More than $250 million in revenue a year could be generated if the National Football League put a franchise in London, according to a study released by an accountancy firm commissioned by the NFL.
The study, produced by New York-based Deloitte and obtained by the Associated Press, also doubts a Super Bowl would work in London because it could draw a negative reaction from fans in the United States.
The NFL started its International Series in 2007 and continues this season with three games played at Wembley Stadium in London. The final London game this season will take place Nov. 9 when the Dallas Cowboys and the Jacksonville Jaguars square off.
According to the study, Britain could generate $255 million per season with the assumption that the franchise would play two games on four visits each season, rather than a team being based in London. The study also states that London could enjoy a boost of $165 million from hosting eight home games, with those funds being driven by fan spending.
The 30-page report mostly had positive views about the feasibility of London having a franchise, but there were major doubts about Wembley Stadium hosting a Super Bowl. One of the issues would be deciding what time to start the game. The game usually kicks off at 5:25 p.m. Eastern Time in the United States, but even moving the kickoff back to 4 p.m. would mean that the game would start at 9 p.m in London.
The report said that a 6 p.m. local time kickoff "may be unlikely to attract the desired television audience in the U.S."
"The reaction from the NFL's core U.S. market could focus on the negative implications of moving a definitively 'American' event overseas for reasons that may be perceived as solely financial or commercial," the report says.
The firm estimates that the two games that were played in London last season generated $52 million, with renting and securing the stadium costing $3.4 million for the two contests.
- Scooby Axson