years but we need to get ahead of it.”

1 / 2news articles read

Enjoying SportsPro content? Create your account and get enhanced access to all the latest stories.


Already have an account?