Arthur Blank sees “maybe more than one” NFL team in London
Falcons owner Arthur Blank agreed to give up one of his team’s home games this season to play in London instead. Soon, Blank believes some team will play all eight of its home games in London.
Blank told Peter King of TheMMQB.com that the fans in London are continually supporting American football, and they’ll support a team of their own.
“The games in London, I think are a tribute to the NFL, a tribute to the fans there, the quality of the game—and I think that it’s proved conclusive that fans will come out when they see the real players playing games that are really meaningful, as opposed to NFL Europe,” Blank said. “So I think—and all three of the games for 2014 sold out immediately, 240,000 tickets—the league, as you know, has been in discussion about a fourth game, in discussion about games beyond that. There’s been discussion about potentially having a franchise in London. I’m very optimistic.”
In fact, Blank even thinks there might be two NFL teams in London.
“I think it will start with an increased number of games. That will be translated into a very successful series of games, and eventually, I think a franchise. And maybe more than one. London’s a big city,” Blank said.
Blank also suggested that London might not be the only overseas city to have an NFL team.
“The approach that the international committee and the commissioner have taken is, ‘Let’s do London right, and then move from there to potentially somewhere else.’ I’m sure there are wonderful cities in Europe, and elsewhere,” Blank said.
Perhaps one day the NFL will have a full four-team European division. Most American fans wouldn’t like it, but the NFL’s owners love the idea of tapping into the European market.