The NFL Will End Up Forcing All Teams To Give Up A Home Game To Be The Home Team In London
….and The Super Bowl will be in be in London before you know it
The NFL announced which games will be played in London for the NFL season in 2015
- Week 4 Oct 4 Jets – Dolphins (divisional game)
- Week 7 Oct 25 Bills – Jaguars
- Week 8 Nov 1 Lions – Chiefs.
Only 7 out of the 32 teams have played in London since 2007 when the NFL first expanded our playing into London, and we have steadily increased our games.
2007-12 was 1 game / 2013 was 2 games / 2014 and 15 is 3 games.
Per Albert Breet of the NFL Media, the staging of the Rugby World Cup in 2015 reduced the availability of Wembley Stadium. Further, he explained that in 2016, there will be no such restrictions.
NFL V.P of international Mark Waller said, “we will be disappointed if we’re not playing more than three games there in 2016.”
The change in 2015 is sending a divisional game to London in the Jets and Dolphins squaring off in Week 4. Proposed changes for 2016 may be having teams play the weekend after playing in London in lieu of having an automatic bye week and/or playing London games in December.
They are trying to figure out if they can get an expansion team there or permanently move an existing team to London (there’s a push for the Jaguars). They are also trying to make sure they can consistently sell tickets to make the NFL more money. They keep talking about “global branding”.
This isn’t about global branding because 75% of the world doesn’t care about American football or The National Football League. In fact, you say football to anyone outside of America and they think you are saying Futbol, i.e., Soccer. The get pretty annoyed or think you are ignorant that you mean American football.
Just in case Packer fans think the Pack will never go to London let’s get the facts folks.
First, the Pack is almost guaranteed to go to London in 2016 against Jacksonville. But, before we almost hyperventilate rest easy it won’t be a home game. We are slotted to play against Jacksonville and Jacksonville is slotted to go to London, and it all matches up. They almost went in 2012 against the Rams, but the Rams weren’t willing to give up that home game because the Pack fans end up filling up their stadium. That is the same reason the Lions refuse to give up a home game.
As reiterated by Murphy, “They didn’t want to move the Packer game to London because they knew our fans would travel so well to St. Louis”.
That’s because Packer fans are awesome. However, Jacksonville is far enough away that there won’t be as many traveling Packer fans.
He also claims that the Packers would never agree to give up a home game because a home game gives up an estimated $13.5 million dollar in revenue for Green Bay. We do not have the luxury of the bigger cities like, Dallas, Miami, New York, Seattle to have other major sports leagues like Major League Baseball, Basketball or NHL to make up the revenue we would lose for a lost home game.
Teams have to AGREE to have their home game taken overseas. And yes, traditionally the teams that have had their homes games taken overseas have attendance problems, Jacksonville ranked 21st, Oakland 30th, and Tampa Bay 27th. The 49ers (14th) and Atlanta (13th) did agree to go to London but only because their stadiums sucked at the time and the next year they were getting a new ones. New Orleans (9th) went to London after Hurricane Katrina because the Superdome was still undergoing renovations. 20 of 32 NFL teams will have played in London through 2015. Teams that haven’t played yet are, and these are in order of stadium attendance
- Washington Redskins
- Green Bay Packers
- Carolina Panthers
- Houston Oilers
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Tennessee Titans
- Seattle Seahawks
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Arizona Cardinals
- Cincinnati Bengals
The Chiefs rank 7th in attendance @ 75,070, Packers are 5th @ 78,123 per NFL.com. However, as the games ramp up over there, we are starting to see teams take their home games over to London without having attendance problems and 2015 is your first taste. The Dolphins are also giving up a home game, and they are ranked 12th in attendance @70,722. They’ve been itching for a Super Bowl, but Roger Goodell said they needed to get some stadium renovations done and with a new rule change that was just voted in by the owners in October, it seemed like a good time.
The rule change provides a five-year window so that any team that wins a Super Bowl bid must host a London game within a five-year period. So if Green Bay ever does win a Super Bowl bid for example 2019 Super Bowl we must host a game in London sometime between 2016-2020. The NFL has been trying to get this rule put in for awhile now. Dallas has consistently refused to host a London game but now that this rule exists it looks like Jerry Jones won’t holdout long. Teams are reimbursed 1,000,000 dollars for lost revenue, but the cities are s.o.l for lost revenue. It’s fine for teams that get the Super Bowl bid like Dallas, but will Green Bay ever be given a SB bid.
So let’s look at some similarities to Kansas City Chiefs (who is hoping to win a bid) and the Green Bay Packers.
- Fans always sell out Arrowhead stadium.
- Arrowhead completed in 2010 $212.5 million dollars (fans vetoed the retractable roof keeping it open, kudos to Chief fans) in renovating Arrowhead which resulted in a tax 0.375% increase in country sale tax for Jackson County residents(sound familiar Brown County residents)
Now fans are being told
“The International Series is a priority for the league,” Chiefs president Mark Donovan said. “It puts us on a global stage. Our players, our fans and the whole region should benefit from it. “As a fan, you don’t want give up a game — period. We get that, we understand it. If you look at the history of this franchise, specifically Lamar (Hunt) and what he did and the way he approached the National Football League and importance of the greater good, this is another example of this game following that tact and that approach. We pride ourselves in leading by example … as a member of this league you’re going to be called on to do things, and we happily accept that.”
It’s starting to sound like corporate talk we were kind of told we had to do it and then
“I think it’s a tougher discussion to have with a number of our fans on today, next season (and) what it mean today,” Donovan continued. “This is a long-term process. This is a long-term benefit for the league. But selfishly, it’s a long-term benefit for the Kansas City Chiefs, our brand, our region. The opportunity to be on this stage is added.”
Now it just sounds like you don’t have a choice just deal with it. Like the fans are a bother…the only long benefit they are looking at is their bank account getting bigger. Then he goes on
“We understand that taking a home game away from the market affects people. We would want to make sure there would be support for it.”
However, under a poll of Kansas City Chief fans and season ticket holders it shows that 83% disapprove of the Chiefs going to London for their home game and only 17% approve. It also rips away how many millions of dollars from the businesses that DEPEND on the money from that home game?
Could they have made the decision specifically because they want a Super Bowl bid, perhaps. However, the fans struck down the added money to build a retractable roof. So it would be another cold weather Super Bowl.
The NFL has made moments about holding another cold weather Super Bowl. Days leading up taught with tension. It was almost as exciting as the actual SB. Will it snow? Won’t it? Will it be super cold? It didn’t make me sorry for NOT having a ticket. And therein lies part of the problem. The NFL wants people to WANT to be there. You’d have to be kind of kidding yourself if you looked at the Superbowl (if you weren’t a fan of either the Broncos or the Seahawks) and wanted to be there. I was perfectly happy in my warm house with a cold beer and hot wings. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy both teams just fine, but not enough to freeze my buns off….Nah…there’s only one team I’m willing to freeze my buns off for, and they are not it. If it was in a heated, dome stadium and I was given tickets? Heck yeah I’d go. If someone gave me tickets, paid for my flight, put me up at the Ritz in the penthouse it STILL would not have been worth sitting there in the cold freezing my buns off.
After last years cold weather “will the weather hold and will we be able to play and have a half time show?” the NFL admitted that any more cold weather Super Bowls would have to be carefully considered after all the issues that were brought to light from last years cold weather SB were addressed. I believe that’s code for…no way in heck are we doing that again. So unless you have a roof don’t bother bidding.
In fact, here’s a piece of trivia. Super Bowl 34 in Atlanta. Atlanta was nailed with an ice storm one week before the SB. That ice storm caused $48 million dollars in damage in north Georgia. As much as both Hurricane Opal in 95 and the 93 “Superstorm”. Then another winter storm hit Atlanta on Super Bowl weekend. There were wrecks, delays, teams couldn’t practice, roads were treacherous and a whole slew of issues.
And guess what? Atlanta has not been award a Super Bowl bid since, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by them or any other owners.
Then there’s this comment made from Goodell
“The ability to host the Super Bowl is more and more complicated, more and more complex because of the size and number of events. The infrastructure is very important. There are over 30,000 hotel rooms needed even to host the Super Bowl so there are some communities that may not be able to do it from an infrastructure standpoint, but we know the passion’s there.”
Well to me he’s only talking about Green Bay. But to prove my point here are the smallest cities with NFL teams in order of population Green Bay – Buffalo – Cincinnati – Pittsburgh
The city of Buffalo has a population of 258,959 the metro of Buffalo has a population of 1,134,210 and urban 935,906 = that’s a total of a whole lot of people but more specifically 2,329,075
The city of Cincinnati has a population of 296,943, the metro 2,114,580 and urban 1,503,262
The city of Pittsburgh has a population of 306,500, the metro 2,360,867 and the urban 1,733,853
and now Green Bay
The city of Green Bay has a population of 104,057, the metro 312,409 and urban 206,520…..even if you added all of Howard, De Pere, Ashwaubenon and Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kaukauna etc it wouldn’t even come close to Buffalos number. Face the facts we are just too small.
It seems clear he was talking about us and our infrastructure and not enough hotel rooms. Could they go to Appleton sure. Could they go to Milwaukee sure. However, remember the Atlanta diabolical with the ice storm? Do you really think the NFL is going to risk fans, players, coaches and such possibly getting held up in snow and ice and not being able to put that $500 million dollars in the NFL pocket? Because it sure didn’t go to the city and there are not enough hotels in Green Bay for all those people to get to the stadium.
I believe very soon we are going to see the very first Super Bowl on foreign soil. In the next 10 years the Super Bowl will take place at Wembley. The British can just smell the opportunity and money. There is talk by owners like Jerry Jones about putting a permanent team in London. He mentions that every time the NFL goes to the 80,000 seat Wembley it sells out. I sincerely believe it’s a bad idea. First just TV wise it’s difficult. Games here would start at 6 am for games there at 12. It’s a 4-7 hour difference depending on your time zone. Despite the network nightmares, think of the problems with making players play at weird times. So unless those guys want to play at 4 am, or we want to stay up till the 7pm game ends at 10, it’ll more than likely be a 6 am game for us which equates to a 12noon game for them or a 6pm game for them and a noon game for us.
Jerry Jones also explained that there is not enough room to expand in the U.S. Why are we not looking just north of us into Canada? That’s close enough for northern state fans to drive to but still technically an international team, or send at team to Hawaii. If it was good enough for the Pro Bowl, it’s good enough for an NFL team. All London wants is our money. In fact, the British Government is pushing for an NFL team in London. I’ve heard from the people I work with in London is that for the most part the Britons don’t want this American sport in the United Kingdom. They see it as a cheapened version of Rugby.
It seems with the Jaguars going to London every single year they are looking more and more likely to be the team to stay there. They have been labeled the unofficial “home” team. In addition, more owners have acknowledge that it looks like Jacksonville will be the team heading over there as the new London team. Other suspect teams are the Panthers if they can’t get their upgrades, The Rams cause the citizens are pushing back on having to pitch in for their renovations and Stan already owns the futbol club Arsenal, and the Titans after Bud Adam passes. So there are teams that are itching to go. So it looks like there will be a team there soon.
Then that leaves the question of how does that affect TNF? Players already hate that game. Now you add in teams that have to play in London every week. You have four teams that play short weeks. Two on Thursday and two on Monday. Then one team that flies into London or the London team that flies into the US. You are setting up players to fail and get hurt.
According to a group of NFL owners that are called ‘The London Committee,” one owner came out and reported
‘Grubman pretty much said ‘We want to have a team in London — our goal is to get a team there and make this happen,'” “It didn’t sound like an ‘if,’ we took it as a ‘when.’ “
Think about this also. Once a team is put in London at Wembley, how long will it take till the British Government is bidding for the Super Bowl to take place in London? That is a loss of huge revenue to the host city. According to the NFL, The Super Bowl brings in $ 600 million dollars in revenue to the host city.
However, that may not be entirely true. That is not based on actual numbers. That $600 million numbers is based on asking fans what they buy, where they are staying as they are walking around and on numbers that the NFL takes back with them to put back in the NFL pocket not in the teams or cities pocket. It also does not subtract the loss that the host city takes in not charging sale tax to the NFL. In a Super Bowl contract that was leaked last year it showed just how money leaves with the NFL when the SB is over.
An independent study was done on the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston. It was found that the city of Houston did not, in fact, see $600 million dollars of revenue stream in from the Super Bowl. They only saw $2.5 million in sales tax revenue, a net profit of $913,397 and an increase of taxable sales of about $34.7 million. Much less than $600 million. The Super Bowl in Detroit in 06 is said to have only brought in around $30-$60 million at the top if they are lucky, but they won’t release any numbers.
Economists compare it to people landing in a plane in Houston or Detroit each with a million dollars. Those people get off the plane and hand each other a million dollars and then getting back on the plane. The city didn’t benefit. The million dollars simply traded hands on their soil.
So if you take nothing else from this article take these five points –
Number 1 – Green Bay fans get ready to lose a home game to London because it’s been made pretty clear that there is pressure for every team to eventually bite the bullet. It may not happen for five years or so, but it will happen.
Number 2 – Get ready for a new team based in London
Number 3 – Get ready for the first foreign soil Super Bowl to happen at some point in the upcoming years
Number 4 – I believe there will be even more drastic changes coming if Goodell has his way but those are so drastic I’d rather not go out on a limb for them
Number 5 – If the Pack does go to London expect it to be a surprise
Packer fans may think that because we are fan owned we will never take away a home game to go to London. Well, don’t be so sure. Could it be a shareholder decision? Sure. However, could he just decide to hold a board members meeting and do a vote?
The NFL and many time the owners forget that it’s the fans that make the NFL profitable. Without the cities and the fans, the NFL doesn’t HAVE revenue. I think that Goodell and the owners of the NFL forget that without us they wouldn’t be able to afford anything. No fancy stadiums, cars, houses, or ways to push us around.
We the fans make this sport. Football is undeniably AMERICAN, and we should be proud of it.
We don’t have cricket championships, where we wait in the rain, snow, or bitter cold to cheer our championship team in from their plane ride. We don’t wait hoping to get just a glimpse at that gleaming trophy named after the man that helped put Green Bay on the map. His name isn’t whispered in the midst of that beautiful landmark that stands in our city like a beacon of what it means to be all American. Vince Lombardi…..
So I don’t care what anyone in the world says about American Football. Green Bay is the foundation of what football is all about. The fact that the NFL just sits there and says “ohhhh Green Bay can’t handle the Super Bowl.”
No I’m sorry Mr. Goodell The Super Bowl can’t handle Green Bay, because Green Bay IS football!