Get used to watching your favorite team play in another country because after a successful Monday Night Football matchup between the Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders in Mexico City, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell unveiled immediate plans to get more teams involved in the process as soon as 2017.
“It’s been an incredible success so far,” said Goodell. “I’m optimistic we’ll be back. We’re going to get to work right away on this…This is a priority for us. We see the passion that’s happening here and the fans’ interest in this game continues to explode. We want to feed that. We want to continue that relationship and be back for more.”
The league clearly plans to put games around the world. NFL VP of “International” Mark Waller suggested they are currently looking at playing in Canada, Germany, other cities in Mexico, and multiple times a season in London. Even China isn’t off limits as far as international games go.
“I think teams are interested in how we expand our game on a global basis, particularly in China,” said Goodell. “I think the size and influence of China in the global marketplace is obviously something you can’t ignore. From our standpoint, we know we have lots of fans over there and, more importantly, potential fans over there.”
I agree, games around the world are the perfect tool for growing the brand and drawing global interest in American football; however, I worry that the NFL will forget about its fans at home in the process.
I never had a problem with one game in London a year, but keep in mind that every game over there is a home game for one of the teams. That’s one out of eight home games that season ticket holders here in America lose out on. That’s one less game that adoring home town fans have the opportunity to attend.
Now they’re talking about putting the Jacksonville Jaguars over there twice a season. The Oakland Raiders have shown their willingness to travel.
Just don’t send my Saints anywhere, Goodell. Please.