British Conservative Party wants NFL, MLB, NBA franchises in UK

Tuesday April 14th, 2015

In its manifesto released Tuesday, Great Britain's Conservative Party expressed interest in forming partnerships with the NFL, NBA and MLB, with the ultimate goal of establishing franchises in the UK. 

"We will support new sports in the UK, in particular through greater links with the U.S. National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, with the ultimate ambition of new franchises being based here," a portion of the 84-page manifesto read. 

The NFL has held games at London's Wembley Stadium annually since 2007. There will be three games played there this season and they will all begin at 9:30 a.m. ET. Commissioner Roger Goodell has repeatedly expressed interest in placing a permanent franchise in London, or at the very least playing more games there. 

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"Yeah, we’re looking at more games," Goodell told The MMQB's Peter King last month. "Again, I think every year we’ve learned something from our experience, which is the objective. First and foremost is the passion of the fans—they want more. … What we’re getting from authorities is that, 'We’d love to have a permanent presence here.' Stadiums are another big part of it."

Goodell also said in January that the people of London "are responding to the game better than we ever dreamed with more enthusiasm, more passion."

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The NBA has staged exhibition and regular-season games in a variety of European, Asian and South American cities, beginning with a 1978 preseason game in Israel. The first preseason game in London was played in 1993 and the city hosted its first regular-season game in 2011. 

MLB has played regular-season games in Japan and Australia, as well as exhibition series in China, Korea and Taiwan.

- Dan Gartland

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