According to the BBC, the NFL had had substantive talks with city officials to bring the Superbowl to London.
That is perhaps the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Here’s why:
-As much as Roger Goodell would like to make the NFL a global property, football is a uniquely American game. It’s championship should be played on American soil. I have no empirical evidence to back up this opinion, I just know it’s right.
-What’s the economic benefit? How much more money will you make from selling out Wembley Stadium than you would for selling out the Rose Bowl? Will there somehow be more ad revenue by moving the game to Europe? It’s not like you’ll be able to squeeze in anymore commercials during the broadcast.
-Let’s say I’m a season ticket holder for a West Coast team that makes the Superbowl. Somehow, I score a pair of tickets to the big game. If it’s in Tampa or Detroit or New Orleans, I can make a three day weekend out of it and keep my relative costs in check. But now, I want to go to the big game in London. Well, that’s a minimum 12 hour flight. And it costs a lot. And now, I’m forced to take a week off from work. And that costs even more money. So now, fans of the West Coast team don’t come to the game. Meanwhile, fans of a team that plays on the East Coast decide its worth the expense, since its a cheaper, shorter flight and only a couple of days off from work. So, the crowd is not neutral. In fact, its filled with British businessmen and East Coast football fans. That is a competitive disadvantage.
-Let’s say I’m a special teams player whose team has made the Superbowl. I don’t earn millions. I haven’t made much of an impact in the league. In fact, my roster spot is in question on an almost week to week basis. Still, I’m playing in the Superbowl! I want my family there to see it. I want my friends there to see it. Ordinarily, Im paying for a few domestic plane tickets, and a couple of nights at a hotel. Now, I’m paying for international air fare and up to a week in a London hotel. Can I afford that?
As far as I can tell, there’s only one thing that the NFL can do to change my mind. And it involves halftime. You’re in London. Bring out the big guns. I want Paul McCartney on Bass, Ringo on drums, Pete Townsend on lead guitar and Roger Daltry on vocals. That’s right! I want the WHOtles to play the halftime show. Short of that, commissioner, you can flush this idea right down the loo.