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Bleacher Report – Vikings

“Tripling” of England fan base is a condition of NFL team moving there

By Mike Florio

The NFL returns to London again this week, for the first of two games involving a quartet of teams that have one win among them.

Despite the quality of the teams to play there this year, the annual visit inevitably will resurrect talk of a team playing not one home game but all home games in England.

NFL UK managing director Alistair Kirkwood said Monday that, before a team relocates to London, a “tripling” of the fan base in the United Kingdom must occur.

The next step in the process will be a tripling of the games that historically had been played in London.  From 2007 through 2012, the league staged one game per year at Wembley Stadium.  This year, it’ll be two.  Kirkwood said a third game could be added by 2014.

The Jaguars have committed to playing one game per year for the next four years.  The Rams initially had announced such an arrangement before backing out, due to issues with the team’s lease in St. Louis.

Before any franchise can move to London, it’s not just the game’s fan base but that team’s fan base that needs to increase.  If it happens with the Jaguars over the next four years, they become a logical candidate to, at a minimum, play a split schedule between Jacksonville and London.

The good news for folks in Jacksonville is that the team currently could be too bad to develop a bigger fan base in another country.



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