NFL: Wembley claim they could host a London based NFL franchise

Two NFL games are due to be held at the national stadium in the coming weeks

Wembley Stadium is willing and able to host any prospective London-based NFL franchise, and could do so alongside the “priority” demands of football, according to senior figures within the Football Association.

On Sunday the stadium will host the first of two NFL games this season, when the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Minnesota Vikings in front of a full house. Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, has become increasingly keen on establishing a franchise in London, having been impressed by the success of the one-off matches staged there.

Goodell suggested this summer the “London Whatevers” are likely to  become a reality at some stage – “the more we see, the more we like it,” he said of the idea of a long-term London franchise – and the managing director of Wembley Stadium, a subsidiary of the Football Association, said today the demands of staging regular American football games were not a problem for the stadium, or the pitch.

Roger Maslin, Wembley’s managing director, insisted Sunday’s match would leave no mark on the playing surface ahead of England’s decisive World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland next month, and nor would it be an issue should American football be played every second week during the season.

“We have no qualms whatsoever about delivering a fantastic surface for England,” said Maslin. “We would be very happy to facilitate NFL at Wembley. We can hold games every couple of weeks, absolutely. Clearly, with the calendar we have to look very, very carefully and make sure we have the right balance. Football is our priority but I am absolutely confident that if Roger Goodell wanted to have a franchise here that we could absolutely deliver on it.”

There have been suggestions that the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will play a game at Wembley for four successive seasons from this year, could be the franchise in question. The Jaguars are owned by Shahid Khan, who this summer bought Fulham, and face the San Francisco 49ers next month.

The NFL staged its first game outside North America when the Miami Dolphins played the New York Giants at Wembley in 2007  

Both this season’s games sold out within hours and it is that appetite that so appeals to the NFL. It reflects Wembley’s – and London’s – growing stature as a sporting venue. Uefa has been won over by the two recent Champions League finals held in London, although it is unlikely to be enough to secure the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020 for Wembley.

England and Wales are among eight countries bidding for the final stages of the Uefa president Michel Platini’s scattered tournament. Turkey are favourites but England stand a good chance of instead hosting one of the groups and a quarter-final.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This design and print company a...

Recruitment Genius: Lift and Elevator Contract Manager - London

£38000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Engineer - OTE £40,000

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Engineer is required to...

Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator - Hull - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum + £4200 car allowance: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Suppo...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence