Commissioner dismisses talk of Super Bowl abroad

The NFL has recently expanded its reach to playing regular-season games in London. But a Super Bowl abroad?

BBC Sport reported that “substantive talks” have taken place in regards to bringing the big game across the pond, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dismissed that, saying the league isn’t considering a Super Bowl in London.

“We have never looked at London or Mexico City as a site,” Goodell said.

Michael Signora, the NFL’s director of media relations and international communications, issued this statement on behalf of the league:

    London has often expressed an interest in learning what it would take to host a Super Bowl. The former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, spoke very often and very publicly about this. In describing the process of how a city hosts a Super Bowl, Frank (Supovitz, the NFL’s senior vice president of events) explained the procedure to city officials in terms of a bid document and the information that must be included.
    The NFL’s UK office has described their efforts in growing a fan base for the sport in that country. There have been two very successful regular-season games at Wembley Stadium and we are looking forward to a third in 2009. The UK office has also articulated that the next step for them is to prove that more than one game per season can be successful in that market.

The NFL has been successful with games at Wembley Stadium in London, with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins playing the first regular-season contest outside of the U.S. in 2007. Last season, the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints played in London. The New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play there next season.

The venues for the next three Super Bowls already are determined: Miami in 2010, Dallas in 2011 and Indianapolis in 2012. But BBC Sport quoted London and NFL officials as saying that bringing the Super Bowl to England is a viable option, though it might not happen in the next few years.

David Hornby, London commercial director:

    “Ever since the NFL began playing games in London we have been in discussions with the NFL about what is involved in staging Super Bowl from the host city perspective. … It continues to be something we discuss on a regular basis, without there being any specific timetable or plan in place.”

Mark Waller, the NFL’s vice president of sales and marketing:

    “The NFL is a global property, has a global audience, and London is an incredible city from a sports fan’s perspective. I don’t think it’s an unrealistic prospect at all.”

Supovitz:

    “It won’t happen in the next three or four years because we know where the Super Bowls will be, but these are exciting opportunities for us.”
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