According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the NFL could look into expanding the number of games played in London to eight in the coming years, which would include one team playing multiple games over there.
executive VP of NFL International Mark Waller tells La Canfora that he foresees expansion of regular season football into England in the coming years.
“I’d like to do both of those,” Waller said. “I don’t think you have to go four games, five games, six games, seven games, eight games. I think we’ve shown by the strength of the foundation that the demand is there, and I definitely think you could play across a full season (eight regular season “home” games) and slate the games and I definitely agree with you, you’d want to see a team coming over and playing two or even three games, and then going back to the States and seeing how that works.
“Because ultimately we believe if you ever put a team here the schedule would have to work on a flighting of two or three games in the UK, followed by two or three games in the States. I don’t think you could expect a team to travel backwards and forwards every week. So we’d like to see what it’s like to play here back-to-back weekends, and I’m sure we’ll get to that in the next couple of years.”
Waller also anticipates the Jaguars will extend their agreement with the league to continue playing in London beyond 2020.
“Obviously, they’ve still got three years to run on that agreement,” Waller said, “and I’m sure after this year we’ll start the conversation there. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t want to continue. It’s worked, I think, incredibly well for them in London, and I believe it’s really helped the city of Jacksonville gain visibility and exposure, and even inward investment into Jacksonville as a result, and it’s work fantastically for us. So I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t an extension to that arrangement at a minimum.”
London has been central to the league’s offseason ambitions and wouldn’t come as a big surprise to see them continue to expand the number of contests played in London and other European cities over the next few years.
We’ll have more regarding the NFL’s plans in London as the news is available.