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Logistics prevent full-time team in London, for now

UK, England, London, Big Ben Clocktower

Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images

Yes, the NFL would like to work out the logistics in a way that allows a team to move to London. No, they haven’t figured it out yet. And there’s no indication that they ever will.

Per a league source, there’s a consensus that the logistical challenges can’t be resolved in a way that ensures true competitive balance. With the London-based team at a disadvantage for various reasons, the league would have to come up with ways to offset problems ranging from the exchange rate to the tax rate to in-season tryouts of free-agents.

The problem is that, if the NFL provides specific benefits to the London team and the London team thrives, U.S.-based teams inevitably will complain that the league is doing too much for the England team.

The league hasn’t ruled out the identification of a potential solution, but for now there’s no clear answer. This means that the best way to grow the game in England will be to continue to expand the current slate of games involving different teams, with roster expanding from three per year to as many as eight.

With the London games now falling into the 9:30 a.m. ET window on Sundays and enjoying a national audience, the benefits of playing eight games with different teams extends to enhanced TV ratings on eight of 17 Sundays for games that otherwise would be absorbed into the smattering of 1:00 p.m. ET kickoffs.