The European League of Football (ELF) has had an impressive start during its inaugural season, highlighted by tremendous fan interest and filling a void in the European market for American pro football. Commissioner Patrick Esume joined hosts Ric Serritella and Amanda Ruller on ‘The State of Football’ to discuss the upcoming championship game of the ELF, which will be held on September 26th at MERKUR SPIEL Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The Championship game will mimic that of an NFL Super Bowl, as the two final teams will engage in a neutral site final game. The ginormous venue can hold up to 50,000 people but with COVID-19 restrictions they are only allowed to sell 18,000 tickets at this time. Esume discussed his hope to receive permission for the league to sell 25,000 tickets. They have already sold 10,000 of the 18,000 tickets allowed to be sold, clearly showing a strong UK interest in the game.
"This is going to be awesome because you bring the entire league together... We take the NFL blueprint and try and imitate it on a small scale"-Patrick Esume on League awards
One week after the championship game, ELF will play host to an All-Star game on October 3rd, matching a team consisting of purely European players against an all-star team composed of all American born players, while also holding an ‘NFL Honors’ type of award show to bring everyone together. This will all take place in Berlin, one week prior to the NFL kicking off in London with a slate of back-to-back weekly matchups.
After an exciting first season, the ELF plans to expand going into next year. They will look to add four more teams for next year and a total 16 within the next four years. The eventual goal of 24 teams in 12 different countries seems possible, according to Esume, who seemed ‘Intrigued’ by the possibility of putting a team in Istanbul. While goals may seem ambitious, a strong foundation has been established in a short period of time. It’s exciting times in Europe, we will continue to report on the ELF here at NFL Draft Bible, so be sure to check out our Alternate NFL Blog frequently.